Province Allocates Nearly $19 Million for Licensed Child Care Centres and Homes
Today, the government announced the allocation of nearly $18.9 million from the Federal Safe Restart Agreement for licensed Saskatchewan child care centres and homes to help offset additional expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The government recognizes the additional financial pressures being experienced by child care facilities in providing quality early learning and child care opportunities during the pandemic,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. “This investment will give certainty to those who work in the sector and provide them with the support and resources they need to continue safely caring for children.”
The intent of the funding is to target support to those facilities who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 as well as to help facilities remain open, take additional safety precautions and support child care needs for those parents or caregivers returning to work.
Two grants will be provided: a one-time COVID Supplement Grant of $600 per space to all licensed child care centres and homes totalling nearly $10.6 million, and a one-time Deficit Support Grant will be provided to those facilities that experienced deficits based on the financial information submitted to the ministry in February for a total of more than $8.3 million. Facilities eligible for the Deficit Support Grant will receive detailed payment information from their Early Learning and Child Care Consultant.
Since March, the Government of Saskatchewan has continued to provide centres with their operating grants. While some of the centres closed due to the pandemic, their operating grants continued to be provided by the Ministry of Education.
In December 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan provided a one-time $100/space grant ($1.764 million) for personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies using the federal Safe Restart funding.
For centres that were designated to provide child care to those working or returning to work under the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, additional grants were provided.
Eligible Early Childhood Educators also had their salaries topped up by $400 per month for each four-week period, up to 16 weeks, from March 15 to July 4, 2020.
The Government of Saskatchewan will continue to work with the Federal Government to ensure child care facilities and staff are supported during this challenging time.