SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan NDP wants the province to close all child care centres immediately to stymie the spread of COVID-19 and to provide financial support for employees of these centres during the closure.

"We're calling on the province to work with leaders in the sector to put forward a clear plan to close child care centres in Saskatchewan and to provide a plan for how to ensure that people working on the frontlines of the response to COVID-19 are able to access safe child care," NDP leader Ryan Meili said in a release.

Georgia Lavallee, executive director of Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association was also quoted in the release. She said she supports the recommendation.

"For the safety of children, early childhood educators and the general public, we need to close all child care centres immediately and develop a safe plan for care of the children of essential care workers," Lavallee said.

On Monday the province announced the closture of schools across the province in response to concern about the spread of COVID-19

While on Monday, the province instructed school-based child care centres to close, Lavallee said school-based centres have now received emails from the Ministry of Education offering the option to stay open as essential service providers.

Lavallee said she has also been informed that if the centres that are not school-based choose to close they will lose their funding and be required to re-apply to the province to open again.