Manitoba far from meeting its child care promises
Families still struggle to find affordable child care announces the Child Care Coalition of Manitoba and the Manitoba Child Care Association on the National Day of Action for Child Care, organized by Child Care Now. They call on the new government to reaffirm the commitment to facility expansion and training, retaining and paying child care workers a fair wage.
23,000 spaces promised, only 1,535 spaces delivered
When the Stefanson government signed the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement in August 2021, it committed to create 23,000 new pre-school spaces by March, 2026. Today there are just 1,535 new spaces, leaving Manitoba with an outstanding commitment of 21,465 new spaces.
“Keeping promises to hire hundreds more nurses, doctors and other health care professionals will require significant investments in child care in the upcoming provincial budget,” says child care expert Dr. Susan Prentice at the University of Manitoba.
If you think surgical wait times are bad, take a look at child care wait-lists
“If you put your name on my centre’s wait-list today, you would not get a space until 2026,” says Lori Isber, chair of the Fort Rouge Child Care board. “Families are desperate. We need the new government to act quickly.”
$10 a day child care has been lifechanging for Manitoban families who have child care already. But thousands of families are waiting for promised spaces that don’t yet exist. Jodie Kehl, Executive Director of the Manitoba Child Care Association says, “The only way to reduce wait-lists is to create more spaces through significant provincial investments, including training and compensating Early Childhood Educators.”
Manitoba urgently needs a comprehensive child care expansion plan
A comprehensive child care expansion plan must both create new facilities and fix child care wait-lists and support the early childhood workforce.
“You cannot have quality child care without a quality child care workforce,” says Lynda Raible, President of the Manitoba Child Care Association. “This new government will have to act quickly to address the dual problem of long wait-lists and staff shortages.”
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Dr. Susan Prentice firstname.lastname@example.org 204 471 6348
Jodie Kehl email@example.com 204 771 0390
Lori Isber firstname.lastname@example.org 431 998 2181
Lynda Raible email@example.com 204 878 0394