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CALGARY The Government of Alberta should reverse its opposition to a national child care program. That was the call from the DArcy Lanovaz, President of the 26,000-member CUPE Alberta after hearing comments from Childrens Services Minister Heather Forsyth.

Forsyth said the government would not go along with the national plan because Alberta already has a child care system and wants to retain for-profit child care in the province.

But Lanovaz says child care has been neglected by the Klein government and the for profit, patchwork system Alberta is holding up as a model isnt working.

The Tories have neglected child care for years, and the system is in bad need of repair, said Lanovaz. Decent child care spots in Alberta are few, far between, and expensive.

Our members are telling me that they cant find decent, affordable care they feel comfortable with, said Lanovaz. They look at Quebec with its $7/day system, and say, why cant we have that?

The Quebec model has its problems, but its far better than what Alberta parents face.

Lanovaz pointed to several Alberta child care scandals in recent years including Edmonton day care centers being charged with drugging children, leaving rodent poison in reach of children, and a child being forgotten and locked in a building at night.

These horror stories point to the need for a national, public system with better standards, and better monitoring of standards, said Lanovaz. Surely a debt free province with abundant energy resources can do that.