Sask. government to add 500 new licensed daycare spots
$2.2 million set aside in the provincial budget for the project
Saskatchewan's government put aside $2.2 million in Wednesday's budget to create 500 additional licensed daycare spots in response to the province's growing population.
The province's has increased by more than 20,000 people in 2013, trailing only Alberta in its growth rate. The boom is due in part to young families, prompting some to think about child care options.
Some new parents CBC News spoke with said they'll stay home, others can count on relatives, but in a household where both adults are working, finding daycare is getting stressful in Saskatchewan.
Emily Nicholson knows just how difficult it is to hunt for a placement. She said right after her daughter Stella was born she signed up for a total of 27 waiting lists.
"Just got our name on as many lists as possible before we even actually started looking at what would be best for our daughter," she said.
Four months ago Nicholson went back to work, and said she was lucky enough to find child care just in time.
"They actually only take people that they are referred to as well so it was lucky that they were looking for someone at the same time, as I needed someone and that's how I got lucky and got in with them."
At Regina's Turtle Park daycare, the wait-list for spots is getting longer.
"We're sitting at about a three-and-a-half year wait list," said Whitney Hoffman. "A few years ago it was about two years, now it's pushed all the way up to about three-and-a-half years."
Hoffman has some advice for parents.
"(At) our centre, as soon as the baby is born you are able to phone and put your child on the list. I would recommend that especially if it's going to stay like this."
More details, such as the locations of the 500 additional licensed spaces will be determined in the next few months, government officials said.
"There's mixed spaces. Some of them will be going into school based daycares, some will be going into non-school based centres, and it will depend on the need in the area, and it will depend on the population of the children in the area," said June Draude, Saskatchewan's Minister of Social Services.