Notes from the MLA: Affordable childcare is important

Danielle Larivee,
MLA for Lesser Slave Lake

As a mom, I know how important the place you drop your kids off every day is. When we say goodbye and I love you in the morning, we expect that our kids will be given the nurturing support they need to grow and thrive. But across Alberta, and especially in rural and Indigenous communities, all too often it’s still hard for parents to find affordable, high quality child care. I know from my own conversations with parents that many are struggling to find and afford the care they want for their kids.
When the cost of the right child care is as much as a second mortgage, many parents are forced to choose between child care and pursuing their career. Others may decide not to start a family at all. A government that is focused on making life better for families can’t ignore this issue. That’s why I’m so proud of the work we’ve done to help so many families across the province access the care they want for their children.
Last month I was honoured to join Chief Frank Halcrow at a community celebration on Kapawe’no First Nation to mark the opening of their daycare centre. And what a great reason to celebrate; the Kapawe’no First Nation Daycare Centre is the first ever provincially licensed child care centre on-reserve in Alberta. It is a warm, welcoming and nurturing place where up to 31 young minds will gather each day to develop and grow.
This is amazing news for families in Kapawe’no and an exciting step forward in our government’s work to make child care more affordable and accessible across Alberta. This child care centre is the result of a tremendous amount of dedication and hard work by Kapawe’no First Nation, and an example of the great things that can happen when we work in collaboration with Indigenous communities.
While this collaboration began before I became Minister, this is a project I have always been keenly interested in – not just as Minister responsible for expanding access to child care, but also as the MLA for this region.
Not only will the Kapawe’no First Nation Daycare Centre benefit the community, but the program is also close to Northern Lakes College. Students attending the college can now apply for provincial subsidies to help with child care costs.
No matter where a child grows up – on reserve or off, in a big city or in a small town – they deserve the opportunity to succeed, to thrive, and to reach their full potential, and they deserve the support of their community, and their province, to do so.
The struggles that parents face when trying to provide the best opportunities for their kids have been ignored in Alberta for far too long. That’s why our government made a choice to protect and improve investments for our children today, so that affordable, quality child care will be there for all Alberta families in the future. And as we move forward with this work, I look forward to seeing how it will benefit families across Alberta.

 

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