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Alberta NDP make push to keep $25-a-day childcare program

Just over a week before the UCP tables its first budget, the NDP is pushing for the government to continue funding Alberta's affordable childcare program. Tom Vernon explains

NDP leader Rachel Notley is asking the UCP to keep funding a childcare pilot her government helped launch.

The affordable daycare program first launched in 2017, and is currently offered at 122 provincially funded centres.

But 22 of those centres— the ones that opened with the first wave of the program— aren’t funded beyond March 2020.

The NDP have tabled a petition in the house with more than 1000 signatures that calls on the UCP to extend their funding and keep the program.

“Way more effective than an income tax drop, way more effective than a cut to corporate taxes, way more effective that subsiding businesses, is investment in childcare,” said Notley on Tuesday.

“The research is absolutely clear.”

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While the UCP hasn’t committed to specifically expanding the program, it announced over the summer that it would be honouring the initial 3-year timeline for the pilot.

READ MORE: Alberta’s $25-a-day childcare pilot program will continue — for now

Rebecca Schulz, the Alberta children’s services minister, said Tuesday that her government is waiting on the results of an NDP-launched review of the program before it makes a final decision.

“We have to be responsible with taxpayer dollars,” Schulz said.

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“But we want to make sure that parents who need help to take part in the workplace or to re-enter the workforce, have those supports in place,” Schulz said.

Schulz added that she also met with families to discuss the issue over the summer.

The UCP is set to table its first budget on Oct. 24.

READ MORE: Child care costs drop in some Canadian cities, but still remain high in others: study