PCs Must Support ECE Centres and Workers NOW

March 27, 2020

Manitoba Liberals have written a public letter urging the provincial government to review its policies on Early Learning and Child Care.

Many child care centres and workers are facing extreme financial hardship and possibly bankruptcy because of the policies that have been rolled out to date.

The current policy of the government has been to issue orders that effectively deprives organizations of their revenue, while offering no replacement. This is not sustainable: the current arrangement means that a service that is being designated as essential during the pandemic is not being funded adequately.

We are asking the Pallister Government to review the following issues:

  • The Provincial Government should step up to cover the overhead of centres that are closed, whether they are public or private, so long as the pandemic shutdown is in place. That includes taxes, insurance, and overhead.
  • For centres where the children of essential workers are being cared for, the parent fees should be paid by the government.
  • Enhanced pay for workers in centres caring for children of essential workers to reflect their extra duties and the work required to maintain cleanliness.
  • Additional resources and additional training so that child care centres can offer safe and healthy pandemic child care services, at no cost to the actual centres. This should include hand sanitizer, gloves, masks and any other materials required to keep children, workers and workplaces clean.
  • The Province and Public Health must provide clear guidance on best practices. The Best Practices Manual for Early Childhood Education has not been updated since 2006 and it has no pandemic preparedness.

We cannot ask ECE centres and workers to shoulder the financial burden of this crisis while also demanding that they stay open so our health care and other systems can function.

This is a matter that is becoming critical. The people working in this sector have faced four weeks of confusion and uncertainty. This requires not just an immediate answer, but immediate action.

View Full Letter Here.


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