RETIRED FIRE HALL TRANSFORMED INTO EXPANDED INKSTER CHILD-CARE CENTRE
– – – More Children Will Get the Best Start Possible: Howard
Families in the Inkster area will have more access to some of the best and most affordable child care in Canada, thanks to the province’s support for renovations of a retired fire hall and funding for new child-care spaces at Explorer’s Children’s Centre, Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard announced today.
“Child-care centres play a crucial role in giving our children the best start possible,” the minister said. “That’s why I’m committed to continue building and expanding child-care centres and funding more high-quality, licensed, reliable child-care options for Manitoba families.”
New annual operating funding of $73,000 for 16 additional spaces at Explorer’s Children’s Centre at 1466 William Ave. includes funding for four infants, seven preschoolers and five school-age children. This new funding for spaces is in addition to $270,000 the province has contributed toward the cost of renovations at the new site.
“More parents will have access to the child care they need to be able to work and support their families and thrive in our neighbourhood,” said Colleen Barnett, the centre’s executive director. “The new funding from the province will help us continue to provide a caring and nurturing environment for our children.”
The province has more than doubled its child-care funding over the last decade while keeping daily parent fees the second most affordable in the country, said Howard. Family Choices, the province’s five-year early learning and child-care initiative, will allocate funding for 6,500 quality child‑care spaces by 2013 including funding for 900 spaces this year alone, she added. Since 2008, as part of the initiative, $37 million has also been invested in 123 capital projects across the province including 60 brand new child-care centres. Of the 123 projects, 44 centres are located in public schools, and provincial legislation now requires child-care centres be included in schools whenever a new school is being constructed or is undertaking major renovations.
The minister also noted the provincial government is building on its commitment to increase wages and introduce a provincewide pension plan for child-care workers by beginning consultations on standardized wages. For parents, this means child-care centres can hire and retain the very best early learning and child-care professionals, she said.