Construction Begins on a Child Care Centre for At-Risk Moms in Saskatoon
Single moms in Saskatoon’s EGADZ residential program will soon have an easier time finding care for their children while they complete their education or look for work. Construction will begin in the New Year on a child care centre with 22 spaces at Sweet Dreams, EGADZ’s supported living home for at-risk single mothers.
The Government of Saskatchewan invested $355,000 in the project, the Government of Canada provided $207,000 through its Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) and $19,000 came from the City of Saskatoon.
“Every mom deserves the opportunity to create a better future for her children,” Education Minister Don Morgan said. “Soon the moms at Sweet Dreams will have a safe and caring environment for their children while they focus on building workplace skills or furthering their education. It’s an incredible step forward to support these families.”
“Healthy families are the core to a healthy community and that means every family no matter the economic and social challenges,” Saskatoon Mayor Donald Atchison said. “We have a responsibility to these moms and their children to give them every opportunity to be part of the success we are seeing in our community. I am proud that we are helping create that stability and these opportunities.”
In addition to a child care centre, the funding will allow EGADZ to add four bedrooms and a bathroom so they can accommodate mothers with three or more children. Currently, the Sweet Dreams home can only accept mothers with up to two children.
The Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) and the Community Advisory Board on Saskatoon Homelessness (CAB-SH) approved HPS funding for this project to support young mothers with children who are at-risk of homelessness.
“Right from the beginning of the Sweet Dreams project in 2013, we knew that it would make a significant impact in preventing homelessness and stabilizing young families,” SHIP Executive Director Shaun Dyck said. “The support provided by EGADZ is changing the future for so many people. It only makes sense to invest more HPS funding into the expansion of the facility.”
EGADZ, a non-profit organization that provides programs and services to children, youth and their families, hopes to have construction complete by Fall 2016. The child care centre will be attached to the residential home and provide full-time child care services by certified Early Childhood Educators.
“We feel so fortunate to have partners who recognize the value of the Sweet Dreams program and are committed to the success of these families,” EGADZ Executive Director Don Meikle said. “Just a few weeks ago, we had two mothers move out and continue raising their families on their own thanks to the confidence and workplace skills that they gained through this program. We want to keep building on those successes and this expansion will definitely help us do that.”
Sweet Dreams opened in May 2014 as a result of a Social Impact Bond between the Government of Saskatchewan, Conexus Credit Union, Wally and Colleen Mah and EGADZ.
The Sweet Dreams project supports the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth’s vision of improving the quality of life for residents by making Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to raise a family and build a life.
Since November 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan has made a record investment in licensed child care, allocating funding for 4,935 new child care spaces. Saskatchewan now has more than 14,200 licensed child care spaces.
For more information on programs offered through EGADZ, please visit www.egadz.ca or call 1-306-931-6644.