May 4, 2021
Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB—The Manitoba NDP has learned the province is planning to extend its vague plan to send teachers and school staff down the highway to North Dakota for vaccines to school-based Early Childhood Educators.
“The PC’s unrealistic plan shows this government’s lack of respect for teachers and school staff, and now they are doing the same to Early Childhood Educators,” said Danielle Adams NDP Families Critic. “These workers have been undermined and disrespected by this government throughout the pandemic, and now the PCs’ are refusing to give them vaccine priority. ECE’s should be prioritized for vaccines in Manitoba immediately—we’re calling on the Minister to break her silence and start advocating for these workers.”
In an email sent from the Manitoba Families department to Early Childhood Educators on April 30th , officials said the Early Learning and Child Care Program will provide “further information on the ability of our sector to access vaccination in North Dakota as it becomes available”. Officials advise details will be made public this week.
Last week the Premier hastily announced a plan to send Manitoba teachers and school staff to North Dakota for vaccines. The province has yet to announce any details on the plan, including a start date.
Approximately 44% of Manitoba’s license child care spaces are in schools and employ about 2,200 Early Childhood Educators and Child Care Assistants.
“Child care centers are essential—to allowing parents to work and helping children to learn and develop,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “Early Childhood Educators are worried about their safety, and every time they have to close a facility or send a child home it makes life harder for families. Rather than sending them out of country, the government should give them priority for a vaccine in Manitoba right now.”