News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

December 8, 2020


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Province to Ensure Choice in Child Care for Protection of Manitoba Families: Stefanson

The Manitoba government is proclaiming legislation and implementing related regulatory changes to reduce red tape and enable child-care providers to continue to protect Manitobans by meeting the needs of parents and children during the COVID-19 pandemic, Families Minister Heather Stefanson announced today. 
“These changes will help reduce the regulatory burden on child-care centres, after it put additional demands on their time and resources,” said Stefanson. “Our government is committed to protecting Manitobans by ensuring parents have choices in child care, which is why we are developing a more sustainable, flexible and accessible system to meet their needs.”   
The regulations set out under Bill 9, the Community Child Care Standards Amendment Act (Enhanced Powers Respecting Governance and Accountability), will streamline the licensing process for child-care centres, strengthen provisions related to health and safety, better support inclusion and accessibility for children, and ensure financial accountability for child-care subsidies. 
The new legislation will also allow the province to license child-care providers that have positive track records for up to three years, instead of annually. This will reduce administrative burdens on providers who consistently meet expectations and will allow the provincial licensing team to work more closely with providers who need additional support to meet licensing requirements. These changes will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. 
The province will, as well, begin transitioning to a single funding model for nursery schools in the new year. The current approach sets two very different operating grant structures for the same level of service, with no income test to ensure the more highly subsidized spaces are allocated to lower-income families. More details regarding this phased approach will be revealed in the coming months, the minister noted.
“The inequitable approach to nursery schools put in place by the previous government meant some parents were paying more for the same level of service, and there was never a system in place to ensure lower-cost spaces were held for lower-income families that need them,” said Stefanson. “Our government will establish a fair and equitable funding model for all nursery school programs, with consistent contributions from the government and from parents.”
The province will provide additional information to child-care providers about the upcoming regulatory changes, and to nursery school programs about the plans for a single funding model, in the coming days. 
Stefanson noted the province continues to make important progress in creating child-care choices for Manitoba families. A new parent advisory committee was recently established with two primary responsibilities: to help lead public engagement with parents and caregivers on their priorities and needs for child care, and to provide feedback to the government on how to move forward with broader plans to transform Manitoba’s child-care system.
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