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Sask government adding 28,000 child care spots

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Oldcorn, Christopher
Publication Date: 
3 Apr 2022


The provincial government is helping families with their child care costs, child care is to have fees at $10 a day by 2025. 

In the 2022-23 budget, the government included $309.6 million in child care and early learning funding. Included in the funding is another fee reduction in September 2022.

There was a fee reduction this past February of up to 50% in licenced centres. Saving families on average between $300-$400 a month per child.

During a press conference, Minister of Education Dustin Duncan was asked about the further fee reduction coming in September.

“Not at this point. We haven’t announced what that reduction will look like. Certainly, the goal is to see a reduction in fees,” said Duncan.

“Parents received a rebate from their centres over the past couple of months. Based on the retroactive fee reduction that we did provide for going back to July 1st of last year.”

Families are still complaining about the lack of child care spots, with the government estimating a wait time of one to two years depending on the location. 

Over the next five years, the government intends to add 28,000 licensed child care spaces.

“As part of our agreement with the federal government, we have to find those 28,000 children and spots for them in the next five years,” said Duncan.

There’s $4.3 million in this year’s budget to add 6,100 new child care spots.

Duncan was asked how the 6,100 spots will be distributed across the province.

“Based on what we hear from communities, community organizations, existing child care providers as a those already providing child care in a private home setting that might have some interest,” said Duncan.

Finding the 28,000 kids is not the hard part — it is finding the early childhood education (ECE) staff. 

There are ECE bursaries in the budget, and $11.4 million for training and support for ECE educators.

“Money in the budget allocated to a number of post-secondary institutes in the province. Sask Poly, SIIT, and others to expand the number of training seats we have in the province,” said Duncan.

The province is looking at new ways to help people get into the profession. 

“There’s also some really interesting work that has been going on and look to expand to see ideas such as dual credit courses so a high school student finishing Grade 12 can get credit in Grade 12 so they can get credit for their ECE level 1. So that when they finish high school, they already have some credits that will go towards their post-secondary education to get their certification,” said Duncan.