According to 2015 statistics Canada, 1 in 6 children in Alberta live in poverty, with 15.7% of children living in low income households. In Calgary, 12.5% of children between the age of 0-5 live in poverty.

Campaign 2000, 2017

The child poverty rate in Alberta (12.8%) exceeds the adult rate of 8.2% (Statistics Canada, 2016). Canada wide statistics suggest that young children are more affected by poverty.

The Lab has been working with the Canadian Poverty Institute on the best starting point based on gaps in our community in poverty. The Institute has identified three key areas as potential starting points including: mental health, employment and income security, and early childhood development.

The Lab team has assessed desirability, feasibility, and viability along with the opportunity for impact and has determined early childhood development as our starting point.

We see the Lab’s investment in early childhood development as an opportunity to decrease poverty in Calgary as it contributes significantly to the cycle of poverty, as well as strengthen the overall economy. Barriers to early childhood development can lead to academic and social challenges, and dropping out of high school, which can affect employment and income stability creating a cycle of poverty and barriers to future childrearing.

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