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Manitoba PCs promise more child care spaces, new subsidy

PC candidate Heather Stefanson makes child care announcements Sunday Aug. 18.
PC candidate Heather Stefanson makes child care announcements Sunday Aug. 18. Marek Tkach/Global News

The Progressive Conservatives proposed a new child care subsidy for low-income families and promised to create more child care spaces by building more schools if re-elected in September.

The funding program, which the Tories dubbed the Portable Child Care Benefit, would provide a $500 subsidy per month for 3,000 families.

“The Portable Child Care Benefit will provide monthly child care cost relief to families who need it most, whichever child care choice they make,” reads a statement from Progressive Conservative candidate Heather Stefanson.

Families would be able to use the subsidy at any daycare or child care provider, the PCs said.

READ MORE: Manitoba provincial government announces 780 new child care spots

The PCs pointed to the recently-announced “New Schools Sooner Guarantee” as a way of adding more child care spaces. Seven schools in various stages of construction and tender will add 548 new spaces across the province, and 13 newly-announced schools will create 1,000 more spaces, the PCs said.

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The PCs also pointed to their Child Care Centre Development Tax Credit, which they say created 74 more spaces in Sage Creek, as an example of increasing private sector involvement in child care.

READ MORE: Winnipeg business cashing in on provincial child care tax credit

A PC government would introduce legislative amendments to authorize capital grant payments to private early learning and child care centres, Stefanson said.

Between new and newly funded child care spaces, new school spaces, and private centres that could open if there are tax credits and capital grants available, the Tories said they would create more than 3,000 child care spaces.

The Pallister PCs care “little” about child care across the province, an emailed statement from a NDP campaign spokesperson reads.

“(Pallister) ignored calls from over 26,000 Manitobans and organizations like the Manitoba Child Care Association to end the freeze for public childcare centres. The lack of action hurt all children in our province and women who are the most likely to be affected by cuts to childcare,” said the spokesperson.

WATCH: (April 6, 2018) Manitoba provincial government announces 780 new child care spots

Manitoba provincial government announces 780 new child care spots
Manitoba provincial government announces 780 new child care spots