January 12, 2016 1:18 pm
Updated: January 12, 2016 5:11 pm

NDP promises 12,000 new daycare spaces in Manitoba

University of Winnipeg Student Association daycare.

Lorraine Nickel / Global News

WINNIPEG — With an election looming, Premier Greg Selinger announced Tuesday the universally accessible child-care system will lower fees for parents, add 12,000 more spaces and increase training and better wages for educators.

There are currently roughly 12,000 children on wait lists for child care.

It’ll take five to seven years before the spaces will open and the goal is to put the centre into public buildings such as schools, universities, housing developments and health and social-services facilities.

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$25 million will be spent this year on building centres and expanding existing facilities.

900 spaces are being created this year at several different centres including the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba.

A recent report done on the child care system in Manitoba highlighted that daycare facilities should be put into schools and school divisions should be responsible for before and after school child care for ages 6-12.  Something the Seven Oaks School Division is piloting this year.

“So parents can have one pick-up and one drop off, so kids don’t have to get their snowsuits on just to ride the bus and go to another centre to be looked after after school,” said Superintendent Brian O’Leary, “it’ll mean parents can go to a school and register for both school and child care.”

Pat Wege with Manitoba’s Child Care Association says she’s been lobbying for this for 40 years and is happy there’s finally a plan in place to tackle long wait list.

“Because it’s 2016 and families can’t work without quality child care.”

© 2016 Shaw Media

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