meeting is now streaming live on Facebook okay I wonder if you guys can hear my child in the background welcome anyone who’s already here this is child care is essentials Town Hall Town Hall on child care so we’re really excited to share with you and we will just start in a few minutes let some people join us before we share all the information you I have I’ve eyes on the ground so I’m gonna kind of get some information about how many people are with us and you let that inform me of when we should start so for anyone who’s just joining us this is child care in the central town hall on child care the importance of child care in our province okay that’s really good already out twenty-seven people watching great turnout can we to start it’s exactly seven o’clock and I’m gonna give it just one more minute this is very exciting okay I’m gonna go ahead um again everybody this is a child cares essentials Town Hall on child care so we’re gonna share some information with you guys today start first and foremost to acknowledge traditional tenants of this land so we have innate coda I mission Ave create OD Cree and maintain Asian I also want to not only acknowledge the land that we’re on but also some of the teachings that indigenous communities have shared with us and the most important with the context that we’re in today is that children traditionally are placed at the center of all decisions we make so they are quite literally the biggest determining factor in our populations health and so well I would like to be thankful for the land that we’re on I’m also thankful for those teachings and to set us off on the right foot I think that’s important to share my name is Rebecca la riviere I am 80 from treaty one I am an early childhood educator and a parent of a three-year-old who may have heard just shortly while we were waiting to get started um and I’m really happy to moderate this Town Hall today so for a very very long time childcare has been just an election topic in passing it’s never really been something that people have put any weight into so centers have for a long time been struggling to recruit and retain staff really good qualified staff often move on because centers can’t afford to pay them fairly meanwhile at the exact same time parents are also struggling to find spaces so there’s last I checked about two years ago there was over 16,000 children on the waitlist in Manitoba and that is extremely detrimental that shows not only Amin but the government’s lack of action on that in the first two to three years of life a child’s brain grows to be 90 percent of its adult size these are really really crucial years that once that time has passed it’s very difficult to go back to the beginning and and and we do those years it takes a lot of time a lot of effort and it’s way easier and when much it’s much more affordable of an investment to start really early children are literally aging out of those crucial years while our government just twiddle their thumbs and waste their time and it’s not just this current government it’s been a long time so childcare is essential is a group of parents childcare providers from all different kinds of childcare programs as well as allies working towards are fully accessible publicly funded nonprofit and most importantly and actually well-functioning childcare system for all children we are organizing both in response to and against the attacks on

Manitoba’s childcare sector that have arisen during the Cova 19 pandemic and those before see with the KPMG report commissioned by the Pallister government expected to be released this summer one of the child cares essentials biggest schools is educating the general public on the current childcare system that we have here in Manitoba and what is required for it to be actually effective for all children and that’s a big today we have this whole gorgeous panel of people who are willing to share with us today some of that information the only way that this becomes a topic that governments care about is when parents and public’s boat is on the line so today we’re at we’re letting parents know that we really need you to be a part of this or nothing happens today we work towards our goal of highlighting the collective voices of parents community members and allies to let our government know that child care is essential and this affects us all so we have four speakers today we have allotted about 10 minutes each for them to share with us and in true easy fashion that will give you guys a minute warning when it’s almost time to transition so first and foremost we’re gonna jump right into it dr. Susan Prentiss from childcare Coalition in Manitoba and the unit child care coalition in Manitoba and the University of Manitoba um Oh pause Susan you’re still muted um Kate can you do that or Susan I’m unmuted sorry thank you thank you okay man thank you I was saying I’m really happy to be here and to get to share some key facts and figures and data with you about childcare partly because I think that if we have a good map and we sort of know where we are you get a sense of where we’ve been and it helps us figure out where we can go so co vyd man just blew everything out the water and I have to say Manitoba’s response has been underwhelming and disappointing but there’s a history before that genell boat and it sets us up for history that’s coming so I thought what I would do is kind of tell you a little bit about the big picture like the building blocks of what Manitoba has as a policy architecture because I think that Manitoba’s kind of like a fixer-upper house like if you walked around the house you’d like need some work but it’s got good bones right there’s a lot in Manitoba’s childcare system that we should like and certainly when I talk to friends and colleagues and other researchers across the country they’re like Manitoba it’s got so much going for it so I thought I would throw a bunch of numbers at you because sometimes the numbers tell you the heart of what the problem is so I want to really talk about some key numbers for Manitoba so in a nutshell here’s something to know now of course every year these numbers change a little bit but here we go best data tells us that we live in a province that’s lucky enough to have 191 thousand children under the age of 12 and every parent knows that 12 is the magic age that you can leave kids alone so 12 is the age that we need childcare service is up to one hundred and ninety one thousand children up to the age of twelve now we keep some data on these kids and we know how many of them have working mothers we can tell you that 116 thousand four hundred have a working mother now somebody should ask me how many have a working father and I’d have to tell you that we don’t keep that data we we don’t call we do we talked about working mothers so we don’t talk about working fathers they’re just called dads so that’s a whole other problem maybe for another Town Hall so you’ve got 191 thousand children who might want to use child care you’ve got 116 400 children who have a working mother there’s another unknown number of children who are maybe studying or going to school or taking on important roles in their community or providing care right we don’t know but this these are the these are the pool that we might need child care for we have in this province at last count 37,000 459 licensed childcare spaces for all these children those childcare spaces are found in licensed family homes and in childcare centers about 92% of them are child care centers only about eight and a half percent are in family homes and as Rebecca told us in the opening if you want to get a sense of how much need we have we we still have 16,000 plus names on the waiting list so this is an unhappy data this is unhappy data if we lived in the

European Union we’d be part of countries that had an obligation to provide 90% of the children below school age with childcare services so we would fall so far short of what the European Union thinks is essential the childcare Coalition for a long time has tried saying well how about a childcare space for 50% of the children under the age of 12 that would mean we need about 95,000 childcare spaces so about three times as much as we’ve got childcare is most obviously needed when a parent works or studies but it’s also as Rebecca told is it’s very good for children right it’s a big part of a child’s right we’ve signed international conventions that tell us this childcare is essential for women’s equality it’s essential for family equality and in a nutshell we don’t do very well and I will say that we don’t do very well even in a national comparison all across Canada we have a space for about 27% of children under the age of 12 and Manitoba’s much below that with a space for less than 19 percent of our children the second problem we have in Manitoba is that you have to pay for childcare if you want to use it in general we think that childcare is like any other consumer service that you buy if you want to use it just like you want to buy carrots for dinner tonight you go and get them at the grocery store if you want childcare you go out and you buy it yourself and so childcare is premise taun being something that parents pay for and it’s expensive and this is really important to remember because even though in some parts of Canada childcare is even more expensive it’s expensive in Manitoba if you have an infant a baby in childcare you’ll be paying for two hundred and fifty two working days a year over seven and a half thousand dollars a year for your one baby and if you have two children in childcare you have to add these numbers up if you have a preschooler you pay pretty pretty much $5,200 a year and it’s a bit varied if you have a school-aged child because some days they’re in school and those are less expensive days and some days they’re not in school and those are more expensive days but it’s still around three thousand dollars a year so for lots and lots of parents childcare is as expensive as your housing costs cost more to go to childcare than it goes than it does to attend my University where I teach in the Faculty of Arts right childcare is very expensive but ever since Manitoba set up our system we’ve had sort of a protective policy which is that we’ve had a maximum fee and this is very different than most provinces in Canada where the fees are very varied in the center at the bottom of the street charges X and the center at the top of the street can charge much more so this is actually a good feature of Manitoba’s policy another good feature of Manitoba’s policy is that 95 percent of the centers in Manitoba are not-for-profit that means that they’re owned and operated by charities and not-for-profits they’re owned and operated by the parents who use them the government of Manitoba doesn’t provide or for one single licensed childcare space every single space we have in this province is either privately owned by an operator or it’s run by a parent not-for-profit group it’s a good thing although our government has spent a lot of time saying how sad it is that we don’t have more commercial involvement in childcare we know that many families live far from a childcare center if you think about using childcare it has to be where you live and we know that many children in Manitoba live in childcare deserts where it’s your child a child care center is too far for them when the Manitoba Child Care Association did a big parent survey a couple years ago they found that the average parent in Manitoba will wait 16 months to get a childcare space this is very hard on parents we know that parents can’t take up jobs they can’t work full time they can’t go back to school there’s lots of consequences for parents when childcare is not available or where it’s too expensive so I called it good bones even though it needs fixing up because in general it’s not as unaffordable as some provinces we’ve got some good quality standards we have pretty good regulations and on the whole we’ve got a system we could build on and we should be building on it because right now the federal government is giving Manitoba fifteen million dollars every year under a new interest that Ottawa is expressing in childcare but since 2016 the government of Manitoba has frozen childcare funding so if you freeze money for four years every year you have less and less money and

last year they didn’t even spend all the money that they promised they cut it by more than five million dollars so this is really causing a crisis in the childcare sector and I think that if it’s not addressed very quickly it’s going to pose serious problems we’re already hearing that some programs think they’re going to have to risk closing down I mean if rent keeps going up and your money doesn’t go up and you can’t raise your parent fees you’re you’re between a rock and a hard place and I suspect that things are going to get worse Manitoba Rebecca mentioned this thing called the KPMG report KPMG is a big management firm and last summer the province of Manitoba hired them to do a big review of our policy and we’re waiting for their report and KPMG is a business and it thinks like a business and it’s likely to make some recommendations that most people are worried about so if I looked into a crystal ball here’s what I see coming I’m pretty sure that KPMG is gonna look at those parent fees I showed you which are already very expensive but they’re gonna say my goodness they haven’t been raised in a while what a problem that we haven’t raised these fees so instead of being proud well that Manitoba has made affordability they’re gonna raise the fees one minute Susan thanks Rebecca I predict they’re gonna say it’s a problem that we don’t have more businesses running childcare and they’re gonna try to make more policies to promote more commercial childcare I think that they might even potentially talk about deregulating some of our quality standards or even unregulated the system they’re gonna say we have a shortage of programs let the market fill this problem so we’ve had a problem and I predict that rather than fixing it we see a government that’s going to make things worse thank you so much Susan that’s phenomenal so thankful so have you guys great today I do have a few housekeeping things I forgot to mention earlier we do have these drawers that we that we had a contest on Facebook to comment a question something you’re interested on hearing and uh sorry my timer just went off and um at the end of the town hall I will do those drawers I have a little a little baby hat here and I will pull those names at the end as well we’ll also have about five minutes for questions so if there’s anything really burning question you have feel free to comment on our Facebook live and we’ll try and dress as many of them as we can at the end of the town huh thank you thank you um okay so neck we have Laura Birla where’s the intro director at st. James Montessori childcare center director and parent thanks Laura thanks Rebecca what first I want to say hi to everyone and thank you for joining our Town Hall tonight I’d like to talk to you guys tonight about the current state of child care in Manitoba and build upon what Susan was just speaking about the crisis we are facing so I hope this helps shed some light and answer some questions that you might have when I think about the current state of child care in Manitoba the words that come to mind for me are confusion frustration fear and crisis the reason for this is since March when the pandemic began our child care sector has had a lot of mixed messages it has had a very poor system of communication from the government but also began facing financial instability so that instability started when we lost our parent fees it’s continued on till now centers are slowly reopening back up to capacity if they’re able some aren’t going to be able to because of public health recommendations but for the ones that can open up they’re still facing a financial crisis because we have an increase to our expenses those increases come from a large part staffing this is a pandemic I know the government keeps telling the public that child care is safe because we have very extensive cleaning and sanitizing practices but I know as a director who’s been open since the beginning of April and from speaking to other directors who have been open our current cleaning practices were not adequate for a pandemic so we do have an extra staff on hand or increased sanitizing cleaning all those extra things the second part of it is we’re greeting families at the door we’re doing the screening questionnaire or making sure it’s done we’re ensuring that the child is healthy has no symptoms of kovat according to dr. rusyn that is our biggest way to keep us safe that physically requires the staff to be at the door and not just be at the door for one person be at the door for all people at drop-off and pickup at staggered times we don’t have that in our budgets we don’t budget an extra person for no

reason so that’s adding to our budget to have to hire somebody for that rule plus that cleaning role now as a non-profit we don’t have extra money we don’t have rainy day savings we don’t have savings accounts we can dip into so we’re operating at a time where we’re already experiencing a revenue loss from a loss of parent fees and an increased expense now our fees are set we can’t change them our operating grants are set we’re not getting more and the other revenue stream of fundraising I’m sure people can understand not viable hasn’t been viable won’t be as viable for the foreseen future there are a few programs temporary programs both federal and provincial that we have been able to tap into as a sector so the emergency wage subsidy program from the federal government and now the summer student program through a provincial government those are short-term solutions that will help centers stay afloat but the problem is kovat is a long-term problem and we are being given short-term solutions that expire in the coming months with no plan of what we’re gonna do then these expenses are not gonna go away there is no prediction for when herd immunity will be reached or when a vaccine will be ready so this is the new normal for child care we need these extra staff we need to purchase PPE no matter what’s been said we have not been given supplies of PPE that are adequate as childcare sectors I went nine weeks without getting any and when I got it it was two masks so there are additional cost that we have to do so the other part of it is the provincial government keeps saying that they’ve given thirty million dollars to our sector since March and I want people to really understand that 30 million dollars is not Kovan related funding it’s not extra funding to help us with these these expenses that we’re experiencing 7 million dollars of that was our operating grants that we were scheduled to get anyway our April to June 18 million dollars of that you’ve probably heard about lately it’s been in the news a lot it was the temporary childcare services grant which was very undersubscribed and proven to be a very failed program the problem is they’ve only spent forty five thousand dollars out of the 18 million five people got the grant but since that went public nobody has gotten a response from the province on whether or not they will reallocate those funds so if you’re claiming to give eighteen million dollars to the sector to help but that money is sitting in your bank not my bank you’re not helping me why has it not been reallocated given out to the centers who have been open who are experiencing financial distress because of it and it could help ensure that they are financially stable to some extent the other part that we are facing in childcare right now is the morale of our sector and I think it’s important to talk about we have been historically undervalued underappreciated underfunded and underpaid and that was before covin so we have trained early childhood educators who have two or even three post-secondary degrees who aren’t making enough money to put food on their table who have to get a second part-time job just to make ends meet and then cogut hits and instead of bringing us to the table and saying we need childcare to remain for frontline essential workers what can we do we receive threats we received a store ssin stay open or lose your operating grant then the public messaging started of step up help our heroes and the one that’s most confusing and appalling to me was I’m asking charities to be more charitable which coming from my premiere I’m a charitable organization I can’t be any more charitable than I’m being I’m doing everything I can to keep my doors open so when a when a question is asked of why are you not giving stable predictable funding and the response is well we need you to be more charitable that’s not that’s not appropriate and it’s not respectful to our field so not only are our staff struggling with their morale they’re struggling with the future of their sector will we be here when kovat ends will we be lost will we have closed our doors that’s really hard to a workforce then who doesn’t have job security or job fulfillment the other issues we’ve been facing that families have also faced with us is the changes to the inclusion support program and the subsidy program on March 19th when childcare services were suspended all children who had inclusion supports or all families who had subsidy were cancelled all had to reapply if they had a space as an essential service or a frontline health and even then the barriers were so immense that centers had to fight for over a month to get the

same funding back in place so that child could restart attending even if it was the same Center they were going to two weeks prior all of these were attempts to save money and it’s not acceptable as a workforce that our government is making our families and our children go through unexpected and unnecessary hurdles when we have our own commitment publicly that children are a priority in our province what do we need in the future what do we need moving forward from here we need our provincial government to actually offer us solutions both financial and funding so we need stable funding that we can move forward with and improve our sector but we also need specific coded relief so that we can make it through the co food crisis without going bankrupt we need families to understand the crisis that we’re in so that they can support us in making the government make decisions that are in the best interest of their children or their community’s children because we can’t do it without them it’s amazing to me to see the power of families in even the decisions that were changed for the education reopening plan and going back to weeks earlier or on September 8th the power of a giant voice speaking out makes change with our government so we need that now for the childcare sector I’m not sure if I’ve had my one minute yet Rebecca I’m good okay some other things I would like to talk to you guys about is um what can parents do specifically to help us other than what we’re gonna talk about in the petition call your director call your child care provider call your family home child care provider and ask them what can I do what can I say how can I help because if you ask those questions they will give you answers they will tell you exactly what they need and join forces with them make as many phone calls as many emails as you can to your MLAs and it will make a difference one minute laure okay I think I’m done if you want to move on to the next one Rebecca I talked way too fast no you did phenomenal thank you it kept us interested like your passion for those people who are just joining us this is child carriers essentials Town Hall on child care in Manitoba so one of our biggest goals is to educate the general public on why childcare is so important on how we’re being affected right now and how it’s being brought to light during kovat and ask for your ask for your support ask for your voices in helping us to make change so we have invited a whole panel of experts to help us along with that at the end we’re gonna have a little bit of time for questions and we have a draw for two Oh doughnuts gift certificates so please stay tuned um next up we have Jennifer Colette’s she is a chairperson so daycares there’s a director and daycares are run by a board Jennifer is the chair of her board at busyness daycare in Morris Manitoba thank you for your we’re always here today thanks for having me really excited that we’re having this conversation for our board and our Center and lots of people in childcare that we’ve been having this conversation for a very long time and I’m really glad that it’s gaining some traction and I really do think the time is now to really blow this out of the water before Kovic actually a question that I always ask people was what would you do without childcare for one day you’d probably call in sick what would you do without childcare for one week um maybe you ask a friend or maybe someone who’s around you like you’re on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire or something like that what would you do with the childcare for one month well we all found out what you would do without childcare for a month when Coby hit um and I think those are really important questions to ask I think if we’ve learned anything during this time it’s that the current system is broken with the minimal operating grants that we receive there are centers that aren’t going to make it through this actually if we would have been in the situation we were both three years ago when I joined the board our doors would be closed already we were lucky and fortunate that we were we are in a better financial situation when cold it hit because we would have not made it through that the funding model isn’t where it needs to be the fact that our grants have been frozen

for four years it’s not good it’s led centrists to have huge goals for fundraising and they’re in their budgets to upwards of ten thousand dollars to cover costs I remember when I joined the board going so we’re gonna raise $10,000 um and what is that going to cover and I remember someone saying to me staff wages I went but um you know what it’s it’s not sustainable and you know parents are also tapped out and people’s Kitchen Aid mixers can’t make $1,000,000 in brownies it’s just doesn’t work that way I think secondly I’m calling the government to understand the importance of quality early learning we know that children under five are experiencing the most rapid period of growth in their lifetime during that time and you know someone told me that if you don’t tell your story someone else will tell it for you and I think this is really important that we’re having this child care is essential campaign because I feel as though there’s there’s two different stories that are circulating around about this time in kids lives and this there’s two stories and one of them is the daycare story and one of them is the quality early learning story I think we need to be excited that those things are actually two different two very different stories during kovat I actually made alternate arrangements before the center closed because I I didn’t know if I was gonna have Karen actually was going okay law I don’t know what I’m getting to do um although I had a fabulous babysitter during that time daycare is someone providing care to your children throughout the day that’s what that is quality early learning is purposeful intentional programming that focuses on developmentally appropriate activities for children by trained professionals who obtain an early education degree and attend a post-secondary and institution to get that so I think we need to be very clear that those are two different conversations um anything for me I’m just I’m asking the government to invest in this time and understand the importance of this time kids don’t start learning the day they start kindergarten um and I think we just you know it’s an easy solution for further for you know the provincial government to think about how many people we can fit in a building that’s an easy problem to solve we need to do what’s best for kids when we know better we do need to do better and for me I believe just we need parents to start telling their story and how quality of early learning plays a role in the functioning of their family life and just calling their families and their civic civic leaders and letting them know how how it affects them we have a picture in our centre where you know there was a whole bunch of community members helping when our centre opened because people moms decided that they deserve to go to work and you know what that picture keeps me going every day it’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about it I am a working mom I’m proud of it it makes me a better person it makes me a better mom it makes me a better parent and we need to really invest in quality early learning for kids it’s so important it’s so important I think you waved at me so that means I should stop oh is your five minute warning but you still five minutes oh my goodness about three minutes left if you wanna and you know what the other part that Laura Burling already kind of touched on was that you know centers actually weren’t prepared for a pandemic and I don’t think most businesses are prepared for pandemics and you know one of the things that we’re talking about is as they’re saying yeah increase those numbers to 24 we’re seeing huh we don’t have the stuff to do that um it is actually taking quite a bit of we haven’t budgeted to have extra cleaners on unstuff it’s taking a whole staff member to just to screen people in and out the door we’re not like a school we don’t have a secretary sitting there it’s different rate and everybody is a ratio at all times so it does pose problems in trying to follow Public Health guidelines which we need to do in honor um but also run a business right and and run run a program so yeah and and providing dollars for the PPP and sanitation yeah that’s a nobody’s budgets and you know it’s it’s interestingly we we just submitted our budget and one of the things we talked about as a board was what do we submit we have six budgets we have six possible

budgets because we just we could do this should we cut the hot lunch program how do we save money how do we you know in all these imprint conversations and when we said what if we ran our program the way it should be run paying people competitive market salaries scale offering a hug hot lunch nutrition program because that’s the right thing to do paying people what they’re worth not having staff brings stickers guess what we should be paying for that says to work you know what we ran at the weight should be run and you know what that was that was a 97 thousand dollar deficit and I’m proud that we submitted that budget because that is the true cost of child care in Manitoba and you know what I’m I I am very proud that we have a director who’s also very passionate about quality early learning and it has really inspired our board to speak up for what is right in Manitoba and for childcare across Canada actually and it’s yeah it’s been an interesting time learned have learned a lot and I’m so so thankful that I could be part of this conversation Thank You Rebecca amazing thank you so much again for anyone that’s coming on late this is a childcare essentials town hall to help us inform the parents general public about childcare in Manitoba and why we need your collective voices now at the end we have one more speaker and at the end we’ll have a little bit of time for questions as well as our draw for two Oh doughnuts gift certificates um depending on who cut based on who commented on our post earlier in the week okay so that’s that next up we got Carmen Smith we’ve been talking so much about why it’s important that parents get involved and Carmen’s really been a model parent involved in our Center and in ways I’m sure you’ll speak to that Carmen but we’re really thankful to have those voices here and we hope so for us to hear your voices as well so Carmen Smith is the chair of her board as well freight house at Franco’s early learning and childcare center and a parent and we’re so excited Carmen thank you thank you for having me so today I’m going to speak a little bit about why we are advocating for our particular vision what’s best for our kids and what’s best for our communities so when I was I’ve been a parent for first day care for freight house for many years all my children have gone through it my oldest is 26 and she started there when she was like 18 months so I’ve been involved for many many years and what I’d like to share is the quality of child care that children need and they thrive on to grow and become the best little person that they can be and with that being with sing or what saying that they become the best adults as well and I just like to share a little story about my youngest son he is six years old and when he came to Inc to my foundling at four and a half months so he is not biologically mine but I raised him as my own and he started a daycare soon after that when he first came into our family he was like a little wet noodle like he couldn’t hold himself up he couldn’t hold up his head he is very tiny and so we had to take him to physiotherapy but working full-time my husband and I we couldn’t really spend the days with him so he was in daycare and I’m so thankful that daycare stepped up and they took him as his own and they helped him they did physiotherapy every day throughout the day with him and you should see him now like he’s not the same little guy he was before that he can like he just thrives think he’s a strong little guy now and I believe that it’s from daycare like being cared for and

would saying that like daycare is more than just babysitters like they’re not being visitors there they’ve become family they become part of our families and sorry I’m just emotional emotional sharing that but the daycare workers they are more than just employees they become like I said part of my family they are so happy to see the kids when they walk in through the doors and seeing kids go through childcare and like I’ve been involved in the community for many many years and I see these kids that were small a daycare at one time they are not having their own children in daycare because they’re going to school and they’re having really good jobs so that’s really nice to see and that’s really important to have that quality affordable public health care and it just benefits everybody in our communities so it’s really awesome to see childcare employees in a center and that are committed even though they struggle financially themselves they stay because they feel that I think in ages is my opinion I feel that they feel that that’s where they need it which is actually really true did they need it they’re stable they’re committed they’re loving and caring and I’ve seen many many things throughout my years that very house with the kind of care that they provide our children and it’s really nice to see and hear all the employees when they see kids first thing in the morning when he bring them in into the doors and as I’ve never seen them for a really long time even though it was just yesterday the day before they’d seen them they give them hugs and all that and children thrive when you give them really good quality high quality care and it’s really um nice to see these children celebrated each day and they are encouraged to use and bring their unique gifts and they feel that they are part of something and their identity is really um nurtured and I see it like I said I see many things throughout my years that freight hoes they call the workers go above and beyond sharing their time with each and every child and they spend time and they teach them everything like my one of my daughter one of my daughters when she was three years old she was a fluent reader they spend lots of time with her and she picked up really quickly three years old she was reading fluently and now she’s now 20 years old I’m gonna be heading to university so it’s really it’s really rich the quality of education that they give each children how do you bring the outdoors indoors and they study everything like bringing insects in or little bugs and my little four-year-old daughter my youngest she is not afraid of bugs she’ll go and have she has ism making the fine glass and she just goes and finds a little ant and she’ll put him in the little glass there the jar and just watches like it’s really awesome and that’s that strictly comes from the kind of child care that they receive throughout the days like as a community like I said I see these young comments their children are coming to child care as well so that’s really nice to see and

it’s really young and we need to celebrate that we need to continue that and we need to find ways that we can shorten these weightless wait lists we need to find more centers high quality centers okay thank you that went by so quick so I think that communities like the poverty will be more otherwise a result but it would help then we won’t have poverty in our communities if we have high quality child care that is a war affordable for all families all children and I think all children need to go to child care so they can become social better kind-hearted people that we need to create for this world we live in so I think that’s so neat to see that was stunning you times I’m not sure who everyone else said when I worked in and planed Douglas we did a research project where we took away one of the barriers to getting child care you have to be working or in school in order to get a space anyways we took that barrier way and we gave everyone a space when we open that daycare there’s two parents working full-time five years later there was three parents not working out of 17 families it’s really a hand up and it’s a it’s a tangible way to encourage equity in our province and an equitable start and it’s not only education it’s also health it also affects health I could go on for days but we do need a whole second car honking um okay thank you guys so so much it’s been phenomenal um I think we’ll go with depression so a few that have come in and I’m gonna call on you guys just like I had mentioned just pulling them up um okay um two questions I have first one if someone feels like they want to answer maybe throw up a hand otherwise I’ll call you guys out um why are wages so low for easy ease I feel like Susan you could jump on it yeah um Kate are you able to unmute Susan or Susan II maybe I’m ready to go so this goes back to the very conception that childcare is the service that you should buy and that you should pay for and so when you buy and pay for it that’s the revenue so the revenue is parent fees in Manitoba actually we do a not so bad job parents pay about 58 percent on average of all the revenues that a Center gets and government operating grants are 42 percent of all the revenue but for wait for there to be more money one of two things has to happen either parents have to pay more and that’s already very hard or governments have to be willing to pay more and we figured out a long time ago that if you want to have good public education and we need well-trained teachers and we need schools in every community but we haven’t we haven’t come to that understanding yet for early learning in childcare so it’s a market model and we have governments that don’t want to invest I think that the idea and the minister family said recently Heather Stevenson said something along the lines of you know in this pandemic we figured out how important child kids why we don’t even want to think of it as a social service anymore right because I think they think that money in social services you just dig a big hole and you throw the money in the hole and it goes nowhere right and it’s sexism because we think that women just naturally know how to take care of children we hardly need training they love it so much they’ll just do it for love and so you can pay them crummy wages and they’ll just keep doing it for love no happily easy ease are some of the biggest hearted people you’ll ever meet and they do in fact stay in a field where they don’t get worthy wages but that is not fair and it shouldn’t be tolerated and I hope it isn’t tolerated because it’s just wrong thank you so much okay I’m gonna do one more and then I’m gonna do probably our job so um okay this question is around subsidy I guess I’m looking for more of a comment from someone or or if someone can help to fill it in I’m a parent is saying that

they want better wages for EC’s and they as a single mother didn’t qualify for subsidies why would somebody not qualify for subsidy how does that model work I guess I feel like Laura so the problem with subsidy right now is the household income level that qualifies family for family for the subsidy program is too low so the barrier is the government has set that rate too low for families who actually need subsidy to be able to access subsidy the fix for that is to overhaul the subsidy program and make it accessible to families who truly need it that includes families who need it for more reasons than just employment or school families who need childcare but can’t afford it say for mental health reasons or who is suffering through life-threatening illness all of these are reasons why child needs childcare and a family can’t afford it there needs to be a system in place to help them with that so the long and the short of it is the government has to change the barriers so more families can access subsidy boast both from an income level and from a need-based level okay awesome thank you so much um okay I think we’re gonna jump into a draw and a closing I’m so thankful to have you guys it’s really effective it’s I’m just so thankful one of the other questions was around how can parents help you know being vocal learning what you can about the system the system is complicated and it’s by design it is complicated and they know it’s complicated they really benefit from the general public they governments really benefit from the general public not really understanding a complicated system so the more we can get involved ask questions ask your MLAs talk to people about it and get as much information as you can and ask for action and those are the kinds of things you can do we commit ourselves to doing what we can to inform you guys please sign our petition at www.hsn shil GA and and we commit ourselves to helping give you actions give you tools to be the most effective advocates as parents community members allies as you can be and I appreciate that question I appreciate people’s desire to help it means a lot as an EC and a mother and someone who really believes in childcare at the heart of it okay so here’s my babies hat we had about 17 or so entries I think more actually 19 or 20 entries and I am going to pick oh that one was ready so this is Lynne Mel Martin sorry Lynne mill Martin and I’ll take you guys again on the Facebook page after this so put that one aside and then we got one more gift certificate so Lisa Michelle us we got 20 dollars for you guys from Oh doughnuts please treat yourselves thank you guys so much um so in closing again I just can’t enough that we personally invite every person watching this to sign the petition and volunteer through our website your signature is a commitment to staying informed and helping us along the way where you see fit and to get involved in this campaign this is something that’s going to be long-term and our voices are just getting louder and stronger with the numbers that we accrue and this is a grass roots movement and I’m sitting at a kind but firm reminder that the government works for us our success is directly related to how many of us are actively working together towards this this is not just a parent problem or a female problem this is an equity and equality and a betterment of our whole society and and all of our children children are all of our responsibilities and I think we see that I think there’s a really good movement coming and that the energy has been phenomenal and the uptake has been really inspiring so I’m so so thankful for everyone to be here today Marci I high-g the Gwen you’ll see and thank you guys so much for being here I’m through the moon Thank You Laura Thank You Susan Thank You Carmen Thank

You Jennifer we just turn off the live

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