The government is working to increase the number of regulated child care spaces

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The Government of Saskatchewan announced this week that 601 new regulated child care spaces have been allocated across the province.

This is part of the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care (ECEC) Canada-Saskatchewan Agreement signed in August, in which the province pledged to create 28,000 new licensed child care spaces over the course of over the next five years. The target for this exercise is around 6,000, with another 6,000 on board next year.

Assistant Deputy Minister of Education Gerry Craswell says they hope a number of currently unlicensed institutions will apply for accreditation.

“We are hoping that many people who operate unlicensed home child care services get licensed. There are a number of advantages to this. There are financial benefits as well as professional development and other supports. Once they get their license, they will be able to offer reduced child care costs to their families, just like other licensed child care centers. “

Funding for these spaces comes from the federal government, and the province is planning $ 1.1 billion over the next five years. The money will be used to increase the wages of ECE workers as well as provide additional training opportunities to help those who become ECE workers or to help current ECE workers advance.

Craswell, provides details on the allocation of the newly announced spaces.

“A third of the spaces will be used to expand daycare centers or existing organizations. And the other two-thirds, or roughly 400, will go to brand new child care centers that will open across the province in the coming months.

Seating is allocated in rural and urban locations across the province at Borden, Central Butte, Edenwold, Foam Lake, Hepburn, Humboldt, Kindersley, Kyle, Lucky Lake, Middle Lake, Mossbank, North Battleford, Odessa, Prince Albert, Raymore , Regina, Rosetown, Saskatoon, Stockholm and Vicount.

Craswell adds that currently in the first round no spots are allocated to Swift Current, however, he says there is a waiting list and it is only the first round that is announced.

The ELCC agreement aims to support four aspects, including affordability, improved workforce, access and inclusion.

Craswell adds that the government is also working on $ 10 per day in child care for all families by 2025/2026. The intermediate goal is to cut fees in half on average by the end of 2022. The government is currently ahead and recently announced the reduction in fees for parents retroactively to July 1. Families will recover a significant portion of their fees paid to their licensed child care provider. By February, the amount paid at the door will be reduced from $ 300 to $ 395 per child.

Additionally, Craswell reminds families who are currently in unlicensed child care that when providers are licensed they are eligible for a number of grants as well as the Parent Fee Reduction Grant which will begin as soon as possible. that the installation will be approved and will be retroactive to the time they applied for a license.

More than 1,900 child care spaces have been allocated across Saskatchewan since the signing of the first federal agreement on ECEC in March 2018. With the addition of these spaces, the province will have allocated funding for 7,711 new spaces since 2007, an increase of almost 84%. .

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