Poll shows majority of Manitobans want universal child care
A new poll shows Manitobans want a universal child care system.
According to the poll by Probe Research, 75 per cent of people surveyed want to see a system where every child who needs a space gets one. The poll also showed that 22 per cent of those surveyed believe this should be a top priority of the new Progressive Conservative government.
Of those surveyed, 58 per cent said they would be willing to pay a little more in taxes for a universal child care system. Only 11 per cent of people surveyed think it’s easy to find child care in the province.
The Manitoba Child Care Association hired Probe Research to conduct this survey, and three others over the coming weeks.
As of Sept. 30 this year, more than 15,200 children were on a waiting list for a child care spot.A majority of Manitobans support a universal child care system even if it means paying more in taxes.
The findings are from a Probe Research poll prepared for the Manitoba Child Care Association.
The organization said it highlights the difficult situation parents’ face finding care for their kids.
Winnipeg resident Crystal Arnold is preparing to relinquish daytime parenting duties and head back to work, meaning the chore of finding child care for her son Gabriel looms.
"Before he was born that's the main sort of comment I would get from other experienced parents was, 'are you on the daycare list yet, are you on the registry yet,” she said.
Her son's name is on the province's Online Child Care Registry.
As of Sept. 30, there were more than 15,000 other Manitoba children – all in line for a licensed child care space.
"It's a little concerning, presuming that there's that kind of wait,” Arnold said.
A majority of Manitobans support a universal child care system in the province, with 58 per cent of respondents in the Probe Research poll commissioned by the Manitoba Child Care Association saying they'd be willing to pay "a little more in taxes" to make that happen.
"In a universal system there would be a space for every child that needs one,” said MCCA executive director Pat Wege. “Parents wouldn't be having the kind of wait that they're experiencing now."
75 per cent of respondents said child care is too expensive and only 11 per cent of respondents said it's easy to find child care.
Wege hopes the survey results send a message to the provincial government.
"Child care is now an essential public service and Manitoba needs to do better," she said
Arnold said a slight bump in taxes for a universal system would be okay with her.
"To guarantee spots for everyone, I think so. I think it would take the stress off," Arnold said.
This is just the first of four Probe Research polls on child care commissioned by the Manitoba Child Care Association.
The organization also commissioned surveys to get feedback from parents, child care workers and business owners about the state of child care in the province.
In a statement, Manitoba’s Minister of Families Scott Fielding said the government is reviewing the results of the poll and its methodology.
Fielding said the Manitoba government is completing a comprehensive child care plan to "remove red tape and improve access to affordable child care.”