NewsProvincial

Province Lowers Child Care Fees by 70%

The governments of Saskatchewan and Canada have taken another important step to improve affordability and further reduce regulated child care fees for families with children under six. Starting September 1, 2022, parent fees for regulated child care will be reduced by an average of 70 per cent compared to March 2021 levels.

This fee reduction, the second announced this year, is part of close to $1.1 billion being invested to transform child care in Saskatchewan through the 2021-22 to 2025-26 Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement by making regulated child care more affordable for Saskatchewan families. Parent fee reductions represent spending of $13.4 million over the last fiscal year and a total of $74 million for 2022-23.

“With this latest fee reduction, we are one step closer to our goal of $10-a-day child care by 2025-26.” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. “Fee reductions for regulated child care spaces is the latest way our government is putting more money back in the pockets of families across the province.”

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

“I’m thrilled about the great progress that we are making towards reducing child care fees in Saskatchewan,” Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould said. “It is making a real difference, families in the province are saving thousands of dollars and this investment provides much-needed support to help reduce the cost of living.”

“A further reduction in child care fees will ensure that families in our community have an opportunity to access affordable, high quality early learning and child care services,” Executive Director of Accent on Kids in Yorkton, Rhonda Oystrick said. “Some parents’ decision about whether or not to return to work will be directly influenced by more affordable child care. The financial strain on families with children in child care will be alleviated while maintaining high quality child care.”

With the September 1 fee reduction, 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 of 2022. This represents an average of 70 per cent reduction. Child care homes and centres set their own fees, meaning there is a range of fees families may pay. Full time fees will not be reduced to below $200 a month for families. This is a significant step towards reaching, average daily parent fees of $10-a-day for regulated child care spaces by March 2026.

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, which was announced around one year ago, can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/early-learning-child-care-agreement/agreements-provinces-territories/saskatchewan-canada-wide-2021.html.

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