Manitoba Announces Big and Bold Child Care Strategy

The Government of Manitoba has announced how it intends to move forward on the report of the Manitoba Early Learning and Commission.  The report was commissioned to provide direction on how to introduce  universal early learning and child care for Manitoba by creating 12,000 new spaces over 5 – 7 years.

The recommendations are part of a comprehensive policy framework to guide implementation, and include governance, access, affordability, quality, human resources, and data collection.

MCCA is most excited that government has committed to introduce a provincial salary scale beginning September 1, 2016.   The media release, January 12, 2016 says:  “The Premier announced a plan for workforce recruitment and retention by phasing in a provincial wage scale beginning on September 1, 2016……”

MCCA believes  that government must ensure all child care centre employees earn a wage  range reflective of classification, job, and years of experience according to our research based Market Competitive Salary Guideline Scale for Early Learning and  Child Care Centres, 2015 – 2016.  Page 72 of the Commission Report says that “Manitoba should introduce a provincial wage scale that is incorporated into a new funding formula for licensed centres that recognizes…….recommended wage levels as proposed by the MCCA Competitive Market Wage.”    

We agree with the Commission that the “provincial wage scale must be indexed annually”.

Market Competitive Salary Guideline Scale for Early Learning and Child Care Centres, 2015-2016

We also believe that licensed, self employed family child care providers should be able to earn a fair income for the valuable work they provide and that must be considered when government reviews parents fees, operating grants, and a modernized  funding model.

The plan to explore the feasibility of moving  school age child care (6-12) to school divisions needs a careful approach  to ensure families continue to have access to the hours of care  they need, affordable fees, subsidy for low income families, skilled staff, and  adult:child ratio’s that enable safe, quality care.   The Province has committed to pilot this new model in 2 school divisions initially – Seine River and Seven Oaks.  MCCA will work with government to ensure child care is represented in developing the  transition plans and that adequate support is provided to centres to replace school age spaces with infant and preschool spaces.  Pages 22 – 25 of the Commission Report outlines several phases to follow in the transition to ensure there is a process for communication, consultation, and collaboration.

Family Services Minister Kerri-Irvin Ross invites responses to  the Commission report.  Questions or concerns can be emailed to minfs@leg.gov.mb.ca

News Release on Creating Universally Accessible Child Care – January 12, 2016

Executive Summary of the Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Commission Report

Final Report of the Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Commission

Quality Child Care Keeps Manitoba FamiliesWorking!

Categories: News

Posted by Jodie Kehl at 6:53 pm