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Provincial government increases day-care funding [CA-SK]

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Publication Date: 
6 May 2008

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The provincial government announced Tuesday an additional $1.7 million to pay employees at provincially licensed child-care facilities.

Education Minister Ken Krawetz made the announcement at the recently opened Kids First child-care centre, located inside the Regina public school board's adult campus.

He said the move will result in child-care workers making an average of $14.40 per hour &emdash; a four per cent increase over the current average wage of $13.90 per hour. The higher wages are intended to help day cares in the province recruit and retain staff. He added the retention of staff has been a challenge for child-care centres across Canada.

"Wages need to reflect (child-care workers') post-secondary credentials in the way they do in other, comparable occupations," he said.

Krawetz said the provision of child-care services is becoming an increasingly important issue, given the province's growing economy and population.

Besides funding for higher wages for child-care workers, the government will also create 500 more child-care spaces in the province, as announced in the spring budget. Later this month, Krawetz will announce the locations of those additional spaces, he told reporters.

The province doesn't directly set wages of child-care workers, but rather the money will be made available to agencies in charge of child-care services.

"We provide the funding and the boards of directors are the people that will be able to negotiate those contracts," Krawetz explained.

Shondell Neithercut, the director of the Kids First centre, said the increased funding could help level the playing field when it comes to recruiting staff.

Neithercut said it's important for Kids First to be in a position to offer competitive wages because the centre is looking at hiring five additional workers.

"September will be busy come the new school year," she said.

- reprinted from the Saskatchewan News Network

Entered Date: 
9 May 2008
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