April 13, 2021
Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB— The PC government continues to put corporate interests ahead families by giving $600,000 to a private consulting firm while families struggle to find childcare spots. The NDP has learned through a Freedom of Information request that the waitlist for childcare has increased by 4,000 spots since the PCs took office in 2016.
“We know parents of young children have a lot on their plate and the pandemic has only added more stress to their busy lives,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “The last thing Moms and Dads need to worry about right now is finding a childcare spot. And yet year after year the PCs have let the childcare list ballooned in our province, making it harder for families to access affordable, quality childcare close to home. Finding a childcare spot shouldn’t be like winning the lottery. Families deserve a government that puts their needs first and guarantees access to quality childcare every parent can afford.”
There are 18,903 children on wait lists for childcare in Manitoba as of August 2020. In July 2016 the waitlist for childcare was 14,847. In the last year the PCs have made it harder for families to access affordable childcare. During the pandemic the PCs raised parent fees for children in nursery programs and cut inclusion supports for kids with additional needs. The PCs new childcare bill, Bill 47, opens the door for private, for-profit centres to access public funding for childcare. And yesterday the province released their report on childcare by the private consulting firm KPMG. The report, which cost $600,000, recommends the government move toward a business model of childcare and “act like a market steward” in the sector.
“When it comes to childcare, it’s clear that the PCs priority is making money for private companies instead of keeping life affordable for families,” said NDP critic for childcare, Danielle Adams. “Instead of handing out private contracts and helping out for-profit centres, the PCs need to invest in affordable public childcare that actually works for families.”