MANITOBA’S 7,000 child-care workers — including those who operate home-based daycares — will soon qualify for pension benefits, according to an article by Larry Kusch in the Winnipeg Free Press.
Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh said the child-care sector, aided by a 50% increase in wages in the past decade, has been doing a better job at recruiting workers in recent years, but a bigger effort was needed to retain them. The government hopes a guarantee of a retirement income will help.
All child-care workers will qualify, Mackintosh said in an interview Wednesday. “Unlike some other pension plans, this is for full-time and part-time (employees).”
The program is expected to cost the province up to $6.6 million a year once it’s fully implemented.
Workers employed by child-care centres and nurseries will be able to enroll in a defined-contribution pension plan. Their contributions — four per cent of salary — will be matched by the province. The plan will be open to child-care assistants as well as educators.
For home-based providers, the province will reimburse 50 per cent of annual RRSP contributions up to $1,700. Mackintosh said the child-care sector was adamant current long-term employees also be recognized, so the province has agreed to pay such workers a lump-sum payment upon retirement, equivalent to four days of pay per year of service to a maximum of 10 years.
“This is the first provincewide pension plan (for daycare workers) outside of Quebec — perhaps on the continent even,” said Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh. Coverage will start Dec. 1. READ MORE
6,971 Number of child-care workers in Manitoba
$32,000 Starting wage for early childhood educators
3,500 Number of new child-care spaces that have been funded since April 2008 under a provincial plan to add 6,500 by 2013
2,000 Number of child-care workers that have been added to the sector in the last five years
Source: Province of Manitoba