Excerpted from press release
The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are announcing the addition of 1,202 new licensed not-for-profit child care facility spaces in 21 Saskatchewan communities as they continue to support families by providing better access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care. These additional spaces are part of a shared goal to create 28,000 new child care spaces in the province by the end of March 2026. Today’s announcement follows the December 2021 expansion of 601 new spaces.
“Every child deserves the best start in life,” said Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould. “These additional child care spaces will help grow our Canada-wide early learning and child care system, allowing more children and families from Saskatchewan to access high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care.”
“Our government supports parents who are seeking child care services,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. “This increased investment will allow more opportunities for families to find accessible child care near them.”
The Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, signed in August 2021, provides a federal investment of nearly $1.1 billion over five years for child care in Saskatchewan. With an average of 50 per cent child care fee reductions already announced in the province, the goal is to bring down average fees for regulated child care to $10-a-day by the end of March 2026.
The 1,202 new spaces will be integrated into communities either through new child care facilities or added into existing facilities. Some existing facilities may also choose to add additional sites.
The communities that will benefit from the spaces announced today are Asquith, Bethune, Bredenbury, Grayson, Gull Lake, Hague, Humboldt, Kindersley, Lloydminster, Martensville, Milestone, Moose Jaw, Montmartre, Pilot Butte, Outlook, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Warman and Zenon Park.
“Natural Wonders Early Learning Centre looks forward to the opening of 77 new licensed spaces for ages 0-5 in the early fall of 2022,” Natural Wonders Executive Director Sheila Paradis said. “It is encouraging to see the allocation of funding from the bilateral agreement open spaces in rural Saskatchewan which will shorten wait times allowing all families in our community access to high-quality, inclusive, regulated early learning. Providing holistic environments for children which are based on best practice with career-minded, well-educated, and fairly compensated educators is a priority in our early learning and child care programs.”
Funding for the creation of licensed child care spaces is allocated by the province throughout the year and is approved based on community need and each organization’s readiness to move into the development stage. As part of the overall goal to create 28,000 new regulated child care spaces, the province continues to encourage the licensing of existing child care homes.
The Government of Canada is making a transformative investment to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system in partnership with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners. The goal is to bring fees for regulated child care down to $10-a-day on average by March 2026. By the end of 2022, the Government of Canada is aiming to reduce average fees for regulated early learning and child care across the country by 50 per cent to make it more affordable for families. More than half of Canada’s provinces and territories, including Saskatchewan, have either announced child care fee reductions or have already achieved an average cost of $10-a-day or lower for regulated child care.