To help combat the uncertainty for families and childcare centres caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saskatchewan NDP is calling for the government to provide bridge funding for unused childcare spaces.

“As we start to open some workplaces, parents need safe places to send their kids, including school-aged children,” said NDP Childcare Critic Carla Beck. “We also know childcare operators across the province have been struggling to stay open with fewer kids attending and more limitations around their operation. The workers and the operators of these centres deserve our thanks, but they also deserve our support.”

Beck noted that many childcare centre employees will not be eligible for wage top-ups, given the threshold for the program. 

“This pandemic has made it clear that Saskatchewan doesn't work without childcare and Saskatchewan won’t be able to get back to work without childcare,” Beck said. “Even before the pandemic, too many families were struggling to find affordable, high-quality childcare. Proper supports need to be in place to ensure that parents returning to work are able to afford care, especially to ensure that older relatives who are at higher risk for COVID are not being asked to care for kids.”

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