WINNIPEG — Child-care in Manitoba is about to become a little less expensive beginning later this week.
The province is tripling the number of subsidized child-care spaces, reducing the costs to parents and caregivers by about 30 percent.
The provincial and federal governments announced the expansion of the Child Care Subsidy Program on Thursday, which will take effect on February 6.
“Improving access to affordable child care will support more Manitobans, especially women, to upgrade their training, participate in our economy and play a key role in our pandemic recovery,” said Premier Heather Stefanson.
Of the 38,000 spaces available in the regulated child-care system, 6,000 children currently receive a full or partial child-care subsidy. Under the expanded program, it’s estimated that 12,000 additional children will receive support to access regulated child-care, particularly in low and middle-income families.
The province is also increasing the net household income thresholds and allowable deductions for the Child Care Subsidy program by 45 percent, which will range from an average net household income from $23,883 to $37,116 for a full subsidy and partial subsidy will range from $37,542 to $82,877.
To implement the new subsidy eligibility threshold, Manitoba will increase annual funding to $82.7 million, with $64.5 million in federal funding coming through the Canada-Manitoba Canada-Wide ELCC agreement for children ages six and under.
Manitoba has the end goal of reaching its commitment to $10 per day child-care by March 2023.
Opposition NDP child care critic Adrien Sala says it’s disappointing to see the province commit to 20 percent fewer child care spaces than any other province as part of the agreement.
“Instead, the PCs are going to take money meant for helping families to backfill their own cuts,” Sala said. “This funding should be used [to] build as many affordable, public spaces as possible and increase wages for all child care workers, not just a few of them.”