Manitoba extends aid for child-care centres amid lengthened remote learning stint

Manitoba is extending financial support offered to child-care facilities meant to help to offset the financial blow of a now longer move to remote learning for thousands of school-aged students in the province.

Earlier this month, the government committed $1.9 million for child-care facilities in Winnipeg and Brandon after COVID-19 public health orders temporarily sent most students home to learn for an expected three-week span.

Read more: Manitoba tightens COVID-19 restrictions, schools to remain in remote learning into June

But after the move to remote learning was extended last week, the province announced Monday another $500,000 will be made available for the program.

“Service providers have told us the extension of remote learning will result in increased financial pressures due to the loss of parent fees and we are pleased to provide this protection,” said Families Minister Rochelle Squires in a government release.

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Click to play video: 'Remote learning extended' Remote learning extended

Remote learning extended

Students in Winnipeg and Brandon, as well as schools in the Red River Valley and Garden Valley school divisions, are now slated to remain in remote learning until June 7. Students in Dauphin will remain in remote learning until June 9.

The province said Monday the move to remote learning is affecting roughly 10,890 child-care spaces, or 83 per cent of the school-aged spaces in the province.

Read more: Winnipeg, Brandon child-care centres to get financial help as thousands of students shift to remote learning

Squires said licensed centres and child-care homes can apply for additional support to offset their losses of parent fees for kindergarten and school-aged children.

Parents of children in these spaces will not be expected to pay child-care fees during the move to remote learning, the province said, and families will retain their child-care spaces.

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