Released on November 19, 2021
Since signing the early learning and child care agreements with the federal government in August, the Government of Saskatchewan has delivered a wage increase and training opportunities for early childhood educators (ECEs) ensuring families and their children have access to high quality and inclusive child care in the province.
Today, the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan announced that as a first step toward making child care more affordable for children aged 0 to 5, funding will be provided to licensed facilities that will reduce parents’ out-of-pocket child care fees by about half on average, retroactive to July 1, 2021. This initial reduction is the first step toward reaching the 2025-26 goal of, on average, $10 a day licensed child care in Saskatchewan.
“The Government of Saskatchewan remains committed to making life more affordable for families,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. "Through reducing fees and delivering more child care options, we are continuing to build a stronger Saskatchewan for families across the province.”
Funding is being provided through the Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement signed in August 2021.
“Our government’s goal is to ensure that in five years, all families, no matter where they live, will have access to regulated early learning and child care for an average of $10 a day,” Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould, said. “This is a meaningful step toward achieving that goal. We are happy that many families in Saskatchewan will benefit from a significant fee reduction of hundreds of dollars per month on average as envisioned in the Canada-wide plan.”
All families with children under the age of six who are in provincially licensed child care are eligible to receive the parent fee reduction grant, which will range from up to $306/month to up to $395/month depending on the age of the child and the type of child care. Funding will be supplied directly to licensed facilities and will be used to reduce parent fees.
Depending on age of the child and the fees they have paid, parents can expect a refund for a portion of the child care fees they have paid dating back to July 1, 2021. For example, a parent with a toddler that has been in licensed child care since July 1, 2021, and that paid $700 a month, can expect a refund of just under $2,000. Going forward, by February 1, 2022, the fees parents pay out of pocket will be significantly reduced.
Grants to reduce parent fees will be provided to licensed homes and child care centres based on the average provincial parent fees and actual enrolments. Child care providers will be responsible for the distribution of funds to eligible families for the retroactive component. Funding will be provided to existing licensed child care homes and centres retroactive to July 1, 2021. Following that, the grants provided to child care facilities will enable them to provide service at significantly reduced fees.
“Addressing affordability is an exciting initial step in building an Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) system in Saskatchewan,” Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association Executive Director Georgia Lavallee said. “High quality ELCC is a right of all children, which many do not have access to due to high fees. Children in Saskatchewan will have equitable opportunities to the best start in their lives reducing ELCC fees.”
Information from licensed providers will be gathered to determine enrolment information that will be used to calculate the amount of funding required for the parent fee grant.
The actual amounts for the retroactive payment back to July 1, 2021, and the reduced out of pocket fees will vary based on what each provider currently charges and the age of your child. Parents or caregivers who have questions about the grant can contact the ministry’s Early Years branch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-855-824-9419.
The parent fee reduction grant will only be provided to child care facilities that are licensed with the Ministry of Education. The ministry continues to encourage existing unlicensed child care providers to become licensed so families can start benefiting from the fee reduction. Upon becoming licensed, currently operating unlicensed providers will be eligible to receive funding to reduce parent fees retroactive to the date of their completed application submission.
More information on how to become a licensed child care facility can be found at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/business/entrepreneurs-start-or-exit-a-business/start-a-business/managing-a-child-care-business/start-a-child-care-centre.
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
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould