– – – Expanded Child-care Centre Will Accommodate 40 Children: Minister Irvin-Ross
Families in the Arborg area will have better access to safe, affordable child care with the expansion of the Arborg Play Group child-care centre, Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today.
“We are pleased to support this important local project as we follow through on our commitment to create more than 5,000 new and newly funded spaces,” said Minister Irvin-Ross. “Overall, we will invest an additional $25 million in creating more high-quality child care for families.”
The province’s investment of $317,000 in the Arborg area will help relocate and expand thet Arborg Play Group child-care centre. The minister noted once complete, this bright, stimulating environment will offer a total of 40 spaces for local families and represent an increase of 12 pre-school and four infant spaces.
The project is currently underway and is expected to be completed by mid-2015.
The budget for child care in Manitoba is more than $152 million, which reflects growth of more than 184 per cent since 1999, the minister said. There are more than 660 licensed centres across Manitoba, with almost half located in schools, and more than 400 licensed home-based child-care providers.
Provincial legislation now requires child-care centres be included in schools when a new school is built or an existing building is undergoing major renovations.
Manitoba maintains the second-lowest regulated child-care fees in Canada, the minister added.
The Manitoba government recently launched Family Choices 2014, a five-year plan to create more high-quality child care for families including:
investing in more than 5,000 new and newly funded spaces;
continuing to build and expand at least 20 early learning and child-care centres in schools with $25 million in additional funding;
supporting higher wages for early childhood educators through regular operating grant increases, including a two per cent increase for wages starting in January 2015;
developing a special, new wage-enhancement grant specifically to support long-term early childhood educators working in centres;
increasing supports for licensed, home-based child-care providers;
improving the online registry and child-care website to make them more parent-friendly; and
establishing a commission on early learning and child care to look at ways to redesign Manitoba’s system to better meet the needs of families and guide future plans.