Selinger vows to end wait times for child care spaces

The Manitoba government says it will put an end to wait times for Manitoba child care spaces in the next five years, CBC News has learned.
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger is expected to make an announcement at Monday's throne speech about ending wait times for child care spaces within the next five years. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

The Manitoba government says it will put an end to wait times for Manitoba child care spaces in the next five years, CBC News has learned.

Premier Greg Selinger is expected to make the announcement, along with several other targets, at the throne speech Monday.

A source with the province said the NDP government is prepared to create 12,000 additional child care spots by 2020 — the same amount of kids in the province currently waiting for spaces.

That number should be enough to nearly erase the child-care gap in Manitoba.

As of Sept. 30 there were 12,729 children waiting for care, according to the executive director Manitoba Child Care Association, Pat Wege.

"The 12,000 commitment [for] new spaces is right in step with the number of families that are waiting for a space," said Wege.

"It will definitely go a long way towards closing the gap between supply and demand. It is 2015 and it's time to address this problem once and for all."

A cost estimate for the commitment hasn't been released but it is expected to be included in the next budget.

Throne speeches typically lay out the government's plan and associated budget.

This will be Selinger's final such speech before the provincial election in April 2016. The premier has not yet said if he will table a budget by then.

The speech is expected to begin at 1:35 p.m. CT.

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