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Manitoba Asking Closed Child-Care Centres to Reopen

April 2, 2020 2:59 PM | News

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Heather Stefanson

Minister Heather Stefanson speaks at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, Tuesday, November 7, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is asking closed child-care centres to reopen and provide space for children of critical care workers in the wake of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Families Minister Heather Stefanson says as of March 31, more than 1,200 children of health-care and other emergency services workers have found child-care.

“It is not too late to step up and help out, whether you are operating in a child-care centre or in your own home,” said Stefanson.

“Our government is providing financial support to child-care centres and early childhood educators during this difficult time, and we will continue to support the child-care sector so that we can help ensure health-care and other emergency services workers can continue working during this pandemic.”

To support centres so they can re-open during this critical time, Stefanson said the first quarter of the provincial operating grant, amounting to nearly $30 million, started flowing to all licensed child-care centres as of April 1. Licensed child-care facilities that want to help by re-opening or continuing to have spaces available should notify the province by emailing cdcinfo@gov.mb.ca.

Stefanson said operating grants won’t be cut off to any child-care centre that chooses not to reopen.

The province has also asked all child-care centres to reimburse parent fees if care has not been provided and to not charge parents to hold spots if they are not being used.

Licensed child-care centres will continue to be limited to 16 spaces to support social distancing and infection prevention measures.


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