Kinew Outlines Plan for Better Public Child Care for All of Us
Pallister’s childcare privatization agenda only helps those at the top
WINNIPEG — Parents would have access to more affordable, better child care with Wab Kinew’s bold commitment to public child care in Manitoba. Kinew’s plan is very different from Brian Pallister’s plan to privatize childcare, which would create fewer spaces and make parents pay more. On the weekend Pallister’s party said they want to make childcare in Manitoba more like BC and Alberta – where 100% of childcare centers have wait-times and parents pay over $1,000 a month.
“Child care is so important to every family. We need to make sure it’s accessible, affordable, and high quality. That means public,” said Kinew.
Wab Kinew and Manitoba’s NDP plan for strong affordable, public child care would:
- Lift Pallister’s freeze on funding for licensed, not-for-profit Early Learning and Child Care programs. For 2019 the increase would be equal to real economic growth (forecast at 1.7%, or $3 million);
- Build child care spaces in all new public buildings — not just schools — as appropriate, and in addition build and fund 600 new public childcare spaces every year. ($8,500 capital cost per new space plus $6,000 per space in operating costs. The operating cost will be $900,000 in 2020/21 and rise to $11.7 million in 2023/24, since the additional spaces are cumulative). This level of funding will also be used to fund more currently unfunded spaces;
- Move responsibility for child care under the Department of Education to recognize the importance of child care in social and personal development;
- Work with parents and early-childhood educators to achieve an ambitious goal of affordable, high-quality child care for all families. This will include eliminating the waiting list and establishing $15-per-day childcare within ten years.
“I have been working in childcare for forty years and I can tell you that since Brian Pallister became Premier we are not moving forward, we are moving backward,” said Joanne Evinger, Executive Director of Dante Day Nursery Centre. Children are so important and yet early childhood education is put on the back burner. Every day I get calls from parents who are desperate to find a spot; some families wait 3 - 5 years. This is unacceptable. Many parents can't afford to pay for childcare. The province needs to put more money toward this key priority."