SASKATOON – Today, Official Opposition Leader Ryan Meili and Carla Beck, Critic for Education and Early Learning, joined with parents and advocates to call on the Sask. Party government to stop playing games with the lives of Saskatchewan families and immediately sign on to the national child care strategy which would lower fees and increase spaces.
“A child care plan is a jobs plan. The more we invest in increased spaces and jobs in our child care system, the more we can get families back to work building our Saskatchewan recovery,” said Meili. “There is no reason for Scott Moe not to sign up for the national child care strategy unless he plans on playing partisan politics with the lives and incomes of Saskatchewan families and their children.”
“For as long as we can remember, child care has been a hot topic for parents, caregivers, and policy makers alike,” said Sue Delanoy, spokesperson for Child Care Now Saskatchewan Coalition. “Working parents wonder if they can afford, let alone find, child care for their children. Child care centres and day home caregivers wonder how they would increase their capacity while retaining the quality of care that families deserve. Policy makers wonder how to develop and maintain an affordable child care option for parents. Everyone wonders what a quality, accessible, affordable, and culturally safe child care system for all Saskatchewan families would look like and who would pay for it?”
As part of the roll-out of the child care agreement, the NDP called for a working group consisting of child care experts, providers, and families to improve our early learning and childcare system from the bottom up, address needs like recruiting and retaining staff, wages of workers, and replace the existing subsidy with a system that is built for the realities of childcare in the 21st century.
“As we are coming out of the pandemic, I am hearing from more and more families who feel they have to choose between their kids or their career. They certainly aren’t choosing between a fifth-wheel or a fancy holiday and child care like the Finance Minister seems to think,” said Beck. “Affordable, quality child care is a crucial investment in our future and will ensure that parents - especially women - are able to re-enter the economy with confidence.”
Beck noted that the Premier told reporters on Tuesday that Saskatchewan had already submitted its child care plan to the federal government. She called on Minister Dustin Duncan to immediately release that submission publicly. “Once again the Sask. Party is leaving families in the dark. We have a right to know what is being negotiated on our behalf - and on behalf of Saskatchewan kids.”