Today, the Governments of Saskatchewan and Canada announced an investment of $7 million dollars to increase the wages for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) through the Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement grant, starting October 1, 2023. 

“Our government is proud to continue investing in early childhood educators so that they can continue to grow and nurture future generations of Saskatchewan citizens,” Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill said. “This investment will help recruit and retain staff throughout the province and recognizes the importance early childhood educators have in supporting positive outcomes for our province‚Äôs youngest learners.”

It is estimated that more than 90 per cent of ECEs currently working in the sector, or 2,500 individuals, will see an increase in wages. ECE Level I will receive an increase of up to $1.50 per hour; ECE Level II will receive an increase of up to $2.00 per hour, and ECE Level III will receive up to $2.50 an hour. Compared to September 2022, this is approximately an eight per cent increase, on average, in the hourly wages for ECEs in the province. 

The ECE Wage Enhancement grant is also being expanded to include assistants working in group family child care homes who have an ECE certification. Certified assistants will be eligible to receive an ECE Wage Enhancement grant of up to $7.50 per hour, bringing them in line with the wage increases provided to ECEs working in child care centres in 2021-22 and 2022-23. 

Funding for this wage increase is provided through the Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement 2021 to 2026, signed in August 2021, which provides a federal investment of nearly $1.1 billion over five years for child care in Saskatchewan.

“Supporting the valuable work of early childhood educators is key to the success of a high-quality child care system, especially one which will expand the number of regulated spaces across the country,” Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jenna Sudds said. “The early childhood educator workforce needs improved working conditions and compensation that reflects their education, experiences and responsibilities. This increase in wages for Early Childhood Educators here in Saskatchewan is an important step. I look forward to continuing the work with provinces and territories to strengthen the workforce, and advance recruitment, retention and recognition supports.” 

Child care facilities will be receiving additional information regarding the wage enhancement grant. 

The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to increasing access to quality early learning and child care opportunities that support positive child development.