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This article was published 5/6/2015 (2303 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Premier Greg Selinger today slammed the Opposition Progressive Conservatives for their plan to allow more private, for-profit daycares for the province.
Selinger said such a plan would mean higher rates and less accessible day care as the number of spaces will be frozen.
"After not having any idea what the Conservatives are up to , other than two-tier health-care, they start to pull back the veil and show that that their solution for day care is more privatization," Selinger said.
Selinger recently said his NDP government would add another 900 funded spaces this year on top of the 800 added last year.
On Thursday, Tory MLA and family services critic Ian Wishart said a Progressive Conservative government wouldn't create a government-funded universal child-care system, but would instead open the province up to more private, for-profit daycare.
"We'd like to leave the money with the parents and perhaps provide more opportunities for licensed privates," Wishart told the Free Press, "We'd like to make (child care) easy and accessible and flexible for modern families."
Selinger said the Tory plan puts the gains won by daycare workers, such as higher wages, at risk.
He said it’s unlikely a private and publicly funded system could coexist.
He said when the Tories were in government during the 1990s they capped the number of day care spaces and cut $8 million out of the public system.
"If you are exclusively relying on a private system, or you’re putting the main realize on a private system, you’re going to have an affordability issue, which means it’s less accessible," he said.
Selinger said a government commission launched more than a year ago is to report in the fall on ways to improve the province’s day care system.
The premier said even if the Tories offered operating funds to for-profits, it would not work.
"You’re going to have a challenge with wages," he said. "When you have a challenge with wages you have challenge with quality, and then you have a challenge with affordability, because where are the rates going to be?"