Greens are committing to building 2,000 new licensed child care spaces per year over the next 10 years, says Green Party leader James Beddome.
Beddome estimates this will cost about $31 million a year, based on the total of the average construction cost of $15,000, and the additional annual cost of $1.1 million in operating grants and financial assistance.
Under the Green plan, no parent earning less than the poverty line would pay for licensed child care, and the cost of care would gradually increase to a maximum cost of 10 per cent of net family income. The current formula now sees a single parent at the poverty line with one pre-school child paying 16 per cent of her income for child care.
Greens are also committed to retaining the non-profit character of the licensed child care system, and to enhancing high quality care that stimulates learning.
“Based on the Quebec experience, where a fully developed, affordable child care system has led to greater workplace participation, the plan will pay for itself through the resulting additional tax revenues. Applying the Quebec results to Manitoba shows that a universal and affordable child care system could draw into employment up to 18,000 more primary caregivers of children under 12, which would expand the Manitoba economy by up to $1.58 billion, and generate up to $287 million in additional annual government revenue,” says Beddome.
There are currently more than 16,000 Manitoba children on the waiting list for licensed child care, and the number continues to grow.
“Greens are ready to move forward on real solutions with bold vision,” says Bedomme. “For decades successive PC and NDP governments have allowed our child care system to erode. Greens will do better.”
Photo credit: Tyson Koschik/CBC