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Advocates say Manitoba falling behind in creating accessible child-care spaces

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Woelk, Daisy
Publication Date: 
30 Nov 2023


The Child Care Coalition of Manitoba (CCCM) along with the Manitoba Child Care Association (MCCA) said many families spend years on waitlists for licensed daycare providers because of shortages in child care spaces and early childhood educators (ECE).

Susan Prentice, a member of the CCCM, said Manitoba is ahead of schedule when it comes to making child care affordable with $10 a day daycare, but behind in making it accessible.

As of March 31st this year, Prentice said there were only 1,535 new spaces created.

Not only are daycare spaces behind schedule for expansion, but zero per cent of them a public, she said — despite the fact that 95 per cent are non-profit.

“We continue to mostly rely on volunteers to run child-care centres, even though we know how important and essential child care is to economic and social infrastructure,” Prentice said, adding that certified staff are needed for efficient daycare expansion.

Lynda Raible, president of the MCCA, said, “It is estimated we short 1,000 early childhood educators.”

She said to meet staffing requirements, the government must invest in the workforce, and urges Manitoba to create a common provincial salary scale, like MCCA’s competitive guideline salary scale.

Prentice said “50 per cent of ECEs (need) a second job to make ends meet and people leave the field. That’s where we are losing the most.”