Manitoba Liberals Announce Plan to End Wait Lists for $10 a Day Early Childhood Education

Aug 30, 2023 | 2023 Election News

Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont announced his party’s action plan to end wait lists for $10 a day child care due to shortages of Early Childhood Education (ECE) workers and available spaces.

The Government of Canada partnered with Manitoba to create 23 000 affordable childcare spaces by 2025/26, but parents are still facing long wait lists due to shortages of workers and spaces.

Manitoba Liberals will provide critical provincial investments in wages, training and infrastructure to ensure the 23 000 affordable childcare spaces are opened and available to Manitoba parents.

Lamont said the change to infrastructure funding policies is critical. In Manitoba, the YMCA is the single largest provider of early childhood education, with multiple facilities across Winnipeg, with spaces that could be adapted for child care. But as they are deemed a charity, the YMCA is only eligible for 60% of infrastructure costs, while other providers receive 100%. A Manitoba Liberal government will correct this.

“As a father of four, I remember the struggle my wife and I felt trying to place our kids in daycare, and what a relief it was when we knew we had a program we could count on,” said Lamont. “We’re committed to breaking down the barriers to access for families and parents, one by one, to make $10 a day child care a reality across Manitoba.”

The Manitoba Liberal Plan will:

  • Adopt the recommendations of the Manitoba Childcare Association to increase wages and benefits for Early Childhood Educators;

  • Accelerate the creation of new spaces by improving infrastructure funding from 60% to 100% for charitable non-profits and support the purchase and retrofit of existing suitable buildings, especially when they can be done at a lower cost than building new;

  • Create a single online portal so families can register for childcare spaces within one accessible access point;

  • Co-locate spaces where families and parents are working. For nurses and teachers, we will work to co-locate childcares in or near hospitals, clinics and schools;

  • Expand training programs at the Université de Saint-Boniface to ensure French-language spaces are available and staffed;

  • Ensure $10/day childcare is available for all school-age children across the province.

Under the NDP, Manitoba had one of the most costly and least used early childhood education systems in Canada, with 16,000 people on the waitlist for childcare when the NDP government left office. The situation deteriorated under the PCs, with certified ECE workers being paid at levels so low, they could not support themselves. Many left for better-paying jobs, even though they loved their work. As a result, there are an estimated 1,000 fewer Early Childhood Educators in Manitoba today than there were in 2018.

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