Every child deserves the best possible start in life, and all parents should have the ability to build both a family and career. Yet, too many families across Canada lack access to affordable, inclusive, and high-quality child care. The global COVID-19 pandemic has also made it clear that without access to child care, too many parents—especially women—cannot fully participate in the workforce.
That is why the Government of Canada has laid out a plan to provide parents in Canada with, on average, $10 a day regulated child care spaces by 2025-26. This plan to build a Canada-wide, community-based early learning and child care system will make life more affordable for families, create new jobs, get parents—especially women—back into the workforce, and grow the middle class, while giving every child a real and fair chance at success.
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Rochelle Squires, Manitoba’s Minister of Families, today announced an agreement that will support an average of $10 a day for regulated child care spaces in the province in 2023, significantly reducing the price of child care for families. By the end of 2022, Manitoba families will see a 50 per cent reduction in average parent fees for children up to six years old in regulated child care. This agreement will also lead to the creation 23,000 new full-time regulated care spaces by the end of fiscal year 2025–2026 to ensure all families of children up to six years old can access child care. The province will create these new child care spaces in not-for-profit, public child care providers/operations, as well as in family-based child care.
The federal funding of more than $1.2 billion over the next five years will also fund critical services for Manitoba families and children and grow a strong and skilled workforce of early childhood educators, including through the creation of a wage grid to support the attraction and retentions of early childhood educators. This agreement will also lead to the creation of 1,700 extended hour child care spaces for families requiring child care in the evening and on weekends as well as guaranteed child care spaces for children whose parents are transitioning into regular employment. The agreement will also support an early learning and child care system that is fully inclusive of children with disabilities and children needing enhanced or individual supports, and ensure all families have equitable access to high-quality, affordable programming.
Manitoba will prioritize inclusivity, ensuring that families have access to integrated and culturally responsive services. Funding through the agreement will also support the strengthening of the early learning and child care workforce by modernizing certification requirements and implementing a wage floor for different positions and classifications.
Since 2015, the government has been helping make life more affordable for families. This includes programs like the Canada Child Benefit, which was indexed again in July 2021 to help families keep up with the costs of living and raising their children.
The time for a Canada-wide early learning and child care system is now. The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners across the country to make life easier and more affordable for families, grow the middle class, create jobs, help parents—especially mothers—return to the workforce, and give children across the country an equal chance to succeed.
(Province pf MB News Release)