$27.7 million to build child care spaces in Saskatchewan

Addressing the need for more child care spaces in Saskatchewan was the goal of an announcement made in Regina Monday.

Two Federal ministers — Hon. Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and Hon. Kamal Khera, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, were there to announce $27.7 million over a four year span, including $19.1 million through 2025–2026, to build more child care spaces across Saskatchewan. 

It is part of the Feds’ $625-million Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund to support capital projects. The funding is being touted as helping Saskatchewan towards the goal of 28,000 new child care spaces by 2026. 

Sameema Haque, Assistant Deputy Minister from the Ministry of Education, was also on hand for the announcement made at the YMCA Child Care Centre of Regina. She was there in place of Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill who was unable to attend.

Minister Anandasangaree said the reason behind the funding is to help those millennial and Gen Z parents who face financial pressures when starting a family.

“For some the dream of having a family seem almost impossible. And we know that when child care is too expensive or simply not available, it’s hard to support a family. Costs of child care can add up to a second mortgage or rent payment. This isn’t fair to parents, especially moms, who have to face tough choices between a careers and starting a family.”

Anandasangaree pointed to the provinces and territories either offering or on track to offer $10-a-day regulated child care, something the Saskatchewan government has signed on to. He said the Feds have announced over 100,000 new spaces, well on the way to reaching the goal of creating 250,000 new spaces by March 2026.

“This is going to make such a huge difference in the lives of so many families right here in Regina and across the province,” Minister Khera said. “Every family deserves access to high quality inclusive childcare. No parent should ever have to choose between a career or raising a family. It really is about supporting the young generation that’s here today but also supporting and… ensuring, that more women are entering the workforce.”

She noted that ever since the federal government began investing in early learning, women’s labour force participation has gone up 85.7 per cent. “It actually goes to show that it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s actually a smart economic policy.”

The hope from the province is this funding will go a long way towards addressing child care needs, both in the cities where there have been long waiting lists, as well as in rural areas. Minister Anandasangaree said the funding does allow for rural and Indigenous communities to be supported by additional child care spaces.

“This really is to showcase that collaboration,” said Khera. “This is what happens when governments work together, to actually deliver for Canadians, when they’re delivering for young people across this country.”

More from GX94 Radio