Alberta’s New Democrats are promising 4,000 new day-care spaces while capping fees parents pay at $25 a day.
Pumping $268 million into day-care programs will fund the extra spaces, said NDP Leader Brian Mason, in announcing the plan at a university-area day care yesterday.
"Families at different stages of their lives may need a bit of help," he said. "It’s not that we’re talking about cradle-to-grave welfare, but families need certain things at certain points in their life."
Alberta spends less on child care than any other province, he said, and day-care centres can’t even afford to pay their workers proper wages.
One day-care operator wondered how caps on their income could work while their costs from leases or rental rates continue to rise.
"The actual costs are not going to change, so how are you going to co-ordinate the distribution of tax dollars so that you’re still meeting those real costs?" said Vivian Turner, who runs the non-profit Garneau/University Child Care Society.