News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 7, 2015


Manitoba Government Moves Forward on Commitment to Establish Universally Accessible Child Care: Minsters Irvin-Ross, Allum

More families in south Winnipeg are benefiting from high-quality child care with the opening of a new centre at Highbury School that has spaces for up to 64 children, Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross and Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum announced today.

“We are moving forward to establish a universally accessible child-care system for Manitoba families,” said Minister Irvin-Ross.  “This new child-care centre is a special place in the community, where our most cherished citizens can play together, laugh together and learn the basic skills that will help them do well as they move on in school.”

The new centre is an addition to the school at 99 Highbury Rd. and is operated by Highbury Early Learning and Child Care as part of the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg.

“Early childhood education sets children on the right path, to develop a love of learning,” said Minister Allum.  “Schools are the ideal setting for new child-care facilities, offering more convenience for parents and familiar surroundings for children as they grow up.”

The new structure offers 48 pre-school and 16 infant spaces, with the Manitoba government contributing $2.2 million toward the cost of construction.  Another 30 spaces for school-age children, before and after school, continue to be offered in the school, supported and managed by child-care staff.  All 94 child-care spaces are funded by the province, with an annual investment of $413,600.

“The new infant and preschool spaces are a great complement to the school-age child care that opened previously,” said Caryn LaFleche, general manager, child and youth care, Winnipeg’s YMCA-YWCA.  “We are privileged to offer families quality child care that nurtures the potential of their children through play-based activities that encourages them to develop relationships and self-worth in a safe and secure environment.”

Minister Irvin-Ross noted that in 2015-16, Manitoba will invest more than $162 million in early learning and child care to support year two of Family Choices:  Manitoba’s Plan to Expand Early Learning and Child Care, which includes a commission on early learning and child care to explore system redesign and move forward on the creation of universally accessible services for families who need them.  The commission’s work began in February 2015 and a final report is expected in early 2016, Minister Irvin-Ross said.

Over the course of Family Choices, investments will be made to support 5,000 new and newly funded spaces, Minister Irvin-Ross noted.  In 2015-16, the province committed funding for 900 licensed spaces.

Since 1999, the Manitoba government has:

  • more than tripled annual funding for child care to more than $162 million;
  • established a capital building fund to build new or expand existing licensed centres;
  • funded more than 14,300 child-care spaces;
  • increased wages by more than 60 per cent and introduced a provincewide pension plan for
    child-care workers;
  • introduced age-appropriate curricula and enhanced quality programming; and
  • kept Manitoba child care the most affordable in Canada outside of Quebec.

For more information about early learning and child care, visit

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