Released on April 27, 2022
The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan have taken another step toward improving affordability and reducing regulated child care fees for families with children under six. A second round of reimbursement payments were provided to parents last month through regulated child care facilities to offset parents’ costs for the period from November 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022. This is in addition to the first round of reimbursements paid in late 2021, which provided parents with reimbursements from July 1, 2021 to October 31, 2021. Parents began paying reduced fees to their regulated provider on February 1, 2022.
This fee reduction is part of $1.09 billion being invested through the 2021-22 to 2025-26 Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement to make regulated child care more affordable for Saskatchewan families.
"We are excited about this next step towards improved affordability for child care," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. "The Ministry of Education is interested in helping unregulated child care providers, many of which provide child care out of their homes, become regulated. This will benefit families who use their services by allowing them to pay reduced child care fees."
It is not difficult to become a regulated child care centre or home as the ministry has training and supports available to those who apply to become regulated. Those facilities who become licensed are eligible to receive grants to reduce parent fees retroactive to the date of application.
The current parent fees for children under six in regulated early learning and child care programs represent a 50 per cent, on average, reduction from March 31, 2021. This is a significant step toward achieving an average parent fee of $10-a- day by the end of the fiscal year 2025-26.
“The Government of Canada’s goal is to ensure that, by the end of March 2026, all families in Canada, 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. “The reduction of fees is already making a real difference for families across the province. We will continue to work with Saskatchewan to help ensure that children have access to the high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care they need to succeed.”
As of February 1, 2022, average regulated child care fees in Saskatchewan dropped from just over $800 a month to just over $400 a month for infants. The average monthly cost to have a toddler or preschooler in regulated child care ranged from $626 to $758 before the fee reductions. Now, parents of a toddler or preschooler pay on average $323 to $392 a month.
With most child care reimbursement payments now back in parents’ pockets, the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan will focus on a funding review before the next step of reaching, on average, $10-a-day regulated child care.
Funding in the province’s 2022-23 Budget will support a further reduction of parent fees as early as September 2022 to continue to improve the affordability of quality child care for Saskatchewan families.
For more information on child care affordability, please see the Parent Child Care Affordability Information Sheet for Families by visiting https://publications.saskatchewan.ca/#/products/115285 and the Parent Fee Grant Information sheet for Child Care Centres and Homes by visiting https://publications.saskatchewan.ca/#/products/115284.
The 2021-22 to 2025-26 Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/early-learning-child-care-agreement/agreements-provinces-territories/saskatchewan-canada-wide-2021.html.
For more information, contact:
Office of Karina Gould
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development