Child Care Coalition of Manitoba

working for a fully accessible, publicly-funded, non-profit system of comprehensive and high quality child care


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Federal Election Focus: Children, Poverty and Childcare PDF Print E-mail

CCCM media release:  Winnipeg, 24 Jun 04

It is possible to reduce child poverty in Manitoba significantly within two years by
creating 3,450 new child care spaces, half of which would be subsidized to assist the working poor, new analysis shows.
Winnipeg Harvest, in conjunction with the Child Care Coalition of Manitoba and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg urge all citizens to examine the commitments of the federal parties pertaining to child poverty reduction before voting on June 28.
"We need to remind politicians that in 1989 they passed an all-party resolution in the House of Commons promising to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000," said Susan Swatek, Research Coordinator with Winnipeg Harvest. "We know that one of the biggest barriers poor families face is accessible, affordable child care to assist them as they seek employment, training or respite opportunities. It is also a barrier that we know can be overcome because Manitobans themselves have told us they would willingly pay a modest amount more in taxes towards that end. People should be asking their local candidates where they stand on the issue of accessible and affordable child care."
The Child Care Coalition of Manitoba, in its recently released Time For Action: An Economic and Social Analysis of Childcare in Winnipeg noted that enabling parents to work and study increases family income and directly reduces child poverty. Coalition researcher Susan Prentice says a $2.40 daily surcharge currently paid by poor families for each child in care needs to be eliminated and 3,450 more child care spaces created.
The following analysis was prepared jointly by Winnipeg Harvest and the Child Care Coalition of Manitoba and presents one option to assist families:

• 85% of Manitobans would pay $35 more per year in taxes if it was dedicated to ending child poverty, a survey entitled Perceptions of Poverty conducted by kisquared (formerly Acumen) in collaboration with Winnipeg Harvest discovered.
• That amounts to a pool of $20 million new dollars ($35 x 563,000 taxpayers.)
• Eliminating the onerous $2.40 surcharge paid by Manitoba’s poorest families for each child in care would cost $7 million.
• Operating 3,450 new child care spaces could cost $13 million. 50% of those spaces, or 1,725 spots could be subsidized to assist lower income families.
• The 3,450 new spaces could create 690 new Child Care Worker jobs would be created (following two or more years of training) to staff the new centers.

"Whoever forms the next federal government has an obligation to invest in the social infrastructure of this country, which is just as important as building bridges and repairing streets," said Prentice. "An investment in children and families is not only the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense."
"Even a modest investment of $20 million would help people who turn to us for emergency food," said Swatek. "Right now a single parent with two children pays a $4.80 daily surcharge at the child care center. That adds up to $24 a week or $96 dollars a month that is not available for groceries. That hurts people who are struggling with minimum wage jobs."


• A single parent required to pay $24 a week in child care surcharges could instead afford an extra basket of groceries weekly containing:
4 litres of milk $3.40
1 kg of ground beef $4.71
3 kg fresh fruit $8.10
3 kg fresh vegetables $6.09
1 dozen eggs $1.60
TOTAL $23.90

• More than one in five Manitoba children live in poverty (22.5%). The national rate is 15.l6%
• Every $1 invested in childcare returns $1.45 to the Manitoba economy
• There is currently up to a two year waiting list for licensed child care spaces in Manitoba


Last Updated on Monday, 01 December 2008 09:36


For information about the Coalition, or to set up an interview you are welcome to contact the following Steering Committee members:

Maureen Morrison

Susan Prentice

Thelma Randall