The governments of Canada and Manitoba are working to bolster the province’s child-care sector by investing more than $30 million to create new opportunities for people as they begin and advance their careers, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Terry Duguid, on behalf of federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould, Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko and Manitoba Advanced Education and Training Minister Sarah Guillemard announced today.
“Child care workers are the cornerstone of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system,” said Duguid. “Through these investments, Canada and Manitoba are working together to ensure that current and prospective child care workers are valued and supported in their training, education, and careers, while encouraging more people to join the profession.”
“The Manitoba government is committed to our goal of creating 23,000 new child-care spaces by 2026, but new spaces and new facilities are not possible without the caring and professional staff to oversee them,” said Ewasko. “That’s why our continued investment in the early learning and child-care workforce is critical—including improved capacity and access to a variety of post-secondary training options.”
The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing more than $24 million to develop and expand early childhood educator (ECE) and child-care assistant (CCA) training programs at Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions over the next three years.
“Earlier this year, our government invited Manitoba’s publicly-funded post-secondary institutions to submit proposals to develop or expand education and training programs for the early learning and child-care sector,” said Guillemard. “I’m pleased that five post-secondary institutions have been approved to receive funding, with a number of them updating their program delivery to provide more flexible, accelerated training options that meet the standards for certification.”
Five public post-secondary institutions will receive funding to expand training for child-care professionals following an invitation from the province to submit expressions of interest in March 2023. This funding will add an estimated 998 seats in the province over a three-year period and will support approximately 2,000 total new student admissions.
The five post-secondary institutions receiving funding over the three-year period are:
- Assiniboine Community College: $11.4 million;
- Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology: $1.6 million;
- Red River College Polytechnic: $2.8 million;
- University College of the North: $5.5 million; and
- Université de Saint-Boniface: $3.4 million.
“These initiatives will support Manitoba’s commitment to expand the early learning and child-care workforce over the next three years,” said Ewasko.
As part of this funding, Université de Saint-Boniface will be redeveloping an advanced diploma to provide francophone-centred ECE III training beginning in September 2024, and will be adding 15 seats to its French-language ECE Diploma Workplace Program.
“We are thrilled to receive this funding that will enable us to expand our current workplace program this fall and launch an ECE Leadership Advanced Diploma that will meet the requirements for ECE III certification,” said Sophie Bouffard, president, Université de Saint-Boniface. “Having access to child care in French is essential to the development of our communities, especially those in rural and remote areas, which is why our community partners have identified early childhood education as a priority. As part of our mission at Université de Saint-Boniface, we work closely with all our partners to reinforce this sector that is the cornerstone of a successful continuum of French-language education.”
Another $6 million will be allocated to continue the successful ECE Tuition Reimbursement initiative until 2026. The initiatives are funded under the Canada-Manitoba Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
The ECE Tuition Reimbursement initiative provides eligible applicants attending recognized post-secondary ECE programs with a reimbursement of up to $5,000 per academic year. The Manitoba government has already provided more than $2.7 million in tuition reimbursement to 631 Manitobans in ECE training.
“We are removing barriers for individuals to obtain their certification, attracting people to training through tuition reimbursement and building capacity at places of higher learning,” said Ewasko. “And beginning July 1, we’ve allocated an additional $56.1 million toward increasing operating grants for improving wages in funded early learning and child-care facilities. Together, these investments greatly improve recruitment, retention, and growth within the early learning and child-care sector. And together, we are working to do more for families.”
These initiatives build on other investments in the child-care workforce and space creation to ensure Manitoba families have convenient access to high-quality, flexible and inclusive child care including support to increase wages across the sector, and funding for the ready-to-move (RTM) child-care project to create more child-care spaces in rural and First Nations communities around the province.
To access the tuition reimbursement application form, visit https://gov.mb.ca/education/childcare/students_workforce/ece_tuition_support.html.
For more information about early learning and child care in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/childcare.
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