Progressive Conservatives pledge to increase child care spaces

We will provide new supports for Manitobans wanting to establish child care facilities: Wishart

A new Progressive Conservative government will take immediate steps to improve access to child care and begin addressing the wait list for child care spaces in Manitoba. Our plan includes increased system-wide supports so Manitobans can choose the type of child care that best meets their needs.

“With more than 12,000 children waiting for a space, Manitoba families are facing a child care crisis,” said Ian Wishart, Progressive Conservative candidate for Portage la Prairie. “Families have told us clearly they want child care close to home or close to school. Simply throwing money at this is clearly not working. We have a plan to ensure safe, affordable child care spaces are available for Manitoba families.”

More than three-quarters of Winnipeg families do not have access to child care and there are 550 fewer home-based child care spaces in Manitoba today compared to 17 years ago. This reduction in spaces is due in part to the cumbersome regulatory regime which governs the development of child care facilities in Manitoba. In a 2014 media interview, the president of the Manitoba Child Care Association called the regulatory regime “overwhelming.”

A Progressive Conservative government will shorten the wait list for a child care space by:

  • Simplifying the process governing the opening and operation of child care facilities with a focus on home-based child care spaces
  • Increasing operating funding for licensed, home-based child care spaces by 70 per cent for infants, 68 per cent for pre-school aged children and 15 per cent for school aged children
  • Working in partnership with school divisions to increase the number of child care spaces in public schools and expedite the development of new facilities by exploring social enterprise initiatives and public-private partnerships for construction and maintenance
  • Increasing incentives to encourage more Manitobans to train as Early Childhood Educators, including working in partnership with post-secondary institutions to enhance scholarship and bursary opportunities

“We will reduce the wait list for child care spaces and provide better options for families seeking care for their children,” said Wishart. “A new Progressive Conservative government will continue to work in partnership with Family Dynamics, a community agency specializing in child care supports for families.”