Early Learning and Child Care in Saskatchewan: Results from a National Survey During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March had a dramatic impact on daily life in Canada. Provincial and territorial governments ordered the majority of businesses and public services to close to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading and introduced measures to maintain some level of community and economic well-being. The federal government provided significant leadership and investments through a series of national benefits and supports to help organizations and individuals weather the resulting economic storm.

    Early learning and child care sectors were hit particularly hard by the economic and social disruptions brought on by the pandemic. In the two months following the shut down of much of the economy and community life, provincial and territorial governments took different steps to support their economies in general and their early learning and care sectors in particular. The Saskatchewan government, in common with most other provinces, introduced emergency child care for the children of essential workers. It also, like eight of the nine other provinces, provided some government funding for services that remained open as well as those that decided to close. This funding provided organizations with some revenue in the face of the dramatic fall in fees as parents withdrew their children from child care for a combination of health and financial reasons. Unlike eight of the provinces, the Saskatchewan government did not require community-based child centres to close at the onset of the pandemic. The other province to do the same was British Columbia. This resulted in most child care centres in Saskatchewan remaining open for at least a period of time after mid-March, although many subsequently closed due to low enrolments and the fall in parent fee revenues.

    The following summary report draws on data collected in a national survey of early learning and child care services undertaken in May. It focuses specifically on the experiences of Saskatchewan early learning and child care service providers, six weeks into the pandemic, with survey findings from the neighbouring provinces of Alberta and Manitoba, as well as from British Columbia, included for comparison purposes. The survey results for different provinces reveal, in part, the differing impacts of the policies and supports provincial governments put in place during the initial phase of the pandemic, as well as the varied strengths and capacities of early learning and care sectors prior to the pandemic.

    Throne Speech Signals a Bold Vision for Childcare in Canada


    SEPTEMBER 23, 2020

     OTTAWA—In the Throne Speech delivered today, Canada’s federal government underscored that access to high quality childcare is an essential pillar of Canada’s economic restart and recovery. The Canadian Child Care Federation sees it as a bold and critical step in support and action for women, children and Canada’s early learning and childcare sector.

    Canada’s federal government will be taking a stronger role in actively supporting childcare, both financially and via evidence-based policy, across Canada –its impact is set to be transformational and is supported by business, labour and Canada’s childcare sector. It builds equity in the access of quality services for all Canadian families and will break down a major barrier for women participating in the workforce or returning to work. Ultimately these new measures will rebuild and drive a more modern and competitive economy. Without women in the workforce our economy will not meet its full potential and recovery.

    “The federal government saw the evidence, listened and has acted, to lay a solid foundation for childcare in Canada,” said CCCF CEO Don Giesbrecht. “It is a historic day, one that has been a long time in coming. We look forward to working with Canada’s federal government in ensuring that the path forward provides the highest quality, is safe, and includes Canada’s early learning and childcare workforce — with over 250,000 women. The current pandemic has revealed cracks in what has been for too long, an unstable foundation with sporadic support to childcare services across Canada.”

    The next steps will be to help steer the government policy into actions when the federal budget is announced and to make sure that in addition to equality for women and supporting families, that children and their rights are at the core of decisions and system building.

    Media Contact

    Don Giesbrecht
    Canadian Child Care Federation/Fédération canadienne des services de garde à l’enfance
    Direct Ph: 613-729-5289 ext 220
    Mobile: 204-223-9369

    Open letter to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada

    Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Freeland:

    We congratulate you for arriving at a Safe Restart agreement with Canada’s provincial/ territorial First Ministers to help “make our country more resilient.”

    The earmarked spending on child care is an important indication of the federal government’s understanding that economic recovery depends on meeting the child care needs of parents with young children, especially mothers. We remain hopeful that the agreement’s provision for child care, amounting to only 3 per cent of more than $19 billion in new federal transfers, does not signal that child care is a low government priority, or that it reflects a misunderstanding of the extent of Canada’s child care crisis. Thus, we stress the importance of further, bolder federal government action going forward.

    Now is the time to lay the groundwork for the construction of a system of child care, as you promised Canadians in the last federal election. You and other federal ministers have publicly acknowledged the importance and centrality of child care. In fact, the pandemic experience has made it clear to all that child care is essential in bad times and good.

    What is required now is for the federal government to fund and expand child care as a principal piece of Canada’s social infrastructure going forward.

    The signatories to this open letter urge you to move quickly to establish a federal secretariat on child care that can guide the building of a robust system of high quality, accessible, affordable, inclusive child care that has the wellbeing of children and child care staff at its centre and that, at the same time, supports parents—particularly mothers—to re-enter and stay in the paid labour force. We also urge that the establishment and expansion of a child care system for Canada, and the ongoing implementation of the Indigenous early learning and child care framework agreement, be funded as a priority in your government’s short and long-term federal budget plans beginning this year.

    The pandemic has had devastating consequences for women’s equality and economic security, family functioning, children’s wellbeing, and the health of the economy. Key to recovery is child care. You have said it. Many have said it. We say it. Now it is time to turn words into action.

    Yours sincerely,

    Melanie Adrian
    Professor, University Chair in Teaching Innovation, Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University

    Lynell Anderson CPA, CGA
    Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC

    Natalie Appleyard
    Socio-Economic Policy Analyst, Citizens for Public Justice

    Morna Ballantyne
    Executive Director, Child Care Now

    Suki Beavers
    Executive Director/Directrice exécutive, National Association of Women and the Law / L’Association nationale Femmes et Droit

    Andrew Bevan
    Executive Advisor, Fakih Foundation

    Kate Bezanson
    Associate Professor, Sociology and Associate Dean of Social Sciences, Brock University

    Barbara Cameron
    Co-Chair, Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action

    Gordon Cleveland
    Associate Professor Emeritus, Economics, University of Toronto, Scarborough

    Penny Collenette
    Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Common Law, University of Ottawa

    Catherine Cross
    Executive Director, Association of Early Childhood Educators of NS

    Jerry Dias
    National President, Unifor

    Andrea Doucet
    Professor of Sociology and Canada Research Chair in Gender, Care and Work, Brock University

    Carolyn Ferns
    Public Policy and Government Relations Coordinator, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

    Marni Flaherty
    CEO, Today’s Family

    Barry Forer
    Research Associate, University of British Columbia (Human Early Learning Partnership)

    Pierre Fortin
    Economist, father of five, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

    Martha Friendly
    Executive Director, Childcare Resource and Research Unit

    Emily Gawlick
    Executive Director, Early Childhood Educators of BC

    Don Giesbrecht
    CEO/PDG, Canadian Child Care Federation / Fédération canadienne des services de garde à l’enfance

    Amy Go
    President, Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice

    David Green
    Professor of Economics, University of British Columbia

    Margo Greenwood
    Professor, University of Northern British Columbia

    Sharon Gregson
    Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC

    Jeffrey Hawkin BA, MSW, RSW, CEC

    Kate Higgins
    Interim Executive Director, Oxfam Canada

    Kim Hiscott
    Chair, Home Child Care Association of Ontario

    Sonya Hooper
    Executive Director, Early Childhood Development Association of PEI

    Ani Hotoyan-Joly
    Independent corporate director

    Sharon Irwin
    Executive Director, Specialink: The National Centre for Early Childhood Inclusion

    Karen Isaac
    Executive Director, BC Aboriginal Child Care Society

    Nuzhat Jafri
    Executive Director, Canadian Council of Muslim Women

    Pamela Jeffrey
    Founder, The Prosperity Project

    Jillian Kilfoil
    Executive Director, Women’s Network Prince Edward Island

    Jodie Kehl
    Executive Director, Manitoba Child Care Association

    Paul Kershaw
    University of British Columbia Professor and Founder of Generation Squeeze

    Farrah Khan
    Manager, Consent Comes First, the Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education, Ryerson University

    Lara Koerner Yeo
    Co-Chair, Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action

    Michi Komori
    Consultant, Innovation and Sustainability

    Donna Lero
    University Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph

    John Loxley (recently deceased)
    Professor of Economics, University of Manitoba

    Monica Lysack
    Professor, Early Childhood Education, Sheridan College

    David Macdonald
    Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

    Rianne Mahon
    Distinguished Research Professor, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Carleton University

    Lise Martin
    Executive Director/Directrice Générale, Women’s Shelters Canada / Hébergement femmes Canada

    Margaret McCuaig-Boyd
    former Energy Minister, Government of Alberta (2015-2019), member of The Prosperity Project, and former school principal

    Patsy McKinney
    Under One Sky-Monoqonuwicik-Neoteetjg Mosigisg Inc., Aboriginal Head Start Urban and Northern Communities

    Christine McLean
    Assistant Professor, Department of Child and Youth Study, Mount Saint Vincent University

    Bernice McLeod RECE
    Executive Director, Atkinson Centre

    Manna Middleton
    Chair, Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta

    Adrienne Montani
    Provincial Coordinator, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition

    Joanne Morris
    Chair, Early Childhood Educators Human Resource Council, and retired faculty, Early Childhood Education, College of the North Atlantic

    Marcello Munro
    Owner, WPM Public Affairs

    Colette Murphy
    CEO, Atkinson Foundation

    Sheila Olan-MacLean
    CEO, Compass Early Learning and Care and President of the Board, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

    Rowena Pinto
    Chief Program Officer, UNICEF Canada

    Elisabeth Paul
    Director, Policy and Impact, Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology

    Alana Powell
    Executive Coordinator, Association of Early Childhood Educators, Ontario

    Susan Prentice
    Professor of Sociology, University of Manitoba

    Angela Regnier
    President/Présidente, Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women/Institut canadian de recherches sur les femmes

    Andrea Reimer
    Loeb Fellow, Harvard University, and former Vancouver City Councillor

    Maya Roy
    CEO, YWCA Canada

    Leila Sarangi
    National Coordinator, Campaign 2000

    Erin Schryer
    President and CEO, Origins Natural Learning Childcare

    Katherine Scott
    Senior Researcher, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

    Paulette Senior
    President and CEO, Canadian Women’s Foundation

    Christopher Smith
    Steering Committee Member, Community/University Partnership for the Study of Children, Youth and Families, University of Alberta

    Jim Stanford
    Economist and Director, Centre for Future Work

    Megan Stephens
    Executive Director and General Counsel, Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund

    Angie Stevenson
    Chair, Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association

    Eric Swanson
    Co-Executive Director, Generation Squeeze

    Skye Taylor
    Executive Director, Association of Early Childhood Educators of NL

    Carole Therrien
    Doctoral Researcher, member of The Prosperity Project

    Julia Vlad
    Portfolio Manager and investor for several funds dedicated to providing positive impact for communities

    Linda White
    Professor, RBC Chair in Economic and Public Policy and Professor of Political Science, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto

    Kathryn Wilkinson
    National President, Canadian Federation of University Women

    Nancy Wilson
    Founder and CEO, Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce

    Armine Yalnizyan
    Economist, Atkinson Fellow of the Future of Workers

    Hassan Yussuff
    President, Canadian Labour Congress


    Notice of the 2020 Annual General Meeting





    Notice of the 2020 Annual General Meeting

    The Board of Directors of the Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF) gives notice that the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Monday, September 28, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. EST via webinar, for the following purposes:

    • To consider and approve the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting of the Members held on September 25, 2019
    • To receive the financial statements and Annual Report of the Corporation for the financial year ended March 31, 2020.
    • To appoint the Auditors of the Corporation for the ensuing year.
    • To transact such other business as may properly be brought before the meeting.

    CCCF members must be in attendance to vote as there is no voting by proxy.

    CCCF members, to attend, please register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/975747707878568716

     Questions, contact Don Giesbrecht, CEO at dgiesbrecht@cccf-fcsge.ca or by phone at 613-729-5289 ext 220.

    DATED the 7th day of August, 2020


    Marni Flaherty

    Chair, Board of Directors of the Canadian Child Care Federation

    Board Nominees—2020

    A call for board nominations was put forward to CCCF members in June 2020 and the following nine individuals applied for nomination and consideration for election for one of the six available seats on the CCCF board, three-year terms starting November 15, 2020- November 14, 2023. To learn more about each of the nominees in advance of the AGM, please click on their names:

    Lea Blust

    Linda Cottes

    Laura Fowler-Massie

    Charlene Gray

    April Kalyniuk

    Mandy MacNevin-Reynolds

    Christie Scarlett

    Donna Stapleton

    Taya Whitehead

    An Examination of Alberta’s Support for Child Care Services During the First Two Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    One in five providers closed during the reference week report facing the possibility of permanent closure

    [Read more…]

    Canadian Child Care Federation Call for Nominations 2020

    The Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF) is pleased to invite CCCF members to submit an application for nomination for consideration to run for election for a three-year term on the Board of Directors, based on nominees meeting the following criteria: [Read more…]

    Saskatchewan ECE Survey Reveals the Need for a Workforce Strategy to Raise Quality in the province’s ELCC Sector

    Aging workforce and significant turnover are urgent ELCC workforce issues in the province

    [Read more…]

    National survey highlights: The pandemic experience has created an uncertain future for Canadian child care services

    The COVID 19 pandemic has cast early learning and child care (ELCC) in a new light
    for many Canadians—as an essential service necessary for rebuilding a well-functioning economy. However, the Canadian child care sector suffered from a confusing, uneven and often less-than-adequate approach by governments to supporting services and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The preliminary results of a national survey show significant differences between how jurisdictions responded to the health crisis with respect to ELCC policy, staff, provision funding and parent fees. While the pandemic brought similar challenges to child care services and parents in different regions, the survey showed that how they fared depended on their location in Canada.