PROVINCE ANNOUNCES MORE HIGH-QUALITY, AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE IN WINNIPEG

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Expansion of Concordia-area Child-care Centre for School-age and Pre-school Children

Families in Winnipeg will soon have more options for affordable child care with the expansion of the Roots and Wings Early Learning Centre at Sherwood School, Family Services Minister Kerri

Irvin-Ross announced today.

“Parents need high-quality child care so they can be confident their children are safe and well cared for, while they go to work or attend school to support their family,” Minister Irvin-Ross said.  “This is part of our five-year plan to fund more licensed child-care spaces than ever before to help meet the needs of families.”

The province’s investment of more than $500,000 at the Concordia-area school supports the renovation of two classrooms into a modern and safe child-care centre.  When completed, there will be 41 spaces, with 15 for school-age children and 26 for pre-school children, Minister Irvin-Ross said.

“This renovation allows us to increase our pre-school program, supporting the growing need of quality child care in this community,” said Debra Page, executive director, Sunny Mountain Day Care Centre.   “This will create a friendly, inclusive, early years learning through play environment for our children.  The continuity between the early years child-care setting and the school system has a natural flow from one learning environment to the next when you have a child-care centre located in the school.  Building partnerships between the school, school divisions and the centre are important to support families in the community.”

Provincial legislation now requires child-care centres be included when a new school is built or an existing building is undergoing major renovations.

The budget for child care in Manitoba is more than $152 million, an increase 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.

Manitoba also maintains the second-lowest regulated child-care fees in Canada.

The Manitoba government recently launched Family Choices 2014, a new five-year plan to create more high-quality child care for Manitoba 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.

More information about Manitoba’s plan to further improve child care is available at: www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childcare/familychoices.

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