Canadians across the country will soon benefit from affordable childcare
By Dami Igbinyemi
Every child deserves the best possible start in life, and all parents should have the ability to build both a family and a career. The pandemic revealed the economic issue with Early learning and childcare. Due to the closure of schools and daycare parents had to remain at home resulting in an all-time low in women in the workforce. Budget 2021 will fund up to $30 billion over the next five years to build an affordable, high-quality childcare system across Canada, with $9.2 billion every year after.
The Government of Canada laid out their plan on reducing fees for parents with children in childcare in Budget 2021 as well as provide affordable, high-quality early learning and childcare no matter where they live. Today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen, and Saskatchewan Education Minister Dustin Duncan announced that Saskatchewan will be joining the $10 a day national early learning and childcare agreement.
“Ensuring that all Canadians have access to high-quality and affordable early learning and childcare makes sense. Not only does it give our children the best possible start in life, it ensures that parents – especially mothers – can work, and it creates good, well-paying jobs for educators. Today’s announcement with the Government of Saskatchewan is another important step in making this a reality for families everywhere in Canada. It is part of the government’s plan to make sure that Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 recession leaves no one behind.”-Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland.
Saskatchewan families will see a 50 percent reduction in fees for children under 6 in regulated childcare. In addition, federal funding of $1.1 billion over the next five years will be allocated to building 280,000 early learning and childcare spaces. This funding will also support the expansion of new childcare spaces for not-for-profit childcare centres, small childcare facilities, and home-based childcare.
This agreement will collaborate with Saskatchewan First Nation and Métis Nation communities to ensure that Indigenous children have access to affordable, high-quality, and culturally appropriate early learning and childcare. It also supports an early learning and childcare system that is inclusive of children with disabilities and children needing enhanced or individual support.
The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan reached an agreement to extend the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Childcare Agreement. The Government of Canada will provide over $68.5 million over four years to childcare spaces as well as a one-time investment of over $17 million in 2021-2022 to support the early childhood workforce.
Saskatchewan joins British Colombia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, and Quebec becoming the eighth province/territory to sign onto this agreement so far.