The federal and provincial governments announced today that they are investing an additional $300,000 to help 24 child-care facilities implement Indigenous-focused cultural programming.

Provincial Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko says that the province is committed to ensuring all children in Manitoba have access to inclusive, culturally appropriate child-care programming that reflects and celebrates the province’s diversity.

“During previous intakes, there was an overwhelming demand from child-care facilities for funding to integrate Indigenous cultural components into programming. I’m pleased this additional investment will support these 24 centres in this important work,” Minister Ewasko adds.

The province says that today’s announcement is part of ongoing work to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, specifically number 12, which calls for the development of culturally appropriate early childhood education programs for Indigenous families.

Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould says that grounding early learning and child care in culture, language and traditions leads to better outcomes for Indigenous children and for their communities.

"Connection to culture builds self-esteem, confidence and resilience that can benefit a child’s health and well-being throughout their entire life," Minister Gould adds.

According to the Manitoba government, the Indigenous Programming Grant allows child-care facilities to invest in the equipment, resources and supplies needed to integrate Indigenous cultural components into programming. 

The province says that the funding also supports professional development opportunities for staff to expand their knowledge of Indigenous culture and traditions, and incorporate this knowledge within curriculums.

They also say that 24 child-care facilities will each receive grants between $5,000 and $25,000, depending on the number of infant and preschool spaces offered and these facilities applied for grants during the 2020-21 Indigenous Programming Grant intake.

More information can be found on the Province of Manitoba website.