WINNIPEG, MB - The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing nearly $47 million over three years to create up to 1,400 new and newly-funded early learning and child care spaces in Manitoba, Minister Scott Fielding announced.
“We are pleased to collaborate with the Government of Canada on our commitment to high-quality, affordable licensed child care that focuses on key areas to better respond to the unique needs of our province,” said Fielding. “The investment will focus on creating new and newly funded, affordable and accessible spaces, building capacity of child-care facilities, strengthening the workforce and improving child-care services in rural and northern Manitoba. These significant investments in early learning and child care foster children’s social, cognitive and emotional development, and give them a real chance to succeed in life.”
The federal government is working with each province and territory to enter into three-year bilateral agreements to address early learning and child care needs unique to each jurisdiction and funding allocation. Manitoba’s agreement focuses on increased quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity in early learning and child care, with consideration of families most in need of child care services.
It supports investments to:
- create affordable child-care spaces through enhanced capital funding and operating subsidies to support lower-income, French language and newcomer families, as well as underserved communities;
- build sector capacity through education, training and skill development;
- develop a rural and northern strategy to improve access to high-quality and affordable child-care services;
- develop a new service and funding approach to support inclusive, active and meaningful participation of children with varying abilities and providing grants to community service organizations offering supportive family services to hire early childhood educators; and
- engage the community to successfully implement bilateral initiatives and support public reporting.
“In Canada, needs for early learning and child-care services are vast and varied,” said Duclos. “That is why it is important for the Government of Canada to work with the provinces to ensure their unique needs in learning and child care are met. We want to improve the lives of Manitoban families and we have to work together to do it.”
This announcement follows an historic agreement on June 12, 2017, of a multilateral Early Learning and Child Care framework by the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for early learning and child care. The framework sets the foundation for governments to work towards a shared long-term vision where all children across Canada can experience the enriching environment of quality early learning and child care.
“Each time that we are able to offer additional high-quality child-care spaces, we know that we are also providing additional opportunities for families to go to school and to work, encouraged that they can better provide for their families,” said Bonnie Ash, director, Morrow Avenue Child Care Programs for Families. “In Manitoba, parents can feel confident that a licensed early learning and child care program will be responsive to all children. We know that our government is working to ensure that those children with complex needs are also supported.”
Aligned with the multilateral framework and during the three-year bilateral agreement, the Manitoba action plan aims to:
- create up to 750 newly subsidized early learning and child-care spaces for children under the age of six through capital projects, which include new centre builds and renovations to support expansion of existing centres to increase the number of spaces;
- provide operating subsidies for up to 650 child-care spaces for children under the age of six;
- pilot a service and funding approach focused on co-ordinating services to better meet the complex, life-long support needs of an estimated 700 children with disabilities in early learning and child-care facilities;
- deliver core professional development training to up to 100 facilitators, providers and facilities;
- certify up to 20 new rural and/or northern early childhood educators;
- pilot a new family group child-care model to serve children and families from smaller and diverse communities; and
- increase the quality of temporary or casual child care offered by community organizations that offer supportive family services through financial grants to enable hiring an early childhood educator to provide quality programming for children.
The province will now determine its funding allocation to specific centres around Manitoba in the weeks ahead.
Government of Manitoba