Excerpts from the press release:
The Government of Manitoba is launching a new five-year plan to create more high-quality child care for families across the province including investing in 5,000 more child-care spaces and another 20 new or expanded child-care centres, Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today.
"For parents, having access to affordable, high-quality early learning and child care makes a world of difference because it means they can focus on their jobs, training or education while knowing their children are safe and in good hands," Minister Irvin-Ross said. "As Manitoba's population and economy continue to grow, we must keep investing in the future through a strong system of early learning and child care."
In fall 2013, Deanne Crothers, MLA for St. James, undertook a series of public consultations on behalf of Minister Irvin-Ross, visiting communities across the province to hear Manitobans' ideas about how to build a stronger system, the minister said. The advice from parents, early childhood educators, centre directors, home-based providers and others, has helped to form the basis for Manitoba's new five-year child-care plan, the minister added.
The five-year plan includes:
- investing in 5,000 new and newly funded spaces;
- investing an additional $25 million to continue building and expanding 20 early learning and
- child-care centres;
- supporting higher wages for workers through regular operating grant increases to centres including a two per cent operating grant increase for wages starting January 2015;
- developing a special, new wage-enhancement grant in specific support of long-term early childhood educators working in centres;
- providing new supports for licensed home-based child-care providers;
- improving the online registry and child-care website to make them more parent-friendly; and
- creating an Early Learning and Child-care Commission to look at the future of child care in Manitoba and ways to redesign Manitoba's system to better meet the needs of Manitoba families and grow into the future.