The governments of Canada and Manitoba are increasing the availability and accessibility of child care over the next three years to expand child-care spaces in public schools and post-secondary institutions in Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko and federal Families, Children and Social Development Minister Karina Gould announced today.
“Manitoba continues to make accessible, affordable, high-quality child care for families a priority,” said Ewasko. “With these additional spaces, families who have older children attending a local school or who are currently enrolled in training to enter the workforce at one of our post-secondary institutions will have more options to support their child-care needs.”
A new investment of $180 million will add more than 3,700 new licensed and funded infant, pre-school and school-age spaces through child-care space expansion projects at public schools and post-secondary institutions.
With funding provided under the Canada-Manitoba Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, $132 million will be allocated across 36 public schools to create more than 2,400 spaces for children under seven. Another $45 million will be provided to support more than 680 new child-care space expansion projects for children under seven across six post-secondary institutions.
“We know that child care is a necessity for Canadian families. That is why Canada and Manitoba are making sure that families in Manitoba have better access to early learning and child care, no matter where they live., said federal Families, Children and Social Development Minister Karina Gould. Together with our provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners, Canada is committed to achieving our shared goal of creating 250,000 new child care spaces across the country by March 2026.”
The Manitoba government will invest $3.4 million to create 60 school-age spaces at the Université de Saint-Boniface and is supporting the creation of 555 spaces in 24 public schools for children aged seven to 12 through planned capital expansions.
“Establishing new licensed early learning and child-care centre spaces will help meet the need for more licensed services for Manitoba families,” said Ewasko. “This project will make a real difference for families seeking higher education and help them as they complete their studies.”
The public school child-care space expansion projects propose six room conversions, two building additions and 28 stand-alone facilities on school property. The post-secondary institution expansions propose two major space renovations, two building additions and five stand-alone facilities.
The projects were selected through an expression of interest launched earlier this year and were based on feasibility of the plan, availability of space/land and the need for child care within the area. Over the coming months, Manitoba will work closely with school divisions and post-secondary education partners to finalize project details and specific project funding allocations.
In addition to new child-care spaces, the post-secondary institution expansions will include $3.5 million under the Canada-Manitoba Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement for the construction of seven innovative new learning labs at six of the post-secondary sites for early learning and child-care training. These state-of-the-art classrooms will support practical learning experiences for post-secondary students in the early childhood education field.
“We all know that having child care available is the first step to going back to school, gaining employment, or even gaining volunteer experience in the community,” said Neil Cooke, president and CEO, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology . Today’s announcement supports students, families, schools, post-secondary communities, and future employers.”
Manitoba’s action plan under the agreement provides capital funding for the development and expansion of child-care centres to increase access to licensed child care. Under the agreement, Manitoba is targeting the development of 23,000 new full-time child-care spaces by March 31, 2026.
“We have made great strides in expanding affordable child-care options to families and will continue our investment in growing and strengthening the early learning and child-care sector,” said Ewasko. “We have introduced a wage grid, invested in existing facilities to prioritize recruitment and retention, and we are expanding early childhood education training options in partnership with post-secondary institutions. Working together, our 2026 goal is within sight.”
For more information on school-based child-care space expansion projects in Manitoba, visit: www.manitoba.ca/childcare.
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