Parents’ experiences, ideas sought in daycare study

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The Manitoba Child Care Association is launching what it believes will be Manitoba's first professional research study into parents' experiences in the child care system.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/09/2016 (2204 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Manitoba Child Care Association is launching what it believes will be Manitoba’s first professional research study into parents’ experiences in the child care system.

The MCCA has hired Probe Research to work online with families at 746 child care centres and family child care homes from Thursday to Sept. 30.

The 37-question survey has the potential to reach tens of thousands of families.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Pat Wege, executive director of the Manitoba Child Care Association

“Most centres have 60 or more families involved,” MCCA executive director Pat Wege said in an interview Monday morning. “This is a big deal.”

With the waiting list for daycare spaces across Manitoba at a record 15,078 as of June 30, MCCA wants to give the new Pallister government as clear a picture as it can, Wege said.

MCCA doesn’t have the capacity to reach people on the waiting list, but it can ask parents about the challenges they faced in finding daycare spaces, its affordability, the access of child care on employment and education, and any ideas parents have for improving the situation and system.

“There really hasn’t been that much research, not really scientific research in Manitoba. There’s been consultation,” Wege said.

“It’s anonymous,” she said of the survey. The majority of the 37 questions “are people’s attitudes, experiences, and opinions about child care in Manitoba.”

She expects to present Probe’s findings to the provincial government in November.

“We have a federal government that’s come back to the child care table, and will in 2017 be providing some funds to the province,” Wege pointed out.

Families Minister Scott Fielding was out of the province Monday, but said by email that, “Manitoba’s new government recognizes that too many families are waiting for child care spaces and that action is required.

“We are currently in the process of reviewing the Early Learning and Child-Care framework to finalize an implementation plan that is realistic, practical and sustainable to significantly reduce the waitlist and keep it down into the future. Our government’s commitment is to remove red tape, improve access to quality and affordable child care and create an environment where early childhood educators will thrive. We continue to work collaboratively with experts, front line workers and Manitoba families,” said Fielding.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

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Updated on Monday, September 12, 2016 12:14 PM CDT: Adds photo

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