By Jensen, Randy on November 7, 2020.
City council unanimously passed a resolution earlier this week calling on the federal and provincial governments to support a national early learning and child-care program.
The resolution was brought forth by Coun. Belinda Crowson and called for the creation a national program which is high quality, inclusive and accessible with significant, long-term sustained funding. And, she suggested, the mayor should draft a letter advocating for such a national program with local MLAs, MPs, and also send a letter encouraging other mid-sized cities to also support such a program and write their own letters in turn to both federal and provincial elected representatives.
“This is being brought forward because of the fundamental understanding that early learning and care programs are essential for families,” Crowson explained. “And even moreso at this time. Today we have several resolutions that have supported businesses and different groups during this recovery from the pandemic. This is looking at supporting families during this tough economic times.”
Crowson said it may not be within the City’s traditional jurisdiction to advocate for such a program, but it certainly was a fundamental lack which affected many in the community strongly and whose impacts were felt most severely here.
“One of the things we know,” Crowson stated, “is that these sorts of programs can actually help in poverty reduction. Unfortunately here in Lethbridge we are above the provincial average in poverty in our community and in our families. This is an issue in Lethbridge, and this is one way we can help address that as we know COVID-19 and the pandemic are affecting the most vulnerable among us the most.”
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