New Portable Child Care Benefit will give families flexible cost relief: Stefanson
A re-elected Progressive Conservative government will take real strides towards improving the availability of child care, while also creating a new child care funding program to help cover child care costs with a subsidy of up to $500 per month for 3,000 lower-income families.
“Our party is the only party committed to making life more affordable for working families,” said Stefanson. “Families aren’t all the same and our early learning and child care choices shouldn’t all be the same either, so in addition to adding more spaces, we know we need to offer more choice for parents.”
The new Portable Child Care Benefit will offer flexibility by following children to their family’s child care option of choice.
“The Portable Child Care Benefit will provide monthly child care cost relief to families who need it most, whichever child care choice they make,” Stefanson said, adding it will make life more affordable and help address the diverse child care requirements of Manitoba families.
Wab Kinew’s NDP failed to address the child care waitlist while in office and have no plan to reduce it.
The PC government’s successful rollout of the new Child Care Centre Development Tax Credit— which has already helped create 74 spaces in the Sage Creek neighbourhood—is an example of the private sector’s willingness to partner with government in addressing this growing need.
Stefanson said her government will introduce legislative amendments to authorize payment of capital grants to private early learning and child care centres to spark the creation of more spaces, which would become one more option for eligible recipients of the new Portable Child Care Benefit.
“The private sector is underrepresented in Manitoba’s childcare sector compared to other provinces,” said Stefanson, who noted private spaces make up less than 5% of Manitoba’s childcare system, versus 58% in Alberta, or 49% in British Columbia.
A re-elected PC government is also committed to accelerating the construction of new schools in Manitoba, with the New Schools Sooner Guarantee adding even more child care spaces for families with every school. Seven schools in various stages of construction and tender will add 548 new spaces across the province, and 13 newly announced schools will create 1,000 more spaces.
Between new and newly funded child care spaces, new school spaces, and private centres that will open with the help of tax credits and new capital grants, a PC government will improve child care availability with more than 3,000 child care spaces.
“The NDP takes a rigid, ideologicial approach to child care that makes it less available and less affordable than it needs to be,” said Stefanson. “There’s nothing new with Wab Kinew.”