Manitoba makes wise investment in child care

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This week, the Province of Manitoba announced they will be creating over 250 new, affordable licensed child care spaces. Four new centres will be appearing in St. Andrews, Oak Lake, St. Boniface, and South St. Vital, with an expansion to an existing space in Waverley Heights. This is good news for Manitoban families and the Manitoba economy.

The Honourable James Allum, Minister of Education and Advanced Learning

CCEDNet – Manitoba’s members passed a Child Care policy resolution in 2012 calling for the creation of enough new licensed early learning and child-care spaces to meet the demand as determined by the Online Child Care Registry, with priority given to creating child care spaces in lower-income neighbourhoods including in rural and Northern communities.

Investing in high quality learning and child care services is one of the most effective means of reducing poverty and promoting economic growth in our communities. For every $1 invested in child care in Manitoba, $1.58 returns to rural and northern economies and $1.38 returns to the Winnipeg economy. Every child care job created leads to 2.15 jobs being created or sustained, and an estimated $715 million is earned by mothers and fathers available to work due to child care (source). Furthermore, child care is critical to ensuring Manitobans have the time to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for full participation in our society.

"For every $1 invested in child care in Manitoba, $1.58 returns to rural and northern economies and $1.38 returns to the Winnipeg economy."

This is all on top of the amount our society benefits from quality early years education for our youngest.

While the Provincial government should be commended for their efforts in increasing licensed child-care spaces to nearly 32,500, there are still over 11,000 names registered with the Online Child Care Registry waiting for child-care spaces (as of Fall 2013).

The Province should continue and increase its efforts to ensure Manitoban families have access to affordable, licensed child-care spaces. It’s good for our communities and our economy.

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Darcy Penner is a Research & Policy Advisor with the Canadian CED Network. He has been working in community development through various capacities since graduating from the University of Winnipeg with a BA (Honours) in Politics.