The government of Saskatchewan has announced a new grant for licensed providers in Saskatchewan so that they can lower parents’ “out of pocket” fees retroactively to July 2021. The fee reduction grants are funded by the federal government and are the first step to lowering parent fees to an average of $10 a day as required by the Saskatchewan-Government of Canada child care funding agreement signed last September.
The actual amount of the grant will vary from provider to provider, just as the fee reductions will vary, based on the current level of fees, which also vary. The Saskatchewan government says fee payers can expect to see their fees reduced by $306/month to up to $395/month depending on the age of the child and the type of child care. According to the 2020 annual fee survey carried out by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the median fee for infant child care programs is $900/month in Saskatoon and $850/month in Regina.
Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Education is encouraging unlicensed child care providers to become licensed so that they can be eligible for the fee reduction grant and lower the fees for children in those programs.
Sue Delanoy, spokesperson for Child Care Now’s Saskatchewan chapter, welcomed the government’s quick action to bring down the cost of licensed child care but said it will be very important for provincial and federal government officials to consult with child care advocates in making further changes in the funding and delivery of child care services.
“Everyone is excited about the changes in child care, and everyone has a stake in the transformation of the child care system including children, parents, those who work in the sector, and the very diverse groups that make up our communities, so it will be really important for all levels of government to engage in meaningful consultations before making decisions,” Delanoy said.