Two new child-care centres coming to Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — Two new child-care centres are set to open in Winnipeg, providing 108 new child-care spaces.

The Governments of Canada and Manitoba made the announcement on Thursday, saying the new centres will be located in the St. Boniface and North End areas.

“Child-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Ahmed Hussen, federal minister of families, children and social development, in a news release.

“The pandemic has made it abundantly clear that we need affordable, flexible, inclusive and high-quality child-care, and these new spaces will allow more children to have the best possible start in life.”

Construction is now complete on the 8,360-square-foot centre located at the Université de Saint-Boniface (USB). This facility, which will be called the Centre d’apprentissage et de garde d’enfants de Saint-Boniface Inc., will provide 16 infant and 64 pre-school spaces for a total of 80 child-care spaces.

The centre will offer child-care services to those who are studying and working at USB or who live in the broader Francophone community in the city. It is set to open in August.

The $6.6 million project was funded through the Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement; USB; the Association Étudiante de L’Université de Saint-Boniface; and the federal government through the Canada-Manitoba Agreement of Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction. It will receive about $45,000 a year in annual operating funding.

“These investments are key to ensuring the vitality of French in Manitoba while allowing our children to grow and develop in a country that promotes both our official languages,” said Mélanie Joly, federal minister of economic development and official languages.

“Our government is proud of its investments to date and aims to continue to support minority-language early learning and child-care education throughout Canada.”

Construction is also complete on the other new child-care centre, a 3.600-square-foot facility located on Selkirk Avenue. It will offer four infant and 24 pre-school spaces, for a total of 28.

The Little Stars PLAYhouse will provide child-care for families in the city’s North End, and will offer culturally appropriate learning and programming.

The $1.7 million project was supported by funding from the Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care agreement, the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), and donations and fundraising led by Women Healing for Change. It will receive up to $146,820 in annual operating funding.

The new centre is set to open in September.

“We were pleased to have the resources and capacity to step in when this project was at risk and ensure that these day-care spaces were made available to Manitoba families,” said Frances Chartrand, minister for health and early learning child care with the MMF.

We’re particularly proud that Little Stars PLAYhouse will offer educational programming on Métis culture and language. If all partners are able to work within the nation-to-nation, government-to-government framework, we can accomplish many more great things for early learning and child care in our province.”

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