The Manitoba government took another step to shorten wait times and create more licensed child-care spaces by opening a new application intake for early learning and child care (ELCC) community-based capital projects, Minister Scott Fielding announced.
“We will support major expansion projects to increase spaces or build new centres in order to meet the high demand for quality, licensed spaces across the province,” said Fielding. “We are excited to develop new partnerships in our communities that will work toward serving the child-care needs of Manitoba families and increasing accessibility to spaces that are realistic, practical, cost-effective and sustainable.”
The building fund provides capital funding support to projects that will build a new non-profit child-care centre or renovate an existing centre for the purposes of adding child care spaces. The 2017-18 budget includes up to $2.8 million.
Grant recipients receive up to 40 per cent of capital costs to a maximum of $600,000 for projects in community-owned or leased buildings.
The Manitoba government is currently developing a multi-year ELCC strategy. In March, it announced one of the first initiatives, an investment of nearly $6.2 million for 15 community-based capital projects that will create up to 739 licensed spaces across Manitoba.
One of the projects, Building Blocks on Balmoral, held its grand opening today. The 11,000-sq.-ft. facility at 51 Balmoral St. will provide care for up to 100 children in central Winnipeg. It received a capital grant from the ELCC community-based building fund.
“The development of this leading-edge facility was made possible through a public-private partnership between the YM/YWCA of Winnipeg, Great West Life Assurance Company and the Government of Manitoba,” said Fielding. “By leveraging each partner’s strengths, these public-private partnerships create new and innovative opportunities to increase the development of licensed early learning and child-care spaces, while decreasing wait times for families.”
During his remarks at the centre’s grand opening, Fielding announced the new intake for the building fund will begin June 1 with an application deadline of Oct. 27
-reprinted from My Toba