Leader Ryan Meili announced today that an NDP government would deliver accessible and affordable child care for Saskatchewan families.
Speaking to reporters in Saskatoon and joined by parent and child care advocate Lindsay Sanderson, Meili introduced the NDP’s plan for affordable and accessible child care for Saskatchewan families: $25/day child care, 2,200 new childcare spaces every year to meet growing demand, and an expert panel tasked with a full review to improve all aspects of our early learning and child care system.
“Over the years and particularly in the past few months, I’ve heard from so many parents who feel the lack of affordable, accessible child care is forcing them to choose between their careers and their families,” said Meili. “The Sask. Party has left us with the least accessible child care in Canada, and their pandemic budget did nothing for parents struggling to afford child care. It’s time we invest in kids, families and our province’s economic well being.”
Meili emphasized that beyond the social benefits, investment in childcare drives economic growth. Every dollar invested in childcare creates up to $6 in increased economic activity, according to the Conference Board of Canada.
Lindsay Sanderson ran her own business until she had to quit to focus on home-schooling her son in recent months. She says the cost of childcare has made any return to work more difficult, and welcomes the NDP commitment to ensuring affordable childcare for Saskatchewan families.
“Our current system is broken. Educators are underpaid while parents are paying more than they can afford. Our kids are simply not getting what they need,” said Sanderson. “Too many parents are forced to choose between quality childcare and other essentials. Our kids deserve better, and so do their parents. By ensuring that affordable, quality childcare is available to every family that needs it we are investing in our future and ensuring that women are able to be equal, valued members of our society.”
The NDP plan commits a Meili NDP government to:
- Transitioning existing spaces to $25/day;
- 2,200 new spaces at $25/day each year over 4 years; and
- Assembling a panel of experts, workers, and families to improve our early learning and childcare system from the bottom up, addressing needs like recruiting and retaining staff, affordability and availability of care, wages of workers, and replacing the existing subsidy with a system that is built for the realities of childcare in the 21st century.
Costing for the plan will be included in the full party platform, to be released in the coming weeks.