As of March 31, 350 licenced child-care centres and home-based providers have opened up 1,600 spaces, and 1,200 children of front-line health-care and other emergency workers, have been matched with care.
Families Minister Heather Stefanson sends a word of thanks to child-care centres that have already provided service without hesitation. "Truly heroes helping heroes." She asks those who remain closed to help during this difficult time.
"It is not too late to step up and help out whether you are operating in a child-care centre or your own home. Our government is providing financial support to child-care centres and early childhood educators during this difficult time. We will continue to support the child-care sector so that we help ensure health-care and other emergency services workers can continue working during this pandemic."
As per the chief provincial public health officer recommendations, child-care centres are limited to 16 children and up to 8 in home-based facilities. Some larger centres with segregated rooms and separate external entrances are able to offer care for up to 16 children per room. These regulations will remain in alignment indefinitely with the decision regarding K-12 schools.
Nearly $30 million will continue to be provided in operating grants to all licensed child care centres, fully covering the operating grants over the next three months. She adds child-care centres should be returning parent fees if child care has not been provided, and should not charge parents to hold spots during these uncertain times.
Health-care and other emergency services workers can apply for a child-care space by filling out the request form online.
"If you are a front-line health-care or other emergency services worker, we want to hear from you," says Stefanson. "Staff will continue working around the clock to ensure that you can get the child care that you need so you can continue working during this pandemic, after which we will be expanding service to all critical services workers as defined by the chief provincial public health officer."
Beginning on Tuesday, April 14, all parents who work in critical services, as defined by the chief provincial public health officer, will be able to access child-care spaces available in licensed facilities. Parents working in these sectors who have been unable to make other child-care arrangements will be able to check which facilities have available spaces at www.manitoba.ca/covid19 and work directly with them to receive a spot.