Ottawa reaches child care agreement with Manitoba

Upgrades will 'support more Manitobans, especially women, to upgrade training, participate in economy, and play key role in pandemic recovery'

Ottawa reaches child care agreement with Manitoba

Ottawa has announced a child care agreement with Manitoba to provide more affordable services in the province.

“The reduction of fees announced today is an important step forward to delivering on our Canada-wide early learning and child care system, which will save Manitoba families thousands of dollars each year, create jobs, grow the middle class and give our children the best start in life,” says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

This follows similar agreements with the governments of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Yukon, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The governments of Canada and Quebec also reached an asymmetric agreement to strengthen the early learning and child care system in the province.

In December 2020, Ottawa announced it would build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system.

Fees reduced by 50 per cent

As part of the agreement with Manitoba, Ottawa is investing $1.2 billion over five years to help improve regulated early learning and child care for children age six and under in the province.

Child care fees will be reduced by up to 50 per cent.

Also, effective Feb. 6, Manitoba will expand eligibility for its Child Care Subsidy Program to help over 12,000 more children from low and middle-income families access affordable child care.

Manitoba is increasing the net household income thresholds and allowable deductions for the Child Care Subsidy program by 45 per cent, which will range from an average net household income from $23,883 to $37,116 for a full subsidy and partial subsidy will range from $37,542 to $82,877. Child-care subsidies are based on net household income and family composition including the ages and number of children.

With the expanded eligibility, parents with children up to 12 years old can now apply. This is supported jointly by federal funding supporting children aged six and under and by provincial funding supporting children ages seven to 12.

“Improving access to affordable child care will support more Manitobans, especially women, to upgrade their training, participate in our economy, and play a key role in our pandemic recovery,” says Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson.

Nearly half of men and women say that they are unable to focus on work while their kids are home, according to a survey by LinkedIn. And female workers have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic compared with their male counterparts, according to an earlier report.

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