'More than our mortgage': Sask. mom supports federal government’s $30B child care plan
SASKATOON -- A Saskatchewan mother says she supports the federal government’s pledge to spend $30 billion on child care and help lower the cost for parents across the country.
Candace Seon says she pays around $2,000 a month to send her twin daughters to daycare. She also has a son in Grade 1 who is in a before and after school program.
“That’s a big decision-making factor for our family. I mean that’s more than our mortgage,” she said.
Seon, who lives just outside Regina, said she made the decision to take an 18-month maternity leave as the cost of sending her twins to daycare at 12 months would have been too expensive.
“I was lucky we had children later and I was able to afford to go back to work and afford daycare. But I mean, that’s not the case for a lot of families, and anyone who makes around the median income.”
It’s something the federal government said it plans on addressing in its 2021 budget, tabled Monday.
The Liberals have pledged $30 billion over a five-year period for early learning and child care.
The plan would aim to see an average drop in fees next year by 50 per cent for preschooler daycare spaces.
Last year, those costs ranged from $1,578 a month in Toronto to $451 a month in Winnipeg.
Saskatoon was ranked 11th cheapest at $810 a month and Regina was lower at $675 a month.
Eventually, the Liberals aim to have an average fee of $10 a day across the country, outside of Quebec which has its own system.
Saskatchewan Education Minister Dustin Duncan said the province is looking to get more details about the funding before deciding to take Ottawa’s money.
“If it makes sense for the province to take the money that’s offered by the federal government, we certainly would be very interested in doing that. It’s going to though, I think, depend on obviously the details. This is an area of provincial jurisdiction and you know, I want to respect that,” he said at a scrum on Tuesday at the Legislature.
Seon said she supports any effort that can help provide more financial support to parents.
“We’re paying over $30 a day per child right now, so you know, to have that extra income in our household would mean likely more spending generally in the economy.”
Seon said the funding could also help provide more supports for daycare providers so that they can continue to operate safely and with the resources they need.