Saskatchewan childcare will be coming into some funding to help offset the pressure of inflation.
A total of $44 million was announced by the federal and provincial governments on January 31 in a provincial release, as three one-time grants.
Shaylene Salazar, the executive director of the Early Learning and Childcare Renewal branch at the Ministry of Education, expanded on the details.
"In August of 2021, Saskatchewan entered into a $1.1 billion agreement with the federal government, with the vision that all families in Saskatchewan have access to affordable, high-quality childcare," she said. "These grants are to assist childcare providers with managing rising operating costs while they're maintaining quality programming."
The operating grant of $15 million, means that approximately $750 will go into each eligible regulated childcare space to help keep up with rising costs.
A preventative maintenance and repair grant for proactive maintenance of structural, plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems, totals $27 million, and grant amounts are space dependent.
The third, a winter season grant, comes in at $2 million or $100 for each childcare centre to purchase equipment and materials that encourage outdoor physical activity and winter play.
"With the rising costs that we're all facing, there was some concern that we needed to support childcare facilities out there so that they can maintain their quality programming," Salazar said. "Childcare is a pretty important piece in terms of the economy, and supporting families that are out working in the economy. As part of the Government of Saskatchewan, we have a goal of making things affordable for families, and so this agreement and these initiatives fit well."
The funding for all three one-time grants is provided through the Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement signed in August 2021, which provides a federal investment of nearly $1.1 billion over five years to support access to high-quality, inclusive, affordable, and flexible programs and services for children under the age of six in Saskatchewan.