29 NEW CHILD-CARE SITES, 3,500 MORE SPACES FUNDED SINCE LAUNCH OF FAMILY CHOICES FIVE-YEAR STRATEGY: MACKINTOSH, ALLAN
– – – Up to $19-million Investment this Year Includes Phased Launch of Online Wait List, Worker Pension Plan
The province is investing up to $19 million more in Budget 2010 for new child-care centres, hundreds more spaces, the phasing in of a centralized online wait list and a pension plan for a stronger workforce, Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh and Education Minister Nancy Allan announced today.
“Despite a very challenging budget in a difficult economic climate this year, we remain convinced that more high-quality child care was part of the solution to both family and economic difficulties,” Mackintosh said. “This is no time to cut child care, as occurred during the last downturn; we will stay on track with our five-year Family Choices strategy launched in April 2008.”
Today’s announcement is part of the province’s ALL Aboard poverty reduction strategy.
Investments in child care this fiscal year mean:
· Eight new child-care centres: With a target of 35 new sites by 2013, already 29 are in various states of development including at least eight that are newly funded this fiscal year.
· 650 more funded child-care spaces: With a target of 6,500 more funded sites by 2013, at least 650 will be committed this fiscal year on top of 500 in 2009 and 2,350 in 2008.
· Centralized online wait list: This fall, the phase-in of Canada’s first provincewide, online wait list will be launched in the Brandon area to provide an accurate account of families seeking spaces and a straightforward registration process.
· Greater workforce stability: A pension plan for child-care workers, the first provincewide plan outside Quebec, will be launched this fall to strengthen the retention component of the workforce stability strategy introduced in November 2008.
“We are making up to $5 million in new funding available to help create more child-care centres in Manitoba schools,” said Allan. “As a government we are committed to ensuring that our early learners have access to quality learning environments and these new child-care centres will provide exactly that.”
In addition, Manitoba Housing, as part of its refresh program, will be upgrading several child-care centres located in its communities.
“Our new early learning and child-care centre started out as a dream to provide a bright, safe, environmentally friendly space, but with the help of the province and our community partners we’ve turned that dream into a reality,” said Lesley Massey, executive director of Splash Child Enrichment Centre. “We’re very happy to provide top-quality child care to the community.”