National Newswatch
National Opinion Centre

Manitoba announced last week that it would be closing public schools, but leaving childcare centres open. Officials explained that childcare centres provide essential support to parents working during the COVID-19 crisis. A question soon began making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook: “Why are childcare programs in Manitoba not important enough to get adequate funding, but too important to close?” The question, credited to an early childhood educator, is reasonable. It has taken a pandemic to put the paradox of childcare in 21st century Canada in sharp relief: our provision of childcare is exceedingly fragile yet childcare is an essential service critical to economic activity.

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