Released on November 9, 2021
Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced a more than $4.8 million partnership with Collège Mathieu, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) to develop and deliver accelerated early childhood education training opportunities.
"Saskatchewan is the best place in Canada to raise a family and with more families moving here, it is important that we train the necessary early childhood education staff," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. "We are pleased to partner with post-secondary institutions to increase training opportunities for early childhood educators and bring more people into the profession."
This investment is part of over $17 million of one-time federal funding to support the early childhood workforce that is part of the recently announced extension of the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
“Early childhood educators are at the heart of a high-quality child care system,” Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould said. “Investing in early childhood training opportunities will support their growth and the growth of a quality child care system in Saskatchewan.”
The investment will help increase certification levels among Early Childhood Educators (ECEs). It will also fund accelerated certificate or diploma training, support high school students and adult learners pursuing careers in early childhood education, and support continuous professional learning and skills enhancement opportunities for ECEs. Information about training opportunities, eligibility requirements and tuition costs can be found on the websites of Collège Mathieu, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and SIIT.
An additional $1.9 million is available for licensed child care facilities to support staff participation in the ECE training and professional learning opportunities offered by the three post-secondary institutions. Information will be shared with licensed child care facilities on how to access this funding.
"In collaboration with post-secondary institutions, we offer quality training and professional learning opportunities for the early learning and child care sector," Advanced Education Minister Gene Makowsky said. "Increasing the number of trained early childhood educators will ensure our province continues to provide quality programs to our youngest citizens."
"Thank you to the Government of Saskatchewan and Government of Canada for providing funding to train more early childhood educators," Saskatchewan Polytechnic President and CEO Dr. Larry Rosia said. "Making investments in the early learning sector supports the future of our province and the long-term viability of our economy. Saskatchewan Polytechnic's educational expertise will empower this training of early childhood educators to ensure our children get a great start in life."
"Quality, culturally enriched early childhood education is a vital service for Saskatchewan families," SIIT Vice President - Academic Tavia Laliberte said. "More accessible child care not only support families' abilities to contribute to the economic and social development of the province today, but fosters the next generation of healthy, community-minded citizens, and SIIT is excited to be a part of this expansion of programming."
"This collaboration between the Government of Saskatchewan and Collège Mathieu will promote better access to flexible training and an enhancement of the Early Childhood Education program offered by our institution, to increase a Francophone workforce and fill the shortage of human resources in early childhood centres," Collège Mathieu Executive Director Francis Kasongo said. "It will also contribute to the professional development and enrichment of any person, Francophone or Francophile, who is already working or considering a career in the field of Early Childhood Education."
On November 3, 2021, the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan announced that $9.6 million of the $17 million in one-time federal funding to support the early childhood workforce is being invested to fund a wage increase for qualified ECEs to support the recruitment and retention of trained early childhood educators in the province. This is also part of the recently announced extension of the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
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. This includes a historic federal investment of close to $1.1 billion in child care for Saskatchewan. The goal is to bring fees for regulated child care down to $10 per day on average within the next five years. By the end of 2022, the Government of Canada is aiming to reduce average fees for regulated early learning and child care by 50 per cent to make it more affordable for families.
For more information, contact:Chelsey Balaski