Worst in the country: NDP calls for government to lift childcare out of the 1980s

The NDP is calling Saskatchewan’s childcare access and affordability the worst in the country, as many Saskatchewan families today are struggling to find and afford space for their children.

“The income cut-off to be eligible for subsidies in Saskatchewan hasn’t been raised since 1982, and the subsidy itself hasn’t been raised since 2006,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “With $3 million less in this budget for early years learning, it seems the government only wants to spend on the province’s future when the federal government forces them to.”

Today, a family with one child can’t access the full subsidy if they make more than $19,680 a year and a family with three kids can’t make more than $22,080 to access the child care subsidy. For context, a single person working minimum wage earns just over $22,000 per year, and the Saskatchewan Low Income Tax Credit is $32,643, making it extremely hard for parents who earn enough to make rent to get access to affordable childcare.

Written questions by the NDP show that the amount spent on childcare subsidies in this province has been going down since 2012. Saskatchewan is last when it comes to the percentage of kids who can access a subsidized space, and last when it comes to the percentage of kids who can access a regulated space.

“An investment into childcare is an investment into the future prosperity of the province, so when we’re falling behind on early learning, which sets us up to fall even further behind in the future,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck.