'Child care is a critical piece of the puzzle for many Manitobans these days.' - Gord Mackintosh, family services and housing minister.
Winnipeg (29 May 2009) - Child care programs in Manitoba got a big boost this week with a new $11.4 million funding announcement by the provincial NDP government.
The funds will create 19 new child care facilities, revitalize and expand several existing ones, and add 2,850 more spaces, says Gord Mackintosh, family services and housing minister.
"Child care is a critical piece of the puzzle for many Manitobans these days," Mackintosh said. "More and more families are trying to make ends meet in a difficult economic environment. We want to help ensure that safe, enriching child care is available so parents have the choice to work or pursue training that will help them meet the challenges they face."
The announcement was made at the construction site of a new building for Rainbow Day Nursery in the Southdale neighbourhood of Winnipeg. That facility is set to open in eight weeks and welcome more than 100 children.
Other initiatives included in the funding are:
- Enhanced play-based curriculum for higher quality early learning to be launched at 70 child care centres.
- More than 1,021 weather radios for rural facilities to alert them to dangerous conditions.
- Family Choices scholarships to be offered to 20 Grade 12 students entering an early childhood educator (ECE) program at Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface and University College of the North.
- A 3% wage increase for child care workers as of July 1, increasing salaries to at least $15.50 an hour for early childhood educators and $12.25 an hour for child care assistants training to become ECEs. Graduates of college diploma programs can now expect to earn $32,000 per year.
- Training grants to be increased 40% to $350 from $250 for ECE graduates who wish to upgrade.
- Operating funding for child-care centres boosted 5%-12% this year.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE