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News Release - Manitoba

June 4, 2015


Five-Year Plan on Track to Fund 5,000 New Spaces, Create Universally Accessible Child-care System: Premier Selinger

The Manitoba government is committing funding for 14 new or expanded child-care centres and raising wages for child-care workers as part of a five-year plan to create a universally accessible child-care system and add 5,000 newly funded licensed spaces, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.

“Families need the option of high-quality, affordable child care so parents can choose to work, attend classes or upgrade their skills as they prepare for their next job,” said Premier Selinger.  “Since 1999, we have provided funding for more than 14,300 child-care spaces and now have about 30,000 funded spaces, but there is more to do.  Our long-term plan will help fund affordable child care for all families that need it.”

The premier made the announcement at Little Saints Learning Center, which will open a second location that will offer up to 16 new infant and 32 new preschool spaces.  The centre is one of the

14 new or expanded centres that will be supported with funding from the Family Choices Building Fund, the premier noted.

“We are extremely happy to see our expansion plans finally becoming reality, which became possible with the generous support from the Manitoba government,” said Candice Savage, director, Little Saints Learning Centre Inc.  “With the province’s financial contribution that complements the

long-term goals of our centre and the work of our board of directors and staff, we are able to better meet the needs of families by offering more licensed, regulated child-care spaces.”

In 2014, the province launched its newest multi-year plan Family Choices:  Manitoba’s Plan to Expand Early Learning and Child Care with the goal of creating a universally accessible system and funding 5,000 spaces.  In the first year of the plan, the government committed funding for 800 spaces and this year will commit funding for another 900 spaces, Premier Selinger said, adding there will be further announcements this year about provincially funded child-care centres in schools.

“Child-care centres appreciate the province’s contribution to the cost of capital projects and are pleased funding is available to community-based facilities as well as child-care centres located in new schools,” said Pat Wege, executive director, Manitoba Child Care Association.  “Demand for more child-care spaces continues to be very high and the availability of capital funding is essential to establish the child-care services families are looking for.”  

Strengthening the child-care workforce by providing annual funding increases to support higher wages is another priority for the province, Premier Selinger said.  A two per cent increase came into effect this past January, the premier added. 

“We are now committing to another increase of two per cent effective January 2016,” Premier Selinger said.  “We will also establish a wage enhancement grant to improve salaries for long-term early childhood educators, whose work is so important for the future of Manitoba children.”

Earlier this year, the Manitoba government established a commission on early learning and child care (ELCC) to examine design options to ensure the province’s ELCC system reflects the future needs of families and to guide future plans for licensed child care.  The commissioner started work in March and is expected to present a final report in early 2016, the premier noted. 

In 2015-16, Manitoba will invest $162.9 million in early learning and child care.  The premier noted that since 1999, the Manitoba government has:

* nearly tripled annual funding for child care to more than $162 million;

* funded more than 14,300 child-care spaces;

* increased wages by nearly 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.

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