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Alberta is 6th province to sign national child care pact.

CALGARY -- The federal and Alberta governments have signed an Agreement in Principle for the development of early learning and child care services for young children and their families in Alberta. Approximately $70 million is available to Alberta through a trust fund for the period ending March 31, 2006. Alberta will develop and release a strategic plan for early learning and child care, and will continue to report on those areas publicly and enable Albertans to track progress.

While the federal and provincial ministers lauded the agreement, critics claimed that it will permit the Alberta government to move ahead with its policy of favoring commercial child care businesses. D'Arcy Lanovaz, president of the Alberta division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees said, "Without public delivery conditions attached to the federal funding, the door is now open in Alberta for giant commercial operators to pad their profits with taxpayer dollars."

Canada and Alberta will conclude a detailed multi-year funding agreement for the period 2006-07 to 2009-2010. This new funding will be in addition to the trust fund.

Alberta is the sixth province to sign on to the national child care plan. They are Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. As announced in federal-provincial-territorial meetings on early learning and child care, all programs will be guided by the QUAD principles: quality, universal inclusiveness, accessibility, and development. Provinces will have the flexibility to put in place programs to address the specific needs of their citizens.

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Title Annotation:CHILD & FAMILY
Publication:Community Action
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Aug 22, 2005
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Next Article:Manitoba offers incentives for trained child care staff.

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