July 14, 2021

Increased Investment in Early Childhood Community Programs Helps Growing Saskatchewan Families

The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to invest in early childhood development community programs to support growing Saskatchewan families and children.

In 2021-22, the government is allocating over $23 million in funding to support the continuation of the Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP), KidsFirst Targeted and Regional Programs and Early Years Family Resource Centres (FRCs).  The funding represents an increase of over $445,000 since 2020-21 following an increase provided to community-based organizations.

"Our government recognizes the impact these programs have as they continue to nurture the early development needs of children and their families," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said.  "We are pleased to make this investment to give more support options to growing families across Saskatchewan."

"We are very grateful for the government's ongoing investments in important early childhood development programs including our province-wide ECIP," Prince Albert ECIP Executive Director Lauren Helstrip said.  "These programs are making a tremendous difference for families and children in our communities."

The KidsFirst Targeted Programs will receive more than $16 million this year to continue providing supports for child development, parenting and mental health and addiction treatment services.  The KidsFirst Targeted Program serves approximately 1,700 vulnerable families annually, resulting in almost 74,000 services provided.  In 2020-21, KidsFirst Regional served over 29,600 children and adults and connected with families in over 320 communities across the province.

More than $3 million is being provided to 10 Early Years FRCs across the province.  These centres support families through parent education, family wellness initiatives and referrals to other community services.  From April 2020 to December 2020, centres welcomed more than 11,800 visitors and distributed almost 8,000 learning activity kits.

The government has also allocated over $4.4 million for ECIPs to support families with children experiencing developmental delay or disabilities.  In 2019-20, Saskatchewan ECIPs served over 1,350 children in the provincial program, with over 200 of these children successfully transitioning into schools.

Funding for these programs has been made available through the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.  For more information on early learning opportunities available to Saskatchewan families, visit: www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/family-and-social-support/community-programs-for-new-families-in-canada.