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Child-Care Spaces Opening Up to More Critical Services Workers

April 9, 2020 3:04 PM | News

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UWinnipeg Daycare

UWSA Daycare staff and children play in one of the daycare’s new infant rooms. (CLEO CURTIS / UWSA)

WINNIPEG — The province is working to ensure more critical services workers and their children can access child-care during the COVID-19 pandemic, including those working in grocery stores.

Beginning Tuesday, April 14, all parents who work in critical services will be eligible to access child-care spaces available in licensed facilities.

The expanded criteria, as defined by the chief provincial public health officer, includes support staff at hospitals and clinics, grocery store staff, farmers and farm workers, construction workers, bank or credit union employees.

“Child-care centres and homes that are opening their doors to children and their families during this challenging time are truly heroes helping heroes,” said Families Minister Heather Stefanson.

“We continue to call on child-care facilities and early childhood educators to be part of our provincewide response to COVID-19. Together, we can ensure children can continue to learn and grow in a safe, caring environment as their parents go to work helping those most affected by COVID-19.”

Critical services workers can visit Manitoba.ca/covid19 to see which facilities have spaces and work directly with them to secure child care.

To date, more than 1,900 children of health-care and other emergency services workers have been matched with an available child-care space in Manitoba. These parents include health-care providers, emergency service providers, corrections workers, law enforcement workers, fire and paramedic workers, and direct social services and child protection workers.

More than $30 million in provincial funding is still flowing to all licensed child-care facilities. Child-care centres are also eligible for the federal emergency wage subsidy, which provides up to 75 percent of employee wages for businesses and non-profits. A new temporary provincial grant worth $3,000 is also available for start-up costs to help early childhood educators begin independently offering child care services at their homes or in the community.


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