Government promises to reduce child-care wait list

WINNIPEG – The wait list for a child to get a spot in day care could speed up.

The NDP government promised to add 64 more child-care spaces to Harrow  School. It’s part of a push for more day cares province wide, which is still falling short of what’s needed.

“It’ll make a small change but not a lot,” said Mihaela Mujcinovic, executive director of Harrow Co-op Children’s Centre.

Harrow has a wait list of over 230 children, while there are about 12,000 families in the province on an online day care waiting list.

The new spaces that do appear are more likely to be in schools after the province tabled a new law Thursday.

“We actually made it legislation that all new builds would require day cares to be built in a new school,” said Peter Bjornson, Education and Advanced Learning Minister.

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Bjornson also said they’d try to prevent day cares from closing or moving to make room for other classes.

“There have been issues around space in the schools and day cares have been asked to move,” said Bjornson.

Keeping day cares in schools will make things easier for many families.

“In the past we’ve had students that have had to change schools because a daycare wasn’t available,” said Leslie MacGillivray, principal of Harrow School.

“I have a child that goes to child-care and it would make it easier for me if I knew my infant could also come here, that I didn’t have to drive to the other end of the city to drop him off,” said Mujcinovic.

And let young siblings visit each other, like one third grader who helps out her three-year-old brother in day care.

“When he just got here I came over here and I helped him get dressed to go outside,” said Grade 3 student Christianna Wall.

It’s going to be a little while before more students arrive at Harrow, the 6,000 square foot addition is still being designed.