Rakhi Pancholi, MLA Profile picture
Parent, partner, lawyer, dog rescuer, and proud Edmontonian. She/her. MLA for Edmonton-Whitemud. Official Opposition Critic for Children’s Services.
Dec 3, 2021 14 tweets 3 min read
Buckle up - a bit of a 🧵on the new child care model.

I care about affordable quality child care so much, I feel compelled to do what @rebeccakschulz & the UCP are failing so miserably to do.

Explain their changes to the child care funding (based on my understanding). #ableg Most parents WILL see reduced child care fees starting sometime in the new year.

Not all & not necessarily in an equitable way, but there will be a reduction for most.

Here's how:
Dec 3, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
The UCP took months longer than other provinces to sign a deal for child care.

Yet even w/ extra time, @rebeccakschulz can't communicate clearly how the new funding is rolling out. It's causing confusion.

What doesn't help? The Minister's answers to questions about it. #ableg Child care providers have been struggling for months to keep doors open w/ inadequate supports. We've been calling on the Minister to do something about it and she's done next to nothing.

Now parents are getting notices child care fees are going up.
Dec 2, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
There’s a lot to work through on how the UCP is rolling out the new child care funding, but I’m hearing that a lot of parents and operators are seeing their fees go up in January and the new funding is leaving a lot of gaps. #ableg Operators have been struggling to stay afloat for the past 18 months given reduced enrolment, educators leaving the field & ridiculously inadequate support from the UCP. The delay in the signing & implementation of the federal deal increased that instability.
Nov 22, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
This is SO important.

Despite $300 million in the new child care deal for early childhood educators, the UCP is not using any of it to increase their pay. Alberta educators have the 3rd lowest wages in the country.🧵 #ableg Why is this important?

1) ECEs deserve to be paid a decent wage. They do critically impt work & should be paid properly.

2) Alberta has lost 1 in 5 educators over the past year. We need to attract & retain more educators now. Better pay & professional opportunities are key.
Nov 14, 2021 9 tweets 4 min read
The UCP are going to sign a deal with the feds for child care. They have to. They desperately need a good news story.

But they'll do it in spite of every ideological & political instinct they have. Because they've never believed in universal affordable child care. 🧵#ableg From the moment they were elected, the UCP focused on ending the $25/day pilot program we introduced. They didn't once consider expanding it to all licensed programs as we'd planned. This would have addressed their main critique that not enough families had access to it.
Aug 15, 2021 15 tweets 8 min read
The UCP’s failure to get a federal agrmt for $10/day child care signed before the election - something 8 other jurisdictions managed to do - is an epic failure of leadership by @jkenney.

And let’s be clear - this was the intent all along. 🧵#ableg From the beginning, @jkenney deliberately mischaracterized the federal funding, falsely claiming it was only for “9-5, urban, institutionalized, union-run” child care & excluded for-profit providers. None of that was true. And they knew that. #ableg

cbc.ca/1.5995647
Aug 15, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
As signs point to a fed election being called very shortly, I’m honestly a little shocked the UCP actually played the kind of craven political games I suspected they would with the fed child care deal (worth $3.8 billion to Alberta). #ableg I know this sounds naive as an Opposition MLA, but there’s still a part of me that thinks “come on…they may surprise me.” Honestly. Even after the last 2 years.

Because even if I never expected them to do it because it’s the right thing to do (that ship sailed long ago)…
Mar 1, 2021 15 tweets 8 min read
A silver lining of the pandemic has been the consensus around child care as sound economic policy.

Of course, this wasn't news to many. There's no greater barrier to women's workforce participation than lack of child care.

But now everyone was talking about it. 🧵#ableg Back in the early days of the pandemic, @ArmineYalnizyan talked about the "she-cession" effect and that child care was key for economic recovery. Many other noted Cdn economists shared this call for child care to be at the forefront of recovery.

cbc.ca/radio/thecurre…
Jan 28, 2021 8 tweets 4 min read
The UCP has won its legal battle against a former foster child, now single mother, to go ahead with cutting 500+ young people who grew up in govt care from supports to transition them to adulthood.

If this sounds cruel, it's because it is. 🧵#ableg

cbc.ca/news/canada/ed… These are young people who experienced significant trauma & by the very fact of growing up in care, don't have the natural family or financial supports needed to transition successfully. Supports were available until the age of 24 before the UCP cut it to age 22. #ableg
Jan 27, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
Today, Minister @rebeccakschulz announced an additional $11.4 million of *federal dollars* for Alberta’s child care sector. Additional funding to support the sector is critical as many are struggling.

But let’s be clear about what this funding announcement means. #ableg 1) It's not provincial $$. It’s federal $$ taken from the remaining $25/day programs. They were only told they would lose this funding 3 weeks ago after having been refused approval to use it for its intended purpose - to improve quality of programming for their families. #ableg
Jan 19, 2021 9 tweets 4 min read
When the amended Early Learning & Child Care Act and Regulations are finally made available for all to see, here's some things to keep in mind:

🧵

#ableg #abpoli The UCP eliminated accreditation last year, quality standards for child care. @rebeccakschulz committed to addressing it in the new legislation. That didn't happen. I tabled an amendment to expressly include quality standards in the legislation. The UCP voted that down. #ableg
Jan 3, 2021 14 tweets 5 min read
I've been an elected official for the same amount of time as the 5 (so far) UCP MLAs who decided that taking a warm vacation while telling Albertans to stay home was OK.

I've spent the last few days trying to figure out how in the world they came to that conclusion. #ableg

🧵 When you enter politics, you know your actions will rightfully be subject to public scrutiny. Not just because there's more attention, but also because you've asked the public to place their trust in you. You're expected to lead by example. Never more so than during a crisis.
Dec 19, 2020 12 tweets 5 min read
Tonight I'm reflecting on the incredible & overwhelming work, resilience & commitment of Alberta's teachers, school staff, administrators & school boards over the past 4 months. And I want to tell them all that I bear witness. #ableg #abed

🧵 I watched as my daughter's Kindergarten teacher cheerfully spent extra time outside w/ them so she could take her mask off to show them how her mouth looked when she pronounced French words that were new to them. The kids had no idea this was different than usual. #ableg
Dec 18, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
I’m happy to see that rapid testing will begin at continuing care facilities.

This is something the @abndpcaucus called for 10 days ago. #ableg

edmontonjournal.com/news/local-new… At the time we called for it, @jkenney dismissed the idea claiming "It's becoming apparent that the NDP doesn't even understand the science of the rapid testing...because it is scientifically useless on people who are asymptomatic.” cbc.ca/1.5832078
Dec 18, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
An important article about the role of a national child care program for economic recovery. It includes a specific message about the benefit in provinces like Alberta:

#ableg “Politically it is important to note that while most of the initiative and fiscal support for national ELCC is coming from Ottawa, provincial governments would benefit enormously from the new system.”
Dec 17, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
The “fund-the-parent” model assumes that parents have unfettered choice in child care, which they don’t. Their choices are constrained by cost, location, availability, scheduling, etc. #ableg It also assumes that all parents are informed “consumers” of child care, which again they aren’t. Most parents don’t know what to look for in terms of “quality” & it may become less of a factor compared to cost, availability, etc. #ableg
Dec 17, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
A fantastic article setting out the need, but also the incredible economic & social benefits, of universal childcare.

#ableg

thewalrus.ca/the-case-for-a… “Silver bullets are rare in social policy, but in childcare, one does exist: set up high-quality, universal child care...it will benefit children, families, & the country’s economy. It’s not the cure that’s the mystery here but what took the good doctor so long to prescribe it.”
Dec 8, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
The @UCPCaucus is run, run, running out of the Legislature as fast as they can.

Tonight they adjourned debate very early, w/o speaking in debate once. And they are going to limit debate on remaining bills.

Why? Two reasons.

#ableg First, they don’t want to debate their disastrous Bill 47. That’s the Bill that rolls back protections & supports for workers who are sick/injured at work & who are unsafe at work. During a pandemic. When more workers than ever are unsafe. #ableg
Dec 7, 2020 4 tweets 3 min read
Great to see the @CalgaryChamber recognize child care as an economic necessity and highlight the Early Learning & Child Care proposal put forward by the @abndpcaucus as part of Alberta's Future. #ableg #abfuture

calgarychamber.com/influenceq4-ch… One question that arose during the online consultation I held last week was how to get employers & businesses more involved in ensuring their employees have access to quality child care. The pandemic has certainly highlighted for employers that this is a key issue for them too.
Dec 6, 2020 9 tweets 3 min read
My husband & I were talking tonight about some of our favourite #yeg restaurants & bars, worried about which ones will make it through this. See, we both spent many years working in the hospitality industry. In fact, it's how we met. #ableg I always say that I grew up in restaurants. My dad trained in hotel mgmt & when he came to Canada, he ran hotels & restaurants. It's what brought my family from Ontario to Alberta when I was 4. At a young age, I was taught how to behave properly in a restaurant & try new foods.
Aug 30, 2020 7 tweets 3 min read
I don’t care about a statute. I care about a govt has no plan to get us out of the financial hole their choices have made worse. I care about kids going back to schools that aren’t as safe as they should be because the govt won’t put in the money or time to do it right. #ableg I care about women’s participation in the workforce being pushed back 30 years. I care about our doctors being driven out of the province. I care about a govt so focused on ideology they are driving away investment & innovation. #ableg