Province-wide community BBQs to highlight fact investing in a universal child care program means investing in women

Alberta Federation of Labour hosts free BBQs in St. Albert, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, and Fort McMurray to highlight the value of high-quality centre-based child care for women

Edmonton – This Sunday, July 7, Fair Start Alberta will host free community BBQs in St. Albert, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, and Fort McMurray to talk to families about the Fair Start Alberta campaign for universal early childhood education and care. This year, the focus will be a Fair Start for Women, and how child care empowers women, reduces gender inequality and grows the economy.

“Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) is essential for women’s economic security,” said Siobhan Vipond, Secretary Treasurer of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “But Alberta’s patchwork of programs means child care is inaccessible and unaffordable and for women it means some have no choice but to work part-time or leave the workforce, which hurts their economic security, career development, lifetime earnings and contributes to gender inequality.”  

Sixty-eight per cent of all part-time workers in Alberta are women, according to a 2018 Statistics Canada analysis, and caring for children is a key reason why they work part-time. Lack of ECEC also contributes to a high gender-based wage gap. In 2017, Alberta women earned $0.75 for every dollar earned by men. This is part of a cycle that contributes to gender inequality.

In an evaluation of the $25-a-day Early Learning and Child Care Centres, parents reported having greater freedom of choice for career, work and school arrangements — meaning, women were empowered to choose full or part-time work, seek additional education, volunteer in their communities and start businesses. The reduced financial burden allowed families greater financial security.

“The Fair Start campaign calls on this government to recognize the positive impact access to child care has on women and gender equity and expand access to high-quality centre-based child care,” said Vipond. “They need to create a concrete plan with clear timelines to build a universal system of early childhood education and care in Alberta.”

The Fair Start Community BBQs will be held July 7, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Calgary, Fort McMurray, Lethbridge, Red Deer and St. Albert. These family friendly events are for all workers, union and non-union, and their families, to get together and to discuss the importance of early childhood education and care. Families will enjoy a picnic lunch, bouncy castles, crafts and face painting - all at no charge.

Learn more about the Fair Start Campaign.

Media Availability:

DATE: July 7, 2019

TIME: 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

WHO: Siobhan Vipond, Secretary Treasurer, Alberta Federation of Labour 

WHAT: Interview opportunity

LOCATION: Lions Park, 21 Sir Winston Churchill Avenue, St. Albert, Alberta


Media Contact:

Ramona Franson

Director of Communications

[email protected]