Putting fam­i­lies first in 2018

The McLeod River Post - - Family, Farm & Garden -

The prov­ince con­tin­ued to make life bet­ter for fam­i­lies this year by adding thou­sands of af­ford­able child care spa­ces, ex­pand­ing the school nu­tri­tion pro­gram and in­vest­ing in new in­fra­struc­ture.

This year, 100 new $25-a-day af­ford­able child care cen­tres opened in Al­berta, adding to the 22 cen­tres that were al­ready in op­er­a­tion. The ex­pan­sion of the pro­gram, which has now cre­ated spa­ces for 7,300 kids, meant more Al­ber­tans were able to re-en­ter the work­force in 2018 and par­ents saved an av­er­age of $425 ev­ery month on child care.

“Par­ents across Al­berta tell me that $25-a-day child care is the sin­gle big­gest life-changer for their fam­i­lies. It means they can go back to work and af­ford things like win­ter coats or den­tal work for their kids. We’re work­ing to make qual­ity child care af­ford­able for ev­ery fam­ily in the prov­ince.”

Danielle Larivee, Min­is­ter of Chil­dren’s Ser­vices

More than 32,000 stu­dents also started school this year in new and mod­ern­ized learn­ing spa­ces, thanks to the largest in­fra­struc­ture build in Al­berta’s his­tory. In to­tal, 37 new and mod­ern­ized schools will open across the prov­ince dur­ing the 2018-19 school year.

“Our gov­ern­ment knows that in­vest­ing in our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is one of the most im­por­tant in­vest­ments we can make in our prov­ince’s fu­ture, and that is why we will con­tinue to make these im­por­tant in­vest­ments. Since May 2015, our gov­ern­ment has funded 244 school projects in ev­ery cor­ner of the prov­ince.” David Eggen, Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion

The gov­ern­ment also ex­panded its school nu­tri­tion pro­gram this year to en­sure stu­dents across the prov­ince could fo­cus on their stud­ies and not their stom­achs. The pro­gram started in the 2016-17 school year, but be­cause of its over­whelm­ing suc­cess it was ex­panded in 2017-18 to all 61 pub­licly funded school au­thor­i­ties in Al­berta, re­sult­ing in more than 33,000 stu­dents re­ceiv­ing a daily nu­tri­tious meal.

To im­prove the health and well­be­ing of chil­dren and fam­i­lies, the gov­ern­ment also in­vested in men­tal health sup­ports, in­clud­ing:

• $566,000 to the Cal­gary Coun­selling Cen­tre to ex­pand its ser­vices for chil­dren, youth and fam­i­lies fac­ing anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and stress.

• $1.2 mil­lion over three years to the Ze­bra Cen­tre in Ed­mon­ton to en­sure chil­dren and their fam­i­lies have in­creased ac­cess to im­me­di­ate cri­sis in­ter­ven­tion, men­tal health as­sess­ments and care­giver sup­port.

• $500,000 to Hos­pice Cal­gary to sup­port pro­fes­sional coun­sel­lors and group pro­grams for chil­dren, youth and fam­i­lies deal­ing with grief after the death of some­one close to them due to homi­cide, sui­cide, ac­ci­dent, over­dose or sud­den med­i­cal or ter­mi­nal ill­ness.

The gov­ern­ment also helped fam­i­lies get the care they need closer to home by sup­port­ing a new neona­tal in­ten­sive care unit (NICU) in the Stur­geon Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal in St. Al­bert and open­ing a re­de­vel­oped ma­ter­nity care unit at the Peter Lougheed Cen­tre in Cal­gary.

“Fam­i­lies de­serve to know that the sup­ports and ser­vices they rely on will be there when they need them. I’m proud that our gov­ern­ment has had the backs of vul­ner­a­ble Al­ber­tans, and that we’ve con­tin­ued to in­vest in our fam­i­lies’ fu­tures. We will con­tinue putting fam­i­lies first, en­sur­ing needed re­sources are in place across the prov­ince.”

Sarah Hoff­man, Min­is­ter of Health

The Al­berta Child Ben­e­fit also con­tin­ued in 2018. Fam­i­lies earn­ing less than $41,746 per year in fam­ily net in­come con­tinue to re­ceive ad­di­tional money to meet their needs. The max­i­mum an­nual ben­e­fit is $1,114 for fam­i­lies with one child and up to $2,785 for fam­i­lies with four or more chil­dren.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.