Joint funding of $70M to create 1,200 new Manitoba child-care spaces

The federal and provincial governments are working together to fund new child-care facilities in Manitoba, creating more than 1,200 new spaces across the province.

Premier Heather Stefanson, Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko and federal parliamentary secretary Ya’ara Saks, on behalf of federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould, announced the $70 million spend on Monday.

“Today’s significant announcement is another example of what we can accomplish when we work together with other levels of government and community partners,” said Stefanson.

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“Access to high-quality child-care services closer to home is essential for Manitobans to be able to enter or re-enter the workforce, upgrade their skills and training, support their families and play an active role in the growth of our communities and economy.”

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The new regulated non-profit child-care spaces will be focused in rural and First Nations communities, they said.

“Funding for this project is being provided through the Canada-Manitoba Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and is a collaborative approach with communities to support the development of and need for child-care spaces in Manitoba,” said Ewasko.

In exchange, local partners will provide a minimum of two acres of serviced land with 15 years of free rent and support services including snow removal, landscape maintenance and repairs.

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“Families living in rural areas face unique child-care challenges, especially if the nearest child-care centre is far from their home or there aren’t enough children nearby to make a full-time care centre sustainable,” said Saks.

Initially, more than 650 spaces will be created in nine communities including the Rural Municipality of Headingley, RM of Macdonald, Town of Stonewall, RM of Morris among others.

The spaces will be transported into communities thanks to a modular building design by John Q Public.

“Through the John Q daycare pilot project local leaders, administration, provincial experts and child-care providers have taken a team approach to developing a new process that supports the delivery of critical infrastructure faster and more efficiently,” said Brad Erb, chair of JQ Built Inc. and reeve of the municipality of Macdonald.

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The buildings are expected to be moved into community sites this winter and the new child-care centres are anticipated to be fully open by the summer of 2023.

Additionally, the province is soliciting proposals to develop up to eight more facilities in communities with close to 600 additional child-care spaces to be identified by the spring.

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