News Release - September 28, 2007
SASKATCHEWAN BOOSTS EARLY LEARNING AND CHILD CARE
Premier Lorne Calvert today announced $7.5 million in enhancements to early learning and child care in Saskatchewan including 500 new licensed child care spaces, funding for an additional 21 Prekindergarten programs and enhanced training opportunities for those employed in early learning and child care. This expansion, combined with the 550 new spaces announced in May totals 1050 new spaces this year and 2,600 spaces or a 36 per cent increase since 2003.
"High quality early learning and child care opportunities for Saskatchewan children and families are critical to making Saskatchewan the best place for families to live, work and build strong futures," Calvert said. "With these enhancements, we are helping to meet families' needs for quality and affordable early learning and child care in their home communities."
The new funding also adds 21 Prekindergarten programs in selected communities across the province, bringing the provincial total to 151 programs serving 2,400 children.
To help increase the number of caregivers with their Early Childhood Education (ECE) qualifications, the province is supporting opportunities for existing caregivers to increase their qualifications at an accelerated rate by providing funds to pay the wages of replacement staff needed to support access to ECE classes during regular work hours.
"Saskatchewan's plan for early learning and child care is to develop an integrated system that focuses on early childhood development and positive outcomes for children," Calvert said. "Today's announcement again demonstrates that we are making progress in implementing our plan."
The announcement was made at Royal West Early Learning Centre in Saskatoon. The centre, which provides early learning and child care services to community members and parents working to finish their grade 12 courses at Royal West Campus, received nine new early learning and child care spaces in May 2007.
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