Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19, 2013


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More Parents Will Have Access to Child Care They Need to be Able to Work, Support Their Families: Howard
As part of its continued commitment to families, the Manitoba government is creating a new,
80-space child-care centre in ACCESS Winnipeg West, a one-stop-shop for many government services, Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard announced today.
The minister also announced the launch of consultations on the province’s next multi-year plan for expanding child care in Manitoba.
“Affordable, high-quality child care is important to my family and many families across Manitoba.  As parents, we want a safe, engaging environment where our children can learn and grow,” said Howard.  “That’s why the province has funded 12,600 more spaces since 1999 and will continue adding more while we keep parent fees among the most affordable in Canada, outside Quebec.”
ACCESS Winnipeg West, located at the Grace Hospital, was developed through a partnership between Manitoba Health, Manitoba Family Services and Labour, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the Grace Hospital Foundation.  The new child-care centre, to be operated by Horizons Children’s Centre, is expected to open in 2014 when ACCESS Winnipeg West construction is finished.
“Grace Hospital enjoys an outstanding relationship with Horizons Children’s Centre, which currently operates 46 child-care spaces in Grace Hospital,” said Kellie O’Rourke, chief operating officer of West Winnipeg Integrated Health and Social Services.  “These 80 new spaces in ACCESS Winnipeg West will provide families in our neighbourhood with a premier service for their children, and we and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority are pleased to continue to work with Horizons.”
Howard noted this year the provincial government is investing up to $5 million to build and expand a number of child-care centres across the province.  In addition to the new ACCESS Winnipeg West, six other major projects are under construction now and are expected to open early in the new year, creating more than 250 new spaces, she added.
This year also marks the end of the province’s second consecutive multi-year child-care plan called Family Choices, which included new capital investments to build or expand more than 100 child-care centres and provide more spaces across Manitoba.  Since 1999, wages for child-care workers have increased by 58 per cent and annual funding for child care has close to tripled, Howard said.  She also announced the government will work with families to create the next multi-year child-care plan. 
“We listened to families in 2002 and 2008, and their ideas and support helped to dramatically expand our system and to ensure our children are receiving the best care,” said Howard.  “I want to see the same collaboration as we move forward with a new plan that will help us create the system of the future.”
St. James MLA Deanne Crothers will assist Howard with the consultations including meeting with parents, early childhood educators, child-care centre operators, providers of home-based care and other important stakeholders.  The consultations will take place throughout the fall and winter and will reach representatives from urban, rural and northern Manitoba. 
Comments and suggestions on how to improve and strengthen the province’s child-care system can be made at
For more information about Family Choices and child-care options for families in Manitoba, visit
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