Thursday, February 23, 2023 - Manitoba early learning and child-care providers will be able to make targeted investments in infrastructure, diversity and inclusion, and in workforce recruitment and retention strategies to better position facilities for the future, federal Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal, minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and the Prairies Economic Development Agency of Canada, on behalf of federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould, and Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko announced today.
"Today's funding announcement means increased support to Manitoba's early learning and child-care providers, children and families," said Vandal. "Our government will continue to make progress with partners toward a better, more inclusive and affordable early learning and child-care system for families in Manitoba and across Canada."
The governments of Canada and Manitoba are providing $45.9 million in one-time funding under the Canada-Manitoba Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child-Care Agreement to support the implementation of quality enhancement grants to fund programming for children under the age of seven. The Manitoba government is contributing an additional $14 million to ensure equitable support is available for school-aged programming within the sector that serves children ages seven to 12.
"Our government is committed to making quality child-care more accessible for Manitoba families,” said Ewasko. "These grants will help early learning and child-care providers make immediate investments into facilities and staff to support high-quality learning for children across the province and a stronger, more responsive early learning and child-care system for Manitoba families."
There are three streams of grant funding:
Quality Early Learning and Environments Grant: $33.8 million to help improve aging infrastructure, equipment and materials;
Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion Grant: $18.7 million to ensure children of all backgrounds and abilities feel a sense of belonging and have the ability to participate in programming through enriched curricula, space adaptations and staff-development opportunities; and
Innovative Recruitment and Retention Grant: $7.4 million to implement creative and innovative strategies to recruit, retain and support a high-quality workforce and meet the demands of a rapidly growing sector. This includes a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) top-up of $500 per child-care space to provide recognition for the dedication of home-based providers to the child-care sector.
Funding is available to all licensed non-profit child-care centres (including infant, pre-school, nursery, and school-aged programs) and home-based providers, that must opt-in to the grant program before March 13. Quality enhancement grants support the principles of quality, inclusive and accessible child care and fund eligible expenses from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2024.
With the exception of the Retirement Enhancement and Retention Benefit, eligible facilities will be required to accept or decline each funding stream through their weekly reporting update in Manitoba Child Care Search between Feb. 27 and March 13. The RRSP contribution is topped up automatically for any provider that contributes to RRSPs.
For more information about the Canada-Manitoba Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child-Care Agreement and the quality enhancement grants, visit www.manitoba.ca/childcare.