Federal and Provincial Governments partner to lower child care cost

A partnership between the Federal and Provincial Governments will lower the cost of child care in Saskatchewan by 70 per cent.

Starting September 1, a family of an infant in full-time regulated child care can expect to pay up to $550 less per month than they paid in January 2022. This represents an average of 70 per cent reduction.

Full-time fees for families will not be reduced to below $200 a month. This is a significant step towards reaching average daily parent fees of $ 10 daily for regulated child care spaces by March 2026.

The fee reduction is part of close to $1.1 billion being invested in transforming child care in Saskatchewan from the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

Karina Gould, Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, was in Regina at the Prarie Lily Early Learning Centre at the Sacred School.

“I think this is such an exciting moment in Saskatchewan, but also across the country as we are truly building a new system for children,” she said. “For our children, who we want to give the best possible start in life too, the impact is going to have a long-term effect on their development and their equal access to opportunities.”

Gould said not only does the announcement mean great things for children but also families.

“It’s about making sure that there is more affordability in their lives,” she said. “Many women make the decision as to whether they are going to continue working based on the cost of child care because, in some instances, it’s equal to or more than their take-home pay each month. The long-term impact, the immediate impact on women’s financial viability and on the family income is huge.”

Gould said anytime they can improve child care, it’s a home run for everyone involved.

“It’s good for our kids, it’s good for families, and it’s good for our economy,” she stated. “Sometimes we hear, well, what about choice? For many, there is no choice because they can’t afford child care; they can’t afford to make those choices because of the high costs, and what this is actually enabling is that choice to happen.”

“I think this is a really exciting moment. Saskatchewan had made a really great process, and there is still a lot more to do; I’m excited to work in partnership with the government, with all of the providers, stakeholders and parents and to do something that is going to make such a tremendous and transformative impact here in Saskatchewan and right across the country.”

Parent fee reductions represent spending of $13.4 million over the last fiscal year and a total of $74 million for 2022-23.

There are approximately 16,000 regulated child care spaces for children under six in Saskatchewan child care homes and centres.

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