PC daycare plan working, but more to do: Squires
WINNIPEG — To address the urgent need for affordable, quality daycare, a re-elected Manitoba PC government will move quickly to open more than 640 new spaces by acquiring new ready-to-move (RTM) child-care centres for families in Winnipeg, Rochelle Squires, PC candidate for Riel, announced today.
“We know how big the demand for child care is. It’s growing every day and we’re focused on getting the job done sooner for Manitoba families,” said Squires. “Our model has had a lot of success already, and we’re proud of building eight ready-to-move centres throughout the province over the past year. These were pioneered by our PC government, and are a quick and efficient solution to a problem faced by provinces across Canada, which is getting more spaces built quickly.”
The new PC commitment includes opening four RTM centres in Winnipeg, focusing on high-demand areas in Riel, Fort Richmond, Kildonan, and Kirkfield Park, as well as one centre in Selkirk and one in Gimli. These new centres will create 107 spaces each for a total of 642 new spaces, and will be open to infant, preschool, and school-age children based on local needs, Squires said.
“Ready-to-move child care centres are quick to build,” said Alana Vannahme, PC candidate for Kildonan-River East. “Parents want more spaces for their kids, and these new centres will deliver that, sooner.”
Under the PCs, Manitoba was one of the first provinces in Canada to implement $10-a-day child care and one of the fastest to bring new spaces to communities, Squires noted. Manitoba is already halfway to its goal of opening 23,000 new child-care spaces by 2026 and, as of this summer, more than 31,000 children now have access to $10 daycare—achieved three years ahead of target, Squires said.
Additionally, while in office the PCs increased wages for Early Childhood Educators (ECE) by $93.1 million over two years, expanded seats for the ECE training program, and created a tuition reimbursement program to ensure staffing capacity for daycares across the province.
This July, the first of eight new RTM child-care centres opened in Headingley, with the seven others currently opening in Oak Bluff, Whitemouth, Stonewall, East Selkirk, Ile des Chênes, Rosenort, and Portage la Prairie, respectively. Phase 2 developments include the communities of Dauphin, Morden, Melita, and Morris, and the rural municipalities of Hanover, Taché, MacDonald, Rockwood, Sifton, Ritchot, Argyle and Brokenhead, as well as Lake St. Martin First Nation and Norway House Cree Nation. Over 140 spaces were also added to the project in the Town of Ste. Anne and the Rural Municipality of Wallace-Woodworth. When complete, both phases of the ongoing project are anticipated to create 1,970 new child-care spaces in 25 rural and First Nations communities across the province.
“Ready-to-move child care centres have made a huge difference in bringing accessible daycare to families in our community,” said Brad Erb, Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Macdonald. “Bringing more of these centres to families in Winnipeg will ease the stress of finding quality child care while balancing work and home life.”
Squires said that a re-elected PC government will also expand $10-a-day daycare to include in-service days and summer holidays.
“Today’s commitment builds on our party’s relentless commitment to affordable, accessible child care,” Squires said. “Opening 642 more ready-to-move spaces will further increase that metric.”
The PCs also announced today a commitment to dramatically increase the Fertility Treatment Tax Credit to 50 per cent, providing significant savings to Manitobans seeking fertility treatment. This will double both the yearly and lifetime maximums to $16,000 and $40,000, respectively.
“Our PC Team is firm in our commitment to Manitoba families, and doubling the fertility tax credit will help more people who are facing issues with conception,” said Squires. “We’re the only party fighting for Manitoba parents.”
The provincial election will be held on October 3rd, 2023.