With a federal election likely to be called very soon, child care advocates are anxious that the Saskatchewan government move quickly to negotiate a child care agreement with the federal government so that work can begin right away on making regulated services more affordable and available for Saskatchewan families.
“Looking at the other child care agreements, we calculate that Saskatchewan’s share of the federal government’s child care offer is about $1.2 billion and the Government of Saskatchewant doesn’t have to spend a penny more to get those federal funds,” said Sue Delanoy, spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Child Care Now Saskatchewan Coalition. “All it has to do is agree to lower the cost of parent fees to $10 a day, increase the availability of services for children under six, and improve the wages and working conditions of early childhood educators to attract and retain more qualified staff to the sector. It’s stunning that the province has failed to reach an agreement so far.”
Delanoy said that there is a strong consensus across Canada that bringing down parent fees and making early learning child care more available will speed up economic recovery from the pandemic because it will enable mothers with young children to participate in the paid labour force. She noted that the finance minister of Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government made exactly this point when he signed the child care agreement between his province and the Government of Canada, which was announced this week.
We believe that Saskatchewan families deserve a high quality, accessible, affordable, and culturally safe system of early learning child care. This is our chance as a province to build a stronger, made-in-Saskatchewan system of early learning child care – one that is responsive to the needs and priorities of our province.
For more information, please contact:
Sue Delanoy, Advocate
Child Care Now Saskatchewan