Nearly $37 million coming from the provincial and federal governments aims to give Manitoba's early childhood workforce a pay bump this Canada Day.
In a joint announcement on Monday, the governments of Canada and Manitoba announced the multimillion-dollar allocation to create a wage grid for early childhood workforce in funded child-care facilities.
This wage grid will see an increase in childcare facilities' operating grants, which will be used to create wage scales for early learning and child-care staff caring for children 7 years old and under.
"One of the biggest challenges we hear, not just in Manitoba but right across the country, is not just recruiting, but particularly retention of the early childhood workforce. I think having a clear, more stable enhanced wage will also help," said Karina Gould, the federal minister of families, children and social development.
She said while it is not the federal governments' jurisdiction to set wages, the provinces and territories have agreed to the wage grid.
"Recognizing that we are not going to meet our space creation targets if we are not adequately compensating (early childhood educators)," said Gould. "So the wage grid is really a guide for centres to say ‘this is what you should be paying.’"
The wage-grid implement will take effect as of July 1, giving all funded facilities a 12 per cent increase in the revenue generated per space.
Kent Paterson, president and CEO of the YMCA-YWCA Winnipeg, confirmed early childhood workforce at the YMCA-YWCA Winnipeg would be getting a pay bump as a result of the wage grid.
"Certainly, there will be an increase in pay coming, and it may involve some retroactivity, but it will be there," Paterson said.
Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko said the province has more than 1,100 child-care spaces, including home-based spaces.
"As far as the funding goes in regard to wages, these are definitely targets, starting point targets, that we are expecting everyone receiving funding is going with these recommendations," he said.
The federal government said of the $37 million, the provincial government is putting $2.3 million towards compensation for school-age child-care programs.