YMCA of Regina approves Saskatchewan agreeing to Federal Early Learning and Child Care Agreement

The largest child care provider in Saskatchewan is happy with the announcement of the province entering the Federal Learning and Child Care Agreement.

The YMCA of Regina, like many others in Saskatchewan are pleased with the move that will provide much needed funding in early childhood education. The YMCA believes that the childcare investment of $1.1 billion over five years demonstrates an understanding that there is no economic and social recovery without affordable, accessible, and high quality early learning and childcare.

Steve Compton, CEO for the YMCA in Regina believes that the announcement is important for families who have been impacted through the pandemic. “Even within our own organization with the pandemic, with the lockdowns in effect, we had a lot of staff that were affected to provide care for the families, to continue with their careers. We will realize that it’s going to be critical and it’s disproportionately harder on the female parents in the households that we will see. We’re really excited that this addresses that childcare is going to be affordable.”

Compton added that he’s hopeful that this announcement will allow for the development of a recruitment and retention strategy to address the need for early childhood educators. “There’s a constant need for recruiting early childhood educators, We’re really excited about this because it gives a better economic reality for people as they’re entering that portion of their careers. We’re excited about the opportunity of recruiting and training more early childhood educators because really to provide the services that are here currently, but especially with the growth that is being discussed with the number of spaces over the next five years, that’s going to be critical that we built up that workforce. It’s challenging now, so we’re very excited our sector and the early childhood educators are being recognized.”

With the announcement there has been plenty of talk of potential new spaces for childcare, Compton would like to see repairs to the current facilities. “There’s wear and tear from taking care of children in their facilities, there are capital needs that need to be met over the course of time. We’re excited that the capital is being considered in this. But we’re also hoping that’s balanced between not only the new spots but within the existing facilities as well.”

The agreement will see an average of $10 a day for early learning and child care for Saskatchewan families by the end of 2025-26.

By the end of 2022, Saskatchewan families will see a 50%  reduction in average parent fees for children under age six in regulated child care

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