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'Can't be sustained': Regina daycare says $10-a-day program leading to financial crisis


Canada’s $10-a-day childcare program has created a financial crisis for a Regina daycare. The Scott Infant and Toddler Centre is burning through its cash reserves in order to remain open.

The centre has issued an urgent call for equitable government funding solutions.

Ten dollar a day childcare has been beneficial for parents across the board. This includes Kayla Schultz and her family.

“It is highly advantageous for us to have not a very high fee up front and we’re able to put that money towards other things,” Schultz told CTV News. “You know, the cost of living or childcare, sports, things like that in our budget.”

However, daycares such as the Scott Infant and Toddler Centre in North Central Regina are feeling the fiscal pinch.

Centre Board Chair Roman Morrow says government funding hasn’t kept up with increased operating costs since the program’s inception in 2021.

“[We] lost over $135,000 since that time out of our reserves,” he explained. “So the reality is that funding model as it exists right now for our centre is only being sustained because of our reserves and it can’t be sustained in the long term.”

The $10-a-day childcare program is jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments.

In a written statement, Genevieve Lemaire, press secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, said:

“We will continue to advocate for a funding model that supports the long-term viability of daycares, providing parents with the certainty of care they need and deserve.”

Under the funding model, the province is responsible for annual operating grant increases which have averaged 2.5 per cent per year.

In a statement, Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Education said it has “continued to increase individual grants and overall investments in the childcare sector year over year to address cost pressures.”

The Scott Infant and Toddler Centre has said the funding isn’t keeping up with rising costs which could lead to closure.

Parents like Schultz are concerned.

“I think it is more important to have a daycare spot than it is to have the $220 fee,” she said. “If that means that they’re going to jump up that money a little bit for parents and not subsidize quite as much, I think that’s what they need to do.”

At the same time, the family believes that government also must contribute more to keep childcare centres like theirs open.

At the current rate of financial loss, the centre’s reserve funds will run out in 30 months. Top Stories

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