Saskatchewan’s Official Opposition says some single moms are being left in the lurch because of the provincial government’s “botched rollout of ten-dollar-a-day childcare”.
Childcare and Early Learning Critic Meara Conway explains that moms who work part-time are being told they are no longer eligible for the childcare spaces they have relied on.
In front of the Legislature today (Tues), the Official Opposition was joined by representatives of licensed childcare spaces in Saskatoon, Whitewood, Carnduff and Moosomin.
They say the current wait for a full time spot can be more than a year, and they weren’t consulted about the implementation of this program before it was announced a month ago.
Education Minister Dustin Duncan replied that when they signed the deal with the federal government, they looked to have more flexibility and he continues to talk with the Families, Children and Social Development Ministry about that.
The province will work with childcare facilities to best determine how to adjust the fee structures to adhere to the new $217 per month or $10 per day, and in the meantime, the Ministry will continue to provide funding based on the total number of children under the age of six enrolled until June 30th.
Conway suggests that not having childcare could force some women to leave their jobs.
As well during Question Period, NDP Leader Carla Beck gave a few examples of how the health care system isn’t working, particularly for rural Saskatchewan: “A woman forced to give birth on the side of the road because services were not available in Meadow Lake, dozens turning out to a public town hall in Delisle and no one from that government even bothered to show up, a sign posted in the hospital in Kamsack telling people to go down the road to Canora, and if you went to Canora you would find a sign telling you to go to Kamsack.”
Premier Scott Moe replied that the government announced a four point plan last fall to recruit, train, incentivize and retain front-line health care workers to bolster the workforce across the province.
He notes an increase in services in communities like North Battleford, Humboldt, Esterhazy, Assiniboia and Shellbrook.