Today, the Government of Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada announced an investment of $2.59 million to fund one-time grants in support of the recruitment and retention of certified Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and group family child care assistants to regulated child care centres and group family child care homes in the province.
"The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to supporting the recruitment and retention of more Early Childhood Educators and group family child care assistants to our growing province," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. "Saskatchewan ECEs are essential to providing quality early learning and support for our youngest learners, and these grants aim to help promote and attract more people to the profession."
Saskatchewan regulated child care centres and group family child care homes will receive a one-time grant of $145 per regulated child care space for children up to the age of six to assist with each facility's unique workforce needs, such as one-time investments into benefit or pension funds, signing bonuses or to attend career fairs. This investment will be made through the Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement for the Early Learning and Child Care Workforce Enhancement Grant.
"We want the best possible outcome for all children in Canada," Canada's Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould said. "As work is being done to expand the number of child care spaces, this grant helps ensure child care providers can continue to provide access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care across the province."
Provincial group family child care homes and child care centres will receive more information and application forms for the Early Learning and Childcare Workforce Enhancement Grants from the Ministry of Education starting from today.
“This announcement is another step in providing resources to the Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) sector as we move forward in building an ELCC system,” Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association Executive Director Georgia Lavallee said. “This grant can help fortify our sector and support Early Childhood Educators in our province.”
The Early Learning and Child Care Workforce Enhancement Grant is just one part of a larger initiative by the Governments of Saskatchewan and Canada to implement a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System.
Last month, the province announced an investment of $5.4 million for increased wages for ECEs and in August 2022, the government announced free post-secondary training for ECEs. These are only some of the steps taken to ensure high-quality early childhood education programs and services are available to all Saskatchewan children.