Education Minister Dustin Duncan today announced that the Governments of Saskatchewan and Canada are investing $5.4 million to provide up to a $2/hour wage increase for Early Childhood Educators. This Wage Enhancement Grant will be funded through the Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Signed just over a year ago, the Agreement also supports future ECE’s with free post-secondary training, professional development opportunities and many other programs all aimed at attracting, retaining and growing a strong skilled workforce of Early Childhood Educators through a federal investment of nearly $1.1 billion over five years. The funding however is only available to licensed and regulated day homes and day care centres which provide early learning and childcare programs and services for children under the age of six in Saskatchewan. With on average 70 per cent child care fee reductions already announced in the province, the goal is to bring down average fees for regulated child care to $10-a-day by the end of March 2026.
"Early Childhood Educators are at the very heart of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system," said Canada's Minister for Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould. "Today's announcement in Saskatchewan is another meaningful step toward ensuring the work of these professional educators is valued throughout their lifelong career." Certified ECEs understand child development. They have the knowledge and skills to deliver a program that meets the needs of individual children and supports their development and the building of strong relationships.
"Early Childhood Educators provide our youngest learners with quality early learning and the building blocks they need to prepare them for school," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. "This investment helps recognize the hard work these professionals do every day while creating an incentive for new individuals to begin a career as a certified Early Childhood Educator."
This increase is a step toward the development of a wage grid for ECEs, which the Government of Saskatchewan plans to have ready for implementation by the end of 2022-23. Saskatchewan child care centres can expect to receive more information on the ECE wage increase during the last week of September.
Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder