WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government says it’s investing $6 million to create up to 739 new childcare spaces.
However, many of the new day cares set to open within the next few months had already been given the go-ahead by the previous NDP government.
The province confirmed many of the announcements had been made in late 2015 and early 2016 but said those announcements had been done in the absence of confirmed funding.
“There are a number of other projects to be reviewed and evaluated,” Minister Scott Fielding said. “But these are the projects that we are saying, here and now, will be a part.”
In total, the province said 15 projects, most of them in Winnipeg, would be moving forward with capital funding.
- Les Heures Claires Inc., up to 56 spaces in River East;
- Campus Day Care Centre Inc., up to 52 spaces at University of Manitoba;
- Soul Sanctuary Preschool, up to 40 spaces in Fort Garry;
- Little Saints Learning Centre Inc., up to 48 spaces in St. Vital;
- Qualico – Sage Creek (with community partner), up to 74 spaces in Sage Creek;
- Kookum’s Place Preschool Centre, up to 24 spaces in south Point Douglas;
- YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg at Great West Life, up to 100 spaces in the downtown area;
- University of Winnipeg Student Association Day Care Centre, up to 32 spaces in the downtown area;
- Ka Ni Kanichihk Daycare, up to 32 spaces in central Winnipeg;
- Ryerson School Age Centre Inc., up to 48 spaces in Charleswood
- Pembina Valley Child Care Centre, up to 52 spaces in Morden;
- La Salle KIDZ Inc., up to 60 spaces in La Salle;
- Niverville Heritage Holdings Inc. (with community partner), up to 90 spaces in St. Adolphe;
- Riverside Daycare Inc., up to 10 spaces in Thompson; and
- Springfield Learning Centre, up to 21 spaces in Anola.
“The government is committed to these 15 projects and we are creating 739 different spots,” Fielding said.
However, Les Heures Claires facility director Lisa Nemetchek said this funding will allow its centre to open another location in Elmwood with 56 more spots.
“This has been a long awaited journey for us,” Nemetchek said. “Today provided us with another piece of the puzzle.”
But whether or not all of the 739 spots are new is questionable.
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Global News called each day care to find out how close they were to completion and if they felt this was a new commitment. Many said no.
Little Saints Learning Centre in St. Vital has been a three year project and is set to open on June 17.
They were given the funding go-ahead last April.
The government announced 100 spots at Great West Life, but those spots were announced in prior years.
The director at the Ryerson School Age Centre Inc. said its new space should be open by April and funding had also been committed by the previous government.
There are currently more than 14,000 names on the province’s online childcare wait list with 2,500 added in the past year alone.