Affordable childcare and early learning are necessary for our economic recovery.
To ensure full participation in economic recovery, the foundational infrastructure to get parents - particularly women - back to work is critical. Universal, quality, affordable, and accessible early learning and child care is that infrastructure.
A robust and sustainable early learning and child care sector is necessary for Alberta women to be able to return to work, increase their hours of work, or pursue training for new employment opportunities. Government investment in new or expanding work opportunities for women will be ineffective if early learning and child care supports are not in place for women to access these opportunities. This means early learning and child care must be affordable and flexible to meet the needs of Albertans, in all areas of the province.
The early learning and child care system also needs to be grounded in the principles of quality early learning. This means supporting child care operators in meeting high standards of early childhood education. The primary indicator of quality early childhood education is the qualifications and ongoing professional development of early childhood educators.
Early learning and child care is the necessary infrastructure to get Alberta women back to work and contributing to economic recovery and growth. It creates jobs, increases women’s participation in the workforce, and invests in the long-term educational outcomes of our children.
- Rakhi Pancholi
We have proposed 6 recommendations in our report. However, this is not an exhaustive or finalized list of policies. We want to hear your thoughts and add your ideas. Please contact us, comment or attend the upcoming consultations.
Release unspent Budget 2020-21 funding for child care to stabilize the sector and minimize parent fee increases.
Improve existing online tools by creating an online Early Learning and Child Care mapping system and portal to (1) identify where childcare is currently available and; (2) track where new spaces and the kinds of spaces are needed to improve accessibility.
Support full implementation of Alberta’s “Flight” early childhood curriculum at all child care centres & approved family day homes to ensure the pillars of quality early childhood education are in place.
Support quality early learning by developing and implementing a workforce strategy for early childhood educators that includes strategies to improve educational attainment, support professional development, and address long-term challenges associated with the attraction and retention of the workforce.
Immediately establish an Early Learning and Child Care Task Force to:
implement the universal $25/day quality early learning and child care program,
assist in the development of a comprehensive workforce strategy for early childhood educators,
develop further strategies to address inclusive and accessible early learning and child care.
Implement province-wide, universal $25/day quality early learning and child care provided through public, licensed non-profit & private child care programs and family dayhome providers.
Please read our full report for rationale of each proposal and background information on how Alberta can provide high quality and affordable early learning and childcare.