EDMONTON, Alberta, June 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This Sunday, on Father’s Day, Fair Start Alberta will host free community BBQs in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, and Fort McMurray to talk to families about the Fair Start Alberta campaign for universal early childhood education and care. Alberta’s early childhood education and care (ECEC) model is fragmented, inaccessible, and unaffordable, and Alberta currently has some of the highest child care costs in the country.
“As inequality continues to grow worldwide, ordinary families must work harder and harder to keep up with escalating costs and failing supports,” said Siobhan Vipond, Secretary Treasurer of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “A strong public early childhood education and care model would reduce inequality, lift families out of poverty, and support more opportunities for parents and kids. A strong ECEC model creates fairness for working families, and Alberta families deserve this crucial support.”
The Fair Start campaign is calling on the government to make Alberta families a priority by expanding the $25-per-day Alberta Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Centres Pilot Program, phasing out public subsidies to for-profit child care providers, and creating a concrete plan, with clear timelines, to build a universal system of early childhood education and care in Alberta.
“We applaud the Government of Alberta for taking bold action with their $25-per-day child care program, despite economic challenges. But demand for this program continues to outstrip supply,” said Vipond. “The Fair Start campaign calls on the government to create a plan for a high-quality universal system, ensuring access and fairness for all Albertan families.”
High quality ECEC gives kids a fair start and an equal education while giving women the opportunity to fully participate in the workforce, stopping the cycle of poverty while expanding the economy. Numerous studies demonstrate the positive impact of ECEC on the cognitive development of lower income children and on the growth of our economy.
“Early childhood education and care is an investment that pays off for kids, families, and our society as a whole. The International Monetary Fund says that a universal child care program would mean an extra $8 billion in federal tax revenue, with 300,000 more women in the workforce,” said Vipond. “Alberta’s success depends upon the success of our families. When we support families with a fair start, we all benefit.”
Fair Start Father’s Day BBQs will have free food and entertainment for kids, including bouncy castles, crafts, and face painting. They will be held on Sunday, June 17th, from 1 – 4 pm at the following locations:
- Calgary – Bowness Park Site #4
- Edmonton – Laurier Park Site #8
- Fort McMurray – Borealis Park
- Lethbridge – Civic Centre Park
- Red Deer – Rotary Picnic Park
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