Opinion: Quality, affordable childcare is in the public's interest
Extensive research on children's development confirms that the first five years are critical for healthy development, including brain growth. Read the Edmonton Journal article.
EndPovertyEdmonton Interview with Nicki Dublenko
For many Alberta families, childcare services are a necessity. But when it comes to childcare in Edmonton, there's a serious gap between what's needed and what's available. 66% of the city's licensed childcare facilities are already full to capacity and can only offer families a place on their wait lists. When spaces are available, they aren't necessarily affordable - median monthly cost of $885 per child puts quality chilcare out of reach for many families, particularly those with low income. According to Nicki Dublenko, Chair of the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta, our current system only has space for 25% of the children who need care. EndPovertyEdmonton sat down with Nicki to talk about why access to childcare is important, how it relates to tackling poverty, and what it would take to build a childcare system that truly meets families' needs. To hear what that system might look like and the steps we can take to get there, you can watch the highlights of the conversation with Nicki here.
Alberta Childcare Operators Struggling with Minimum Wage Increase
Some private operators are raising fees to afford the new $15 hourly wage. Read the CBC article.
Childcare Staff Certification Changing
The educational equivalencies and language proficiency requirements for child care staff certification are changing. Effective April 2, 2018, here is an overview of certification changes.
$25-a-day daycare pilot project coming to 18 Alberta early learning child care centres
By Spring, hundreds of Alberta families will pay $25 a day for child care, which is about $500 a month. The Alberta government fulfilled its election pledge, but only a fraction of what was first promised. Laurel Gregor, of Global News reports. Watch the video below.
Licensed VS. Unlicensed Day Homes: Do their track records speak for themselves?
Ryan Jesperson speaks with Nicki Dublenko, Chair of the Alberta Child Care Association about recent heart-wrenching stories that have caught our attention and the differences between unlicensed and licensed day homes. Click here for full story.
Taking Precautions when Picking a Dayhome
Alberta Primetime interviewed Child Development Dayhomes' Cheryl Crowther about taking precautions when choosing a dayhome and the advantages of going with an accredited dayhome over a private babysitter. Watch the video below.
New Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Regulations
Stronger requirements will better protect infants and young children from potential injury or death
On June 29, 2016 the Government of Canada introduced new Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Regulations (CCBR) to improve the safety of these products for infants and young children. The new Regulations, which will come into force on December 29, 2016, include a prohibition on the sale, importation, manufacture or advertisement of traditional drop-side cribs. While traditional drop-side cribs are mostly unavailable in the Canadian marketplace, they may still be found as remaining inventory in some new and second hand stores, and at garage sales. The new CCBR also introduce new requirements and test methods for accessories and stands that are used with cribs, cradles and bassinets. The new Regulations will replace the current CCBR to strengthen the requirements for these sleep products. It is important to note that the new CCBR will apply to all cribs, cradles and bassinets that are: manufactured, sold, advertised or imported into Canada given away or sold second-hand. Health Canada advises parents and caregivers to verify that any crib, cradle or bassinet that they use meets current Canadian safety regulations. For the complete news release, click here.
CDDHE Executive Director Becomes a New Rep to the CCCF
The Alberta Child Care Association (ACCA) has a new rep to the Canadian Child Care Federation effective immediately as Nicki Dublenko takes over for Marlene Alcon Kepka. Nicki is the ACCA Chairperson, a member of the CCCF’s Leader’s Caucus in Alberta, and the Executive Director at Child Development Dayhomes in Edmonton. She was also just selected to be a participant in the Max Bell Institute for Public Policy in Calgary.
Surprise Meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau
Dayhome Provider Nisha and her dayhome children went to drop off their library books at Millwoods Town Centre when they noticed all the police, reporters, and cameras. They wondered what was going on and they asked people around them. Maddix walked to the police and asked "Is everything ok? What happened?" The policeman answered that the Prime Minister is inside and that is why there is all the security. Maddix then asked Nisha "Who is Prime Minister?" to which Nisha answered "We have a Prime Minister to lead our country, Canada." Nisha asked Maddix "Who is the leader at your home?" Nevaeh quickly said "Mom!", and Maddix added "and dad." They were very excited to see PM Trudeau and wanted to say hi. There were so many people in the line when PM Trudeau came close to them. Maddix told him "My uncle's name is Justin too."
Pictured: Federal Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Child Development Dayhomes Provider Nisha Shrestha and her dayhome children.
Alberta Child Care Association Meeting with Premier Notley and Honorable Minister Ceci
On March 23, 2016 Nicki Dublenko, Board Chair of the Alberta Child Care Association and Executive Director of Child Development Dayhomes Edmonton presented to Premier Notley and Honorable Minister Ceci prior to the release of the budget.
This presentation highlighted to Premier Notley and Honorable Minister Ceci some of the issues and concerns facing ECEs in the field. Some highlights from the presentation included the current compounding issues in early learning and care such as:
- The current ELC workforce is undervalued with low levels of support. The majority of those working in early learning and care are women (many of them are single parents, many are new immigrants and many have very low levels of education to prepare them for their work. A Gender based analysis of the early learning and care sector conducted by the Government GBA staff in Winter 2015 confirms this.
- The demanding, specialized and complex nature of work with young children, their families, and their communities highlights the need for a professional and competent early learning and care workforce.
- The state of our current workforce contributes to the low level of quality in early learning and care settings.
- The number one indicator to increase quality in early learning and care settings is by increasing the capacity of the adults working with young children – this is the educational preparation and ongoing professional learning of the educators.
- We know that Alberta’s Families are more varied in their form and structure (for example lone-parent families or the many families in which both parents working out of the home). Alberta families are more diverse (culturally both in the languages they speak & religion) and the majority of children now spend a significant portion of their early lives in some form of non-parental care.
- Employment rate of mothers of young children in Alberta averages around 70% and we only have licensed and regulated child care spaces to support 20% of these children. We don’t know a lot about what is happening for these other children – many of them are in private unregulated babysitter type care. Families need accessible, high quality child care to support their own workforce participation. Nothing worse than having to leave a child in a setting the family is not confident in.
Research shows that the educational preparation and ongoing learning of staff remain central to the quality of early learning and care. The knowledge, skills and competencies educators bring to early learning and care shapes their quality and contributes significantly to the experience of children and their families (OECD, 2006 and 2012).
The Alberta Child Care Association is currently developing and in discussions with human services staff about a provincial framework that would see an increase in the educational preparation and professional learning of early childhood educators as well as appropriate remuneration for their work.
Specific to this discussion about jobs and economic diversification the Alberta Child Care Association sees an Opportunity in the upcoming budget to invest in the development of the early learning and care workforce. As shown in the past and in other jurisdictions A strategy such as this will Attract and recruit people to the field. Will help retain those in the field already. And will then elevate the level of quality for children and families in Alberta and therefore see a return to the Alberta community as a whole.
2015 EPCitizen Nominee: Nicki Dublenko
The Everyday Political Citizen project celebrates positive political role models and builds a culture of positive politics in Canada. Conducted coast to coast to coast, the EPCitizen project aims to recognize the diversity of politics and democracy in Canada, crowd-sourcing hundreds of nominations for political citizens.
Nominee: Nicki Dublenko
Nominator: Susan Garrow-Oliver
Nicki is a mom to two young children and wife to husband Aaron. She is also an inspirational leader in the early learning and care field. As a Family Child Care Agency owner and Executive Director Nicki is very involved in the day to day operations along with putting in many volunteer hours to advocate for children, families and early childhood professionals.
Nicki works hard to create awareness of the need to be informed and engaged in policy decisions. She is the Chair of the Alberta Child Care Association and member of the Alberta Early Learning and Care Leaders Caucus. She has inspired many early childhood professionals and colleagues with her determination and action to influence change in the early learning and care sector.
Nicki is forever writing letters to government officials and setting up meetings with her MLA. She is guided by strong ethics and attitudes of respecting the environment, sustainability and being an active change agent. She is hoping to participate in the Max Bell Policy Project to further support her own growth and development and to continue on in her quest to influence change at all levels.
Advantages of Approved Family Dayhomes
Watch a video featured on CTV with Child Development Dayhomes' Cheryl Crowther talking about .
Unlicensed Dayhomes - Interview with CBC
Nicki Dublenko with the Alberta Childcare Association talks about unlicensed day homes in our province. Click here for the full story.