Sask Rivers board to advocate for childcare spaces in Prince Albert

The Sask Rivers Education Centre/ Daily Herald File Photo

The Saskatchewan Rivers board of education hopes to see more childcare spaces created in the coming years, and they’ve added the item to their advocacy list to speed up the process.

The board made the decision at their regular meeting on Monday.

“It’s about Sask Rivers wanting more childcare s or Pre-K spaces,” board chair Darlene Rowden said. “What can happen, and it’s a good thing, is an outside agency or a private person gets their own funding to build the childcare space, and they will attach them to one of our schools, which is great.,” board chair Darlene Rowden said.

“(It’s) cheaper for them and great for us because it translates into enrollment,” she added.

Private childcare groups can access funding, but Rowden said that in general building is cost prohibitive for private entities to do that. She gave the example of Buds and Blooms a longstanding Prince Albert childcare provider.

“It’s so cost prohibitive now because expenses have skyrocketed with inflation,” Rowden explained. “We are prepared, of course, to advocate government to allow those people more money to build these things.”

Because the matter came from a closed session Rowden could not discuss the actual numbers but she gave examples.

“They could access $450,000 to build it. But the reality is it costs $ 1.5 million to build it, so they can’t build it, right,” she said. “That was what our advocacy was about, what we’re going to be adding to our advocacy plan when we when we speak to MLAs or MPs people like that, people who have a little more power and control than we do.”

The advocacy plan is an ever-changing document for the board and division.

“You try to have a focus so you’re not just willy nilly advocating for things that that aren’t going to have a big impact,” Rowden said. “We want to advocate for impactful things for our division (and) for our kids.”