he Manitoba government is committing up to $1.9 million to support and protect families and early learning and child-care (ELCC) facilities affected by the new move to remote learning in Winnipeg and Brandon as part of the province’s public health measures, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.
“Our government is taking strong action to protect Manitobans from the spread of COVID-19 and we recognize the significant impacts of these measures,” said Squires. “This new support will help ensure parents do not pay for child-care spaces they cannot use and will protect facilities from financial hardship while they cannot accept school-aged children during this period of remote learning.”
The minister noted early learning and child-care facilities that provide school-aged care in Winnipeg and Brandon will experience reduced attendance as schools move today to remote learning, which could affect more than 10,000 school-aged spaces. Parents of children in these spaces will not be expected to pay child-care fees during this time, while the province provides this funding to these ELCC facilities to offset their losses of revenue. Families will also retain their child-care spaces during this period. The new funding will be provided to the affected facilities in addition to their continued operating grants, the minister said.
“As a critical service that relies on parent fees in order to operate, this investment will enable our centres to remain open to support additional critical workers during this period of remote learning,” said Bonnie Ash, executive director, Morrow Early Learning and Child Development, Programs for Families. “This announcement will be welcomed by the early learning and child-care sector, as well as our families.”
The minister recognized the ongoing commitment of the child-care sector to quality care, while also ensuring precautions are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. She noted the province is further supporting early learning and child care by increasing its monthly investment in personal protective equipment for the sector by an additional $415,000 per month, to increase its monthly allocation of protective masks to 1.1 million from 100,000 and to raise the daily provision of masks for each ELCC worker to four from one. In addition, the quality of the masks is improving to the Level 3 medical grade to enhance protection for workers, children and their families.
Details on access to the new funding will be shared with facilities soon.
(Province of MB News Release)