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Government adding day-care spaces to city school

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Author: 
Stewart, Jeanette
Publication Date: 
21 Sep 2010
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The provincial government has confirmed its decision to add an early learning centre to one Saskatoon school.

Princess Alexandra Community School will add a 50-space day care to its facility, with construction to begin in the new year.

The school is one of eight communities across the province to receive new money for child care as part of the $1 million in the provincial budget dedicated to fund 235 new child-care spaces.

"We will just continue to make it a priority and address it whenever we can," Education Minister Donna Harpauer said following the announcement of the new child-care locations Monday.

The minister says the government is trying to tackle the need for child-care spaces in the province. Saskatchewan's capacity to provide day care lags behind the rest of the nation, with day-care space available for 6.3 per cent of children younger than 12 compared to the national average of 18.6 per cent.

"As we grow our population, the needs just gets greater," said Harpauer. She says a lack of licensed child-care providers for hire and a need for physical space to hold the centres makes expansion more challenging. Most of the new spaces will be located within schools.

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Annual operating grants required to provide child care are about $4,000 per child, along with an initial one-time capital grant of $4,220 per space to expand programming.

More than 20 per cent of public elementary schools will offer early learning centres, said Ray Morrison, Saskatoon Public school division board chair.

Spadina Early Learning and Childcare Co-op will partner with the division to create the school-based centre. The co-operative has worked in partnership with the division since it opened a day care at Victoria School in 1979.

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- reprinted from The StarPhoenix

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Entered Date: 
22 Sep 2010
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