New website launched to help families find licensed child care services

The Saskatchewan government announced the creation of an online portal called Parent Central to help parents or caregivers find and access licensed child care, information, programming or services for children from the ages of zero to six.

"Our government remains committed to supporting families with necessary access to quality child care in their communities," said Education Minister Dustin Duncan. "This new website will help families find these services nearest to where they work or live."

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Parent Central is available at https://parentcentral.sk.211.ca/ and was developed in partnership between the Ministry of Education and 211 Saskatchewan, an initiative of United Way.

"211 Saskatchewan plays an important role in helping everyone, especially our most vulnerable, learn about available community services and how to access them," said United Way Regina CEO Robyn Edwards-Bentz. "COVID-19 has demonstrated that accessing quality child care, as well as parenting information and services, is imperative for all. We are proud to partner with the Ministry of Education's Early Years Branch to launch this portal. Whether it's through the phone, website, text or chat, 211 is there to help when you need it the most."

The portal allows parents to search for early learning and child care services by location and provides specific information about availability of licensed child care across the province.

United Way will coordinate with the centres to update the site on a regular basis with the most recent information on operation and availability.

The Government of Saskatchewan, through the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, provided funding for Parent Central.

As part of the 2021-22 Budget, the Government of Saskatchewan has allocated $75.5 million for childcare, an increase of $2 million in provincial funding. The additional funding will increase grants for both new and existing home childcare providers.

The province is also working to grow the number of available childcare spaces in the province. The 2021-22 Budget provides funding to create 176 new licensed home-based spaces and 51 new licensed centre spaces, as part of the province's four-year commitment to create 750 new licensed child care spaces.