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Sask. child-care facility struggles to meet demand, hopes to expand

In 2023, the Saskatchewan government introduced $10-a-day child care to address affordability for families. Although this has been a good thing for families, there is still a struggle for many as waitlists have increased since.

Parents whose children are under the age of six and attend regulated child care on a full-time basis pay $217.50 per month. According to the YMCA in Regina, this daycare program has made it easier for parents of younger children to afford child care.

“When we talk to parents, they tell us they were struggling with the costs; now it’s become more affordable,” said Steve Compton, YMCA Regina CEO. “I think now our opportunity or challenge has shifted to more spaces, and more access so that everyone in the community can actually access (care) when they need it.”

Compton said the issue they are seeing is supply and demand – they need to expand to create more spaces to keep up with demand. The ability to expand is reliant upon funding from the provincial and federal governments.

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“The (YMCA) wants to be in a position to be able to expand our waitlists (which) are around 2,000 people,” he said. “It speaks to the demand out there when parents are enrolling for child care, what they largely do is they apply at every center with hopes that a space will open up. So, growth will help serve the community and meet provincial objectives, and we want to be part of that journey.”

Compton hopes the YMCA can receive further funding to hire staff trained to help children with special needs.

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In an email to Global News, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education stated they are conducting a review of financial support for all child-care facilities to ensure facilities remain viable and have access to sustainable long-term funding for their core operations.

“The ministry has continued to increase individual grants and overall investments in the child care sector year over year to address cost pressures,” the statement read. “Effective October 1, 2024, the ministry has advised all regulated child care facilities will see another increase of 3.83 per cent for the period of October 1, 2024, to March 31, 2026.  All regulated child care facilities will receive an increase in funding to help offset inflationary costs meaning parents with children under the age of six will continue to pay just $10 per day or $217.50 per month.”


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