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Briefs March 8, 2012

Ukraine sees sharp rise in corn-sowing area

kiev / reuters / Ukrainian farmers are expected to increase corn acreage to 4.5 million to five million hectares, up from 3.6 million hectares in 2011, to make up for winter grain plantings lost to drought and cold weather. About 3.5 million hectares of winter grains will have to be reseeded, with about 1.4 million of those replaced with corn.

Farm Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk has said Ukraine could harvest up to 16 million tonnes of wheat this year, of which three-quarters will be needed for domestic consumption.

New funding supports rural childcare

Staff / The Manitoba government is putting $400,000 into support for early learning and childcare in smaller centres in rural and northern communities, Premier Greg Selinger announced Feb. 29.

“In some communities there are only a few families who have early learning and childcare needs, but for the parents looking for that care, the need is as real as it is in larger communities,” said Selinger. “We recognize that and want to help ensure quality early learning and childcare is available to parents across the province.”

The announcement is part of the NDP’s Family Choices commitment to add 6,500 more funded spaces and to enhance 1,000 nursery spaces in the province. As well, it increases wages and introduces the first-ever province-wide pension plan for childcare workers.

The new funding will help small centres remain financially stable and improve wages for their early childhood educators.

Improvements include:

  •  Funds to help ensure long-term viability for more than 200 existing unfunded spaces that were operating prior to April 1, 2011, at 23 small centres throughout Manitoba; and
  •  Consistent funding for small rural and northern early learning and childcare centres so they don’t lose funding if enrolment drops on a seasonal basis such as in farm communities during winter.

This program will apply to centres in rural and northern communities with up to 40 spaces or to a centre that is the only organization providing service in a small community.

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