From the Province of Manitoba’s 2021 Budget Speech –
“Budget 2021 makes major investments in our early learning and child care system and increases the budget by nearly $4 million, to meet the diverse needs of Manitoba families and create more options for child care, almost $23 million more than when we came to office.
With $1.6 million in operating grants to child care centres, we will support 392 new licensed spaces that opened over the past year and 149 new spaces that will open over the coming year for a total of 541 spaces, in addition to 50 new home-based licensed child care spaces.
As a further step to help families cope financially at this difficult time, we are freezing child-care fees for three years.”
At first glance, the Province’s 2021 Budget falls short of what the existing sector needs. The details will be important to know where the overall $4 M will be allocated in terms of new or existing spaces. This is a missed opportunity to support women, not to mention Manitoba’s workforce which is 97% female, and fully assist in Manitoba’s social and economic recovery.
The current system needs to be stabilized and supported or it will be provoked into crisis.
Our attention now shifts towards the federal budget, which will be announced on April 19th. Federal Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland has indicated that child care will be a priority in her first budget. The government of Canada in both their Federal Throne Speech and their Fall Economic Statement included a promise of $420 million in new supports to the Provinces/Territories towards the recruitment and retention of ECEs.
And although child care falls under provincial jurisdictions, we hope that Manitoba will embrace new federal funding and leadership. This will be critical to our social and economic recovery.
Facilities need increased funding so they can hire trained, knowledgeable ECEs to offer the early learning and care that Manitoba children deserve. At the heart of quality, is a well educated and well remunerated workforce. Manitoba children and families deserve no less.
Posted by Jodie Kehl at 4:26 pm