More child care needed for front-line workers

In an announcement on April 2, Families Minister Heather Stefanson appealed to day care providers for more spots for children of front-line workers. However, the province is only allowing up to 16 children per room.

“If you are a front-line health-care or other emergency services worker, we want to hear from you,” said Stefanson.  “Staff will continue working around the clock to ensure that you can get the child care that you need so you can continue working during this pandemic, after which we will be expanding service to all critical services workers as defined by the chief provincial public health officer.”

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Apply by April 8 for priority placement

Health-care and emergency services workers can apply for a child-care space by filling out the request form at https://forms.gov.mb.ca/gomcovid19esw/ by April 8.

These parents include:

  • health-care providers,
  • emergency service providers,
  • corrections / law enforcement
  • fire /paramedic workers,
  • direct social services and
  • child protection workers,

Families that have already submitted a request do not need to complete the form again.

By Tuesday, April 14, all parents who work in critical services, as defined by the chief provincial public health officer, will be able to access child-care spaces available in licensed facilities. 

These parents include:

  • support staff at hospitals / clinics,
  • grocery store staff,
  • farmers and farm workers,
  • construction workers,
  • bank / credit union employees. 

Child care needed

Parents working in these sectors who have been unable to make other child-care arrangements will be able to check which facilities have available spaces at www.manitoba.ca/covid19 and work directly with them to receive a spot.

“There are still health-care and other emergency services workers who need child care, and today I want to call on child-care providers throughout our province to help those workers as they provide needed services during this pandemic.”

As of March 31, more than 1,200 children of health-care and other emergency services workers have been matched with an available space.  To support centres so they can re-open during this critical time, the minister noted the first quarter of the provincial operating grant, amounting to nearly $30 million, started flowing to all licensed child-care centres as of April 1. 

Licensed child-care facilities that want to help by re-opening or continuing to have spaces available should notify the province by emailing cdcinfo@gov.mb.ca.

The listing of critical services, as authorized under The Public Health Act, is available at https://news.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/newslinks/2020/03/BG-PHA_-_COVID-19-PR.pdf. 

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