A new grant is set to support 230 regulated, non-profit early learning and child-care facilities in Manitoba to help them recover from the pandemic's economic hit.

Canada's Special Representative for the Prairies, the Honourable Jim Carr, joined Manitoba's Families Minister Rochelle Squires in a Friday press conference to share information on new funding for child care.

"There is no part of the country that the COVID-19 pandemic has left unscathed," Carr says. "We know parents are worried about providing for their children, keeping food on the table, and making it through this difficult time."

Carr says women are struggling to return to the workforce, saying lack of childcare spaces plays a significant role in this. He says child care is "not a luxury - it’s a necessity."

To ease the burden, $4.4 million is being funnelled into new child care support centres. This comes from a new COVID-19 Response Block Grant.

"We can see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we can all imagine a brighter future," Squires says. "This funding will ensure that centres that have been hit by financial hardship due to the pandemic will be stabilized."

Two-hundred and thirty regulated, non-profit early learning and child-care facilities that were hit by the pandemic will benefit from this. These will be one-time grants, dependent on need.

Squires says adaptability and flexibility are important to sustain a strong child care system.