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Canada Opinion: Why quality child care must be an election issue

16:25  05 october  2019
16:25  05 october  2019 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

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Canada is a little over a month away from the federal election and the main political parties are beginning to roll out their platforms. One issue that needs to be on the mind of Canadians in the run-up to the Oct.

Quality in child care matters. The number of children each teacher cares for, the knowledge of how to facilitate babies’ individual learning agendas, all make a difference, but add to And when you enter the voting booth, keep child care at the top of your list. Be a Big Voice for Little Kids this Election !

a group of people sitting at a table: Tyler Hein, of the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta, says quality child care should be on the mind of voters in the Oct. 21 federal election. File photo.© Ed Kaiser Tyler Hein, of the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta, says quality child care should be on the mind of voters in the Oct. 21 federal election. File photo.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Canada is a little over a month away from the federal election and the main political parties are beginning to roll out their platforms. One issue that needs to be on the mind of Canadians in the run-up to the Oct. 21 federal election is quality child care and how different parties plan to address the significant need for further planning and investment for the early-learning and care sector.

By the numbers: The ten priciest promises in the Liberal election platform

  By the numbers: The ten priciest promises in the Liberal election platform OTTAWA — The Liberals released their costed platform on Sunday, and it comes with big promises — and big spending. The party plans to run a $27.4 billion deficit in 2020-21, and then follow it up with deficits of $23.7 billion, $21.8 billion, and $21 billion in the following years. The Liberals do not have a plan to balance the budget; instead they are focusing on the debt-to-GDP ratio. In their platform the ratio is forecast to decline very slowly from 30.9 per cent in 2020-21 to 30.2 per cent in 2023-24. The platform adds a total of $31.5 billion in new debt over the four years.

Many key issues beg to be addressed and debated during the current federal election campaign The recommendations, which include national pharmacare, universal child care Rudy Fernandes, Mississauga. This attempt to make inequality an issue in the election campaign must be supported.

If you care about inequality, you can’t ignore reproductive rights. Instead, these men contend, the party’s focus must be on economics. The glaring mistake they all make, however, is thinking that there is any way to Democratic Party leaders have frequently tried to play down abortion to win elections .

Quality child care and the early-childhood educators who provide this critical service must be considered with any economic plan at both the federal and provincial levels. Supporting the early-learning and child-care workforce has many positive benefits for children, families and Alberta as a whole. An educated early-learning and child-care workforce is in a better position to meet the complex, growing needs of our children, developing a foundation for all future learning and development. It is already an issue bubbling over in all provinces and territories.

On Aug. 20, the Manitoba Child Care Association held a gathering that drew hundreds of families together in support of better child care. The intent was to draw further attention to early childhood education programs in the province and the crucial need for a better funding model, greater affordability, accessibility, quality, and a well-supported workforce. Alberta faces many of the same issues as Manitoba. In fact, most, if not all, of the provinces and territories struggle with a need for additional high-quality child-care spaces.

Record number of women elected in Northwest Territories

  Record number of women elected in Northwest Territories With nine of 19 MLAs elected Tuesday women, the N.W.T. is the jurisdiction with the highest proportion of women legislators in Canada. Nine of 19 MLAs elected on Tuesday are women, a far cry from the two elected in the last election in 2015."We have made history in the Northwest Territories. So that's huge and that's exciting," said Caroline Cochrane, who was also re-elected Tuesday She said women focus on family and women's issues, as well as education, health care and child care. The N.W.T.'s ailing child protection system, which has been blasted in auditor general reports, was a hot button election issue.

Ontario must replace its patchwork of child care services with a universally accessible system of high quality care that is affordable for all families, say low- and moderate-income parents who responded to a survey in the run-up to this spring’s Opinion : Why quality child care must be an election issue .

For most parents, quality child care safeguards a child ’s health and safety; the child is happy, and the program is conveniently located and affordable. In the case of in- child ’s-home care provided by a caregiver who is part of Immigration Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program, there must be a written

Not only are there not enough child-care spaces, the cost is out of reach for many families. In Edmonton, the median annual child-care cost for one child is between $10,600 to $11,880. In Calgary, this number rises to upward of $15,000 annually, approximately double the yearly tuition cost of many post-secondary programs.

Families continue to struggle to balance work and family commitments, limiting the ability for both parents to remain in the workforce, especially families with multiple children. Child-care spaces must be affordable and accessible for families wherever they live and no matter their circumstance; affordability, however, often conflicts with quality provision. Accessibility and quality are reliant on an educated and competent workforce that is well-remunerated and supported for the important work they do     .

Provinces continue to struggle to recruit and retain qualified early-childhood educators and the graduation numbers are not enough to fill the gap. In Alberta, staff turnover rates are high and the percentage of licensed child-care programs non-compliant with the Child Care Licensing Act and Regulation is approximately 27 per cent (Children’s Services Business Plan 2017-20).

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The majority of child - care programs are safe. There is no question that they should and could be better. Today, American families need quality services and a variety of options. Particularly, we need carefully structured infant care and we need supervision for our teen- agers in their out-of-school hours.

Citizens' Committee for Children , since its inception in 1944, has been a staunch proponent of high- quality child - care services. The Praca incident confirms that qualifications of day- care staff must remain stringent, yet this is the regulatory area the city continues to specifically target for revision.

The cost to organizations/businesses is significant; the cost to children, families and Alberta’s other systems (education, health, justice) are even more significant.

Too often, we hear from women having to give up their own profession as they are unable to find or afford child care. Alberta needs these women in the workforce for many reasons, but most importantly to contribute to its economy. For example, while Alberta’s labour force participation for those aged 25-64 is 84.8 per cent, its labour force participation rate for women lags significantly behind. In 2017, approximately 72 per cent of female workers were employed full-time in Alberta compared to 89.5 per cent of male workers.

Federally, political parties need to show a commitment to early-childhood educator workforce planning and increasing investment in early learning and child care to help make labour force participation or completion of studies more affordable for families.

High-quality child care helps to build strong communities, helps newcomers integrate into their new communities, fosters appreciation and respect for diversity, helping young children engage and contribute to their own communities, now and in the future.

Tyler Hein is the policy and communications co-ordinator for the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA). AECEA is a non-profit, member-based society which supports higher education and remuneration for early-childhood educators.

Ottawa tells court First Nation child welfare compensation order could cost $8 billion .
A senior federal official says a human rights tribunal ruling ordering Ottawa to compensate First Nation children apprehended through the on-reserve child welfare system could cost the federal government up to $8 billion, according to Federal Court records. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordered Ottawa in early September to compensate all First Nation children removed from their homes and communities through the child welfare system since Jan. 1, 2006. The ruling also covers the Yukon.

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