Saskatchewan Party will Restart Active Families Benefit, Provide Additional Benefit for Children with a Disability and Add 750 New Childcare SpacesOctober 05, 2020
A re-elected Saskatchewan Party government will make children's sports, arts and cultural activities more affordable by restarting the Active Families Benefit of $150 per year per child and providing families of children with a disability an additional $50, for a benefit of $200 per year per child.
"One of the best ways to ensure strong, healthy families is to have your children involved in sports, or in arts and cultural activities," said Premier Scott Moe.
"Over the years, I have coached hockey and softball and I know what a benefit those activities have been to our kids and other kids in our community," Moe said. "I also know that it costs money to get your kids involved in sports and other activities, so the Saskatchewan Party wants to help parents with some of those costs."
The Active Families Benefit will provide families with under $60,000 annual income up to $150 per year per child or $200 for a child with a disability to cover the cost of participating in sports, arts or cultural activities. The benefit will be restarted in the 2021-22 budget and is expected to benefit 20,500 families at a cost of $5.7 million per year.
Moe also announced that a re-elected Saskatchewan Party government will make childcare more affordable and accessible by adding 750 new childcare spaces over the next four years.
"We know that access to childcare is a challenge for many Saskatchewan parents," Moe said. "That's why we have worked to increase the number of licensed childcare spaces by nearly 90 per cent, from 9196 spaces in 2007 to 17,423 spaces in 2020."
230 of the new childcare spaces will be in new schools being built over the next four years. Operating funding will be available as the new spaces open up. It's expected that 120 of the new spaces will begin operating in 2021-22.
There are currently about 2,320 licensed home-based childcare spaces in Saskatchewan. Increased financial support for home-based childcare will support those existing spaces and is expected result in an increase of 520 new home-based spaces over the next four years.
Beginning in the 2022-23 budget:
- The one-time start-up grant for new licensed family home-based childcare spaces will increase by $500 per home;
- The monthly nutrition grant for all licensed home-based childcare spaces will increase by $20 per month per space, from $60 to $80; and
- The annual equipment grant provided to all licensed home-based childcare spaces will increase by $150 per year per space, from $150 to $300.
The total cost of the new childcare spaces and increased support for existing spaces will be $9.7 million over four years.
"Providing more childcare spaces and making life more affordable for families is part of our plan for a strong Saskatchewan," Moe said.