Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

NDP rolls out child-care plan, bashes PCs

Knocks rivals' past record in that area

  • Print

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

The NDP opened up a new front in its campaign against Brian Pallister's Progressive Conservatives as it rolled out its new five-year plan to add 5,000 more funded child-care spaces and spend $25 million to expand the number of child-care centres.

The child-care plan was unveiled Thursday by Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross with a west Winnipeg child-care centre as a backdrop.

In highlighting the NDP's record on the child-care file since it took office in 1999, the New Democrats also handed out a March 1993 Progressive Conservative government news release to highlight how, at that time, the Tories capped the number of subsidized spaces, froze licensing of new daycares and asked parents to pay an additional $1.40 per day.

'I don't see any point in attacking Gary Doer'

-- Brian Pallister

"In the past, economic uncertainty meant deep funding cuts to child care in Manitoba with a complete freeze on new child-care spaces," Irvin-Ross said. "Critics have again called for drastic cuts to supports families rely on, but we know that investments in the early years will give our children the strong start they need to be successful."

The NDP recently launched a mail-out campaign against Pallister to homes throughout the province and ran TV attack ads against the PCs during the recent Winter Olympics. It's also launched the website pallistercuts.ca.

Pallister said the NDP using daycare and children to further attack what his party did more than two decades ago is "pathetic."

"I don't see any point in attacking (former premier) Gary Doer," he said. "I don't see any point in attacking Ed Schreyer or Howard Pawley. I don't think it makes any sense. I think Manitobans want people to look to the future. I think every time the NDP does these things, they make themselves look embarrassingly weak."

Irvin-Ross said the new five-year plan continues what the NDP started in 2008 to add more child-care spaces and increase remuneration to child-care workers.

What centres or areas of the province are to see more spaces or centres, such as school-based centres or infant daycare, are still to be determined.

She said the additional $25 million will be spent to continue building and expanding 20 early-learning and child-care centres and daycares will see regular operating-grant increases, including a two per cent operating-grant increase for wages starting January 2015. It will also create a new wage-enhancement grant for early-childhood educators and new supports for licensed home-based child-care providers.

Irvin-Ross said the government will continue to tweak its online registry and child-care website to make them more user-friendly and so parents are confident their name will stay registered until they find a space.

Pat Wege, executive director of the Manitoba Child Care Association, said she welcomed the province's commitments.

"It's also good to know the system is growing because people appreciate knowing that there are opportunities," she said.

Irvin-Ross also said the province will create an early learning and child-care commission early next year to look at the future of child care in Manitoba.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 2, 2014 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Peguis Chief Hudson comments on toddler's death upgrade to homicide investigation

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Goslings with some size head for cover Wednesday afternoon on Commerce Drive in Tuxedo Business Park - See Bryksa 30 Goose Challenge- Day 12- May 16, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should political leaders be highly visible on the frontlines of flood fights and other natural disasters?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google