News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 27, 2014


Minister to Introduce New Legislation that would Protect Early Learning, Child-care Centres in Schools

Families in Fort Garry will have greater access to high-quality child care in their neighbourhood and legislation will be tabled that would protect child-care spaces in schools across the province, Education and Advanced Learning Minister Peter Bjornson announced today.

“Our government has been building one of the best early learning and child-care systems in Canada.  Today, I am happy to announce our government is continuing to build on that system by supporting a child-care expansion of up to 6,000 sq. ft. at Harrow School,” said Bjornson.  “Early childhood education is critical for laying the foundation for Manitoba’s children to get a good start in life and child care gives parents the option to go back to work or return to school.”

Planning and design work for the new centre is now underway.  When complete, the new centre will accommodate up to 16 infant spaces and 48 pre-school spaces in addition to the existing 16 pre-school and 30 school-age spaces for a total of 110 spaces – an increase of 64 spaces from the current 46.

“High-quality early learning and child care gets our children off to a strong start so that they can thrive in school and life, and become the next generation of parents, skilled workers and leaders that will build strong communities and shape our future,” said Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross.

Minister Irvin-Ross noted that over the last 15 years, the Manitoba government has created more than 14,000 new spaces, and invested in renovating and creating more than 100 new child-care centres.  There are currently 300 child-care centres in schools in communities throughout the province.

“It is important for the Winnipeg School Division to continue to develop partnerships with members in the community that provide our families and children with access to supports and services.  The new Harrow Co-operative Children’s Centre Inc. will be able to accommodate more families and provide convenient access to the school and child-care facility,” said Mark Wasyliw, chair, board of trustees, Winnipeg School Division.

“MAPC is pleased to learn of Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning’s response to the needs of families in the province by providing quality child-care centres in schools.  Having options which provide choice, as well as comfort and safety for students, is very important to families and we’re pleased with the commitment to this philosophy,” said Naomi Kruse, executive director, Manitoba Association of Parent Councils.

Minister Bjornson also announced that he will table legislation that would allow government to protect child-care centres in schools.

“Licensed child-care centres in schools let children move seamlessly between child care and school within a safe, secure and nurturing environment.  We know that investing in and protecting child-care centres is not only a smart economic decision, it is the right decision for Manitoba families,” said Minister Bjornson.

“Legislation to protect use of child-care space in schools will ensure centres can put down roots and parents can be confident they will have continuity of care for their children,” said Pat Wege, executive director, Manitoba Child Care Association.

“Our government will continue to work with parents, education leaders and child-care partners to ensure high-quality child care continues to be accessible and affordable for all Manitoba families,” Minister Bjornson said.

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