Announcing agreement with Alberta to provide $10 a day child care for families
Hello everyone. Such a pleasure to see you here today.
What a great day to be back in Edmonton, here in Alberta, with a big announcement that’s going to make a huge difference in the lives of Albertan families obviously, but also in our economic recovery as we move forward.
I want to start by thanking the YMCA Shirley Stollery Childcare for having us here today. It’s great to be here with, obviously, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, Minister Karina Gould, Minister Boissonnault and MP George Chahal, and excellent as well to be joined by Premier Kenney and Minister Schulz for today’s announcement.
Parents in Edmonton and across Alberta, you get why affordable childcare matters. This past year and a half have illustrated the challenges that families face and the need for childcare. I think one of the things that really came through on this past year and a half is that making sure we have proper support for families, we have proper support for young kids that will allow parents to get back to work, is unbelievably important. Not just for families, not just for those young kids to get the best start in life they possibly can, not just for moms who are all too often facing impossible choices about whether to be there for their kids or to contribute to their family and their community, but it’s also become very, very clear for business leaders, small business, for big businesses, that childcare is not just a social program, it’s about growing the economy as well. And that’s what has been made obvious over the past many months, and that’s why we’re so glad to be here today.
Families deserve an investment in their present, in their future. The economy needs investment in the workers of the future, and that’s why this is such an important announcement for people here in Alberta, but across the country as we move forward with these agreements on child care.
Now, I think people know that the provinces and the federal government don’t always get along on everything, and there’s always going to be points of disagreement, but I am really, really pleased to be here today with Premier Kenney and the government of Alberta to demonstrate that on the things that matter most to citizens, on the things that matter to the people that we serve, we can get big things done. That’s exactly what we’ve been able to do here today with Alberta, on moving forward with a historic agreement on childcare that’s going to make a real concrete difference in the lives of Albertans.
Within five years, $10-a-day childcare will be a reality right across the province. By the end of next year, childcare fees will be cut in half for Albertan families. The province will be creating over 40,000 new spaces in early learning and childcare, and we’re going to strengthen and update the wage grid so that early childhood educators get the kind of training, support, and wages they need to contribute in such an important way, to not just the present of our society, but the future of it as well.
This is big news for families, and it’s yet another example of how governments work together to deliver in real tangible ways for people.
A strong child-care system is what parents across the country want. With today’s announcement, eight provinces and one territory are now taking this big step.
We are so much closer to our goal of lowering fees for every family across the country and creating 250,000 new spaces right across Canada. The fact that we were able to do this with Alberta today is a clear indication that it is within grasp for all families across the country. And I really expect and hope the remaining provinces will step up, come on board and see that investing in kids, investing in families, investing in businesses, but also investing in the future of our country is what all Canadians expect.