Manitoba promises more child-care spaces

Officials say $25 million dollars will be spent "to continue building and expanding 20 early learning and child-care centres.". File/Global News

WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government is promising to create an additional 5,000 child-care spaces over the next five years.

The province is also providing a two per cent increase in operating grants this year to help boost employee wages, and says it will improve its online registry.

The overall cost of the plan is unclear. Officials said $25 million will be spent building and and expanding 20 early learning and child-care centres but there is no price tag yet  for the rest of the initiative.

“We don’t have an exact figure,”  a provincial spokesperson said. “The money will be there in future budgets to meet that goal.”

The new spaces are in addition to similar five-year plans announced in 2002 and 2008.

The government has been under pressure to fund even more spots.

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Advocacy groups such as the Manitoba Child Care Association have said there are about 11,000 children on waiting lists across the province.

— With files from Global News