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Daycare centres to get boost from province

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NDP House Leader Jennifer Howard

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The province will consult Manitobans this fall and winter as it develops plans to expand the number of daycare spaces.

Although the NDP has funded 12,600 more spaces since coming to power in 1999, demand still far outstrips supply, with thousands of Manitoba families on waiting lists.

Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard said the government is looking at offering more assistance to daycare boards to bring new centres on stream faster and to encourage expansion of existing centres.

The province’s new five-year daycare plan is expected to be unveiled next spring. It will replace one developed in 2008.

Howard said the government is also concerned about who will replace aging daycare providers, particularly in rural Manitoba.

The minister made the comments while announcing the construction of 80 new daycare spaces as part of the new Access Winnipeg centre at Grace Hospital. The centre —one of a series of such facilities being built across the city — will house a variety of government services.

 

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