With negotiations taking longer than expected, Child Care Now Saskatchewan, is hoping the province can reach a new child care agreement with the federal government before the writ drops for a federal election.
“Looking at the other child care agreements, we calculate that Saskatchewan’s share of the federal government’s child care offer is about $1.2 billion, and the Government of Saskatchewan doesn’t have to spend a penny more to get those federal funds,” said Sue Delanoy, spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Child Care Now Saskatchewan Coalition in a release. “All it has to do is agree to lower the cost of parent fees to $10 a day, increase the availability of services for children under six, and improve the wages and working conditions of early childhood educators to attract and retain more qualified staff to the sector. It’s stunning that the province has failed to reach an agreement so far,” she added.
Delanoy said the consensus is strong across the country that lowering parent fees and making early childhood education more readily available will speed up economic recovery from the pandemic, as it would allow mothers with young children to participate in the labour workforce.