Released on May 9, 2022
The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are working to support families with young children by creating new opportunities to make child care more inclusive. Funding from a child care inclusion grant available through the Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Early Learning and Child Care Agreement will go to three Saskatchewan programs aimed at improving inclusion initiatives in child care. A total of $856,000 is allocated to the implementation of these initiatives.
A total of $184,000 is allocated to Hope's Home to embed staff with skills specific to caring for children with medically complex needs under the age of six. This is in addition to the nearly $3 million Hope's Home receives from the Ministry of Education.
Early Childhood Intervention programs in Regina and Saskatoon will receive $136,000 each for a total of $272,000 to fund two developmental consultant roles in each location to help build skills in licensed child care facilities. The third program funded allocates $80,000 for each of five child care facilitator positions in Early Years Family Resource Centres across the province.
"We know that programs like Hope's Home, Early Childhood Intervention Programs and Early Years Family Resource Centres make a positive impact on Saskatchewan families," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. "This funding enhances the services available through these critical programs, to continue to support families with vulnerable children and children living with a disability."
The programs receiving funding for these initiatives already have track records of success in supporting Saskatchewan families. Saskatchewan Early Childhood Intervention Programs (ECIP) have already been working with child care centres and this initiative will create several new opportunities to build inclusive environments within the sector. Early Years Family Resource Centres were able to welcome 15,400 people in person between April 2020 and March 2021, delivering a wide variety of supportive early years programming.
“We want the best possible outcome for all children in Canada,” said Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “These programs will help grow our Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system, working towards making child care fully inclusive so all children have the best possible start in life.”
In addition to improving the services families of vulnerable children and children with disabilities can access, these agreements have funded initiatives that support early childhood educators through training and wage increases, programs that support young families such as Early Years Family Resource Centres, and improved affordability for parents of children in regulated child care.
"At Hope's Home, we pride ourselves in providing families with a safe and inclusive environment for their children to play and be kids, regardless of any medical needs they may have," Early Learning and Child Care Senior Manager Lisa Wyatt said. "We are pleased to be able to expand upon and continue this important work, thanks to this additional funding. We are extremely grateful for the acknowledgement of the unique services we provide within the province of Saskatchewan."
The Government of Canada made 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 nearly $1.1 billion for Saskatchewan. Through the Canada-wide system, all families in the country will have access to regulated early learning and child care for an average cost of $10-a-day by March 2026.
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:Chelsey Balaski