Manitoba creating new daycare owners, spaces

Child playing at a daycare. Stock photo by Getty Images

Manitoba is attempting a ground-level effort to help relieve the province’s child-care crunch and simultaneously create new jobs.

The Family Child Care Project is aiming to help Manitobans acquire the skills to open their own licensed daycares.

The province has a plan to create some 5,000 new childcare spaces, which would make a significant dent in the overall backlog, which has more than 12,000 Manitoban tykes on provincial childcare waitlists.

They’re making progress, but baby steps so far; the province said this week it expects to open up 375 more childcare spaces.

The program provides tools to be a successful daycare owner, not just a babysitter. It offers courses in childcare and education, but also business management.

While the program is open to all, the majority of participants are recent immigrants.

“New Canadians come with an array of skills and experiences that they’re looking to use in giving back to their new hometowns and neighbourhoods,” Economy Minister Kevin Chief said in a news release.  “It makes us so proud to be able to support people as they help local families find reliable, affordable childcare where our kids can grow up healthy and having fun.”

Unlicensed daycares are common across Canada, but there’s little oversight and greater risk. However, since only about 20 per cent of Canadian kids have access to licensed care, many parents can’t afford to be too discriminating.

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