Saskatchewan’s Action Plan for fiscal year 2022 to 2023

On this page


On August 13, 2021, the Canada-Saskatchewan Bi-lateral Agreement was extended to fiscal year 2024 to 2025 in order to ensure continuity of programs and services under the previous agreement. Saskatchewan’s proportion of federal funding under the Agreement is estimated to be the following.

Table 1: Estimated amount to be paid to Saskatchewan
Fiscal year Estimated amount to be paid to Saskatchewan
(subject to annual adjustment)
2021 to 2022 $13,578,873
2022 to 2023 $17,455,579
2023 to 2024 $18,742,645
2024 to 2025 $18,742,645

This Action Plan outlines investments of $18.097 million for fiscal year 2022 to 2023, including $641,000 carried over from fiscal year 2021 to 2022. Investments will continue to be in the areas of access, inclusion, quality, and Francophone minority language as per the Multilateral Agreement.

Saskatchewan’s Focus on the Early Years

Saskatchewan’s integrated approach to early learning and child care recognizes high quality care and holistic, play-based approaches that best support the development of young children. Investments by Saskatchewan for young children and families are based on research that supports the social, physical, emotional, and intellectual development of a child’s early years by helping them to reach their full future potential. Saskatchewan uses the Play and Exploration: Early Learning Program Guide as its foundational curriculum to guide quality practice and approaches in the sector. The guide lays out the principles of holistic, responsive and developmentally appropriate early learning and child care programs.

Saskatchewan, through the Ministry of Education, continues to invest in supports for licensed early learning and child care. This funding assists with the costs of developing and operating non-profit child care services, supports community programs to deliver programming to vulnerable children and families, supports Pre-kindergarten programs for vulnerable 3 and 4 year old children and supports additional programming requirements of children with intensive needs.

Federal Investments Support Saskatchewan Strategic Priorities

Recommended investments for fiscal year 2022 to 2023 action plan helps the ministry make strategic foundational investments to improve and expand access, inclusion and quality within the complement of early learning and child care programs that cannot be achieved within the Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. These proposed investments will allow the sector to address challenges and gaps identified in both Saskatchewan’s Early Years Plan and the early years priority that was part of the Education Sector Strategic Plan and the Provincial Education Plan.

Saskatchewan’s Plan for Investment

Over the course of this action plan, Saskatchewan will continue to build upon the main priorities from the existing Agreement. These priorities support the province’s strategic goals and align with the federal government’s early learning and child care funding criteria. Investments will continue to be made in the areas of quality, accessibility, inclusion, and Francophone minority language inclusion.

Recommended investments have been endorsed by stakeholders and include: increase early learning intensive support spaces to provide more opportunities for children experiencing disability, develop new Family Resource Centres (FRCs) in strategic locations, implement program designer positions in regional Family Resource Centres to bolster quality, increase operational funding to address rising costs at Family Resource Centres in large urban centres, and implement mobile early learning opportunities that bring services directly to families where bricks and mortar services are not viable.

Table 2: Saskatchewan’s fiscal year 2022 to 2023 priorities and funding amount
Priorities Funding amount
(in $ millions)
Accessibility: expand access to high quality child care programs $11.049
Inclusivity: opportunities for preschool aged children experiencing disability $6.236
Minority language inclusion: Francophone early learning and child care $0.327
Quality $0.170
Administration: support the ongoing operations of investments under the agreement $0.315
Total $18.097

In total, Saskatchewan has $18.097 million in federal resources for fiscal year 2022 to 2023. Of this, $12.83 million is allocated to ongoing funding and $5.276 million will be allocated to expand on successful initiatives and invest in additional initiatives that will further augment the inclusivity, quality and access to existing initiatives as described in the table below.

Table 3: Expanded inclusion and access
Program Initiative Description Funding for fiscal year 2022 to 2023
Inclusion: Early Learning Intensive Support (ELIS) pilot spaces Increase by 150 spaces Bring the total to 393 $1,975,000
Access: Family Resource Centres New FRC investments

Development of 6 new FRCs which include:

  • 3 new centres in regional locations with limited early learning services, but significant need
  • 2 additional locations in Regina and Saskatoon to address population needs and demand
  • 1 new centre in the North

In addition, funding will be increased by 20% in Regina and Saskatoon to fund increasing facility costs and address staff turnover

Expansion subtotal n/a n/a $3,371,000

Resources allow for $1.905 million in new initiatives to improve access and quality.

Table 4: New access investments
Program Initiative Description Funding for fiscal year 2022 to 2023
Access: Early years Family Resource Centres Family Resource Centre program designer Planning, design and mentoring staff and caregivers in child development in 15 regional locations $1,500,000
Access: Early learning opportunities – Kids First Regional Mobile early learning opportunities Reaching out into communities where they may not have access to early learning and child care opportunities $405,000
New initiatives subtotal n/a n/a $1,905,000
Total n/a n/a $5,276,000

Accessibility: expand access to new high quality licensed child care and early learning

Saskatchewan will continue to support the increased spaces in licensed centre-based and home-based child care and family resource centres.

Saskatchewan will spend up to $11.049 million in fiscal year 2022 to 2023, which will support:

  • early childhood services grant: ongoing operational funding to support federally funded child care centre spaces. Access to high-quality licensed child care was expanded through 1,295 new centre-based spaces. These new spaces included 75 new licensed Francophone child care spaces to support the continued growth of the Francophone culture and heritage. All 1,295 centre spaces have been allocated to organizations around the province based on need. This ongoing operating funding from the Early Childhood Services Grant will continue for the licensed centre-based spaces developed under the Agreement to support their operations and expenses including staffing costs
  • nutrition and equipment grants for licensed homes: ongoing funding will be provided for nutrition and equipment grants for licensed home-based spaces developed under the Agreement
  • early years Family Resources Centres: early years Family Resource Centres create an access point that provides a first point of contact to connect families to a range of trusted early learning services in a single location. These centres are popular with families and viewed as a difference maker for engaging children’s development early and easily. A recent provincial study called for the expansion of centres as a way to provide needed universal free programming to children aged 0 to 5 in the province and to maximize the number of children who arrive at school with the developmental skills to continue formal learning
  • Saskatoon and Regina have 5 times the population of children aged 0 to 5 representing a significant opportunity to engage a greater number of children and families. The costs to operate centres in these communities is greater than smaller communities because of the cost of physical space. This is balanced by offering lower wages than other centres creating issues for recruitment, retention, and quality
  • as the centres programming offerings expand, there is a critical need for strategic stewardship to ensure the centres facilitate quality programming that families can trust at the local level. The FRC Program Designer position would align quality programming to early childhood development research. These expert staff would apply their extensive theoretical knowledge in child development to strategically guide early learning programming in the centres, set the direction for effective interventions, mentor staff, and assess the professional development needs and engage community level stakeholders to plan and offer an effective continuum of service within the community
  • mobile early learning opportunities: mobile programming builds on the global trend to make early learning programming available to families in their home community. This is a cost-effective way to ensure that regardless of where children live, they can have access to high quality early learning opportunities and will make Saskatchewan a leader in Canada in innovative program delivery. This is an economical way to provide services in Saskatchewan’s small cities and rural communities
  • this additional investment will allow the ministry to deliver additional programming to communities more often and to improve the resources the program can make available to families. The province utilizes the Kids First Regional delivery mechanism to be able to easily offer services to more communities

Inclusivity: supporting inclusive early learning and child care opportunities for young children experiencing disability

Early learning opportunities for children experiencing disability through innovative pilots will continue to be supported throughout Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan will spend up to $6.236 million in fiscal year 2022 to 2023, which will support:

  • Early Learning Intensive Support pilot (ELIS): support will continue for the ongoing operating of programs across the province for preschool-aged children with intensive needs. ELIS is a new approach for preschool-aged children experiencing significant, enduring disabilities. This program created additional spaces targeted to children experiencing significant disability in existing Pre-kindergarten programs. These targeted Pre-kindergarten spaces are supported by additional educational assistants and funding for specialized professional services in the classroom
  • school divisions are reporting an increase in the number of children who require intensive support at school entry. In fall 2021, school divisions identified the need for additional Early Learning Intensive Support (ELIS) spaces. Although no ELIS spaces were available for allocation at the time of the discussion, approximately 150 spaces were requested
  • current ELIS spaces are being well utilized. According to fall 2021 reports submitted by school divisions, 97% of ELIS spaces are currently being used. Any ‘unused’ spaces are a result of the intensity of need being so high that it is not possible to place 2 children in the classroom
  • Children Communicating and Connecting in the Community (4Cs): operating funding will continue for the 2 programs for preschool-aged deaf and hard of hearing children in Regina and Saskatoon. The 4Cs is a new approach for preschool-aged children who are deaf or hard of hearing. These programs support the children’s development through inclusive environments supported by trained staff and appropriate technology
  • Enhanced Accessibility (EA) grant: there will be ongoing grant support for children with additional needs attending child care across the province. This grant supports a child’s ability to attend child care by offering financial supports for additional staff and resources needed to ensure their intensive needs are met

Minority language inclusion: supporting Francophone children in child care and early learning programs

Saskatchewan continues to support the Francophone community and will spend up to $0.327 million in fiscal year 2022 to 2023, which will support:

  • francophone child care: continue to support 75 Fransaskois spaces by providing operating funding   for the licensed centre-based spaces for Francophone families developed under the Agreement
  • translation: funding will include supporting the translation of fundamental documents to ensure equity in the Francophone sector

Quality: enhance early learning and child care experiences for children

Saskatchewan is committed to enhance the experience of children in licensed child care by continuing to invest in resources for licensed child care providers to ensure high-quality programming. Investments have been and will continue to be invested in the quality of the early learning and child care system across the province.

Saskatchewan will spend up to $0.170 million in fiscal year 2022 to 2023 on initiatives related to supporting public knowledge and awareness of the importance of and opportunities for early learning and child care, which will support:

  • awareness: continue to work with the United Way by providing operational funding for Parent Central, a United Way 211 Saskatchewan online resource that supports families’ knowledge and ability to navigate early learning programs and services available in their community

Administration: support the ongoing operations of investments under the agreement

Saskatchewan will spend up to $0.315 million in fiscal year 2022 to 2023 on the ongoing administration of investments.

Page details

Date modified: