FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ARE CO-OPS THE SOLUTION TO CANADA’S DAYCARE SHORTAGE?
Co-operatives First is supporting entrepreneurs to create daycare co-operatives
SASKATOON, SK – Following the announcement of the federal and provincial government’s $10/day childcare goal, daycare waiting lists in Saskatchewan have continued to lengthen. The province’s goal is to create 28,000 new daycare spaces by 2026 to meet demand. As access to childcare becomes more affordable for parents, the need for more daycares becomes increasingly urgent.
A non-profit business development organization, Co-operatives First is pleased to announce new educational opportunities, resources, and hands-on support for entrepreneurs and groups looking to start or starting daycare co-operatives to address the pressing need for licensed childcare spaces in their communities.
“We’re hoping to help bridge the gap between government funding available and entrepreneurs to address the need for new daycare spaces in their communities,” says Heather Hallgrimson, Director of Entrepreneurship for Co-operatives First. “The co-operative model provides a unique path for those looking to help with daycare shortages to work together to create the service for themselves.”
On March 28, Co-operatives First will host a free webinar for those interested in creating a daycare co-operative in their community. Downloadable guides for Saskatchewan residents are available for those in attendance, with guidebooks for entrepreneurs in Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia to follow.
“For those who decide to create a daycare co-op in their community, Co-operatives First can provide support at each step of the process,” said Hallgrimson. “From accessing grants to incorporation, creating governance structure, and training board members, we’re equipped to empower entrepreneurs to meet the pressing demand for new daycare spaces.”
Access to childcare is often limited, especially in rural areas, leading to limitations in attracting new workers and encouraging young families to stay in their home communities. With the help of Co-operatives First, community leaders from the town and RM of Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and Nekaneet First Nation received funding to create 42 new childcare spaces in the region. According to Gillian LaBoucane, Maple Creek’s Economic Development Officer, these new daycare spaces will play a significant role in the economic resilience and future of the community.
To learn more about the webinar and other resources and support available, visit: www.cooperativesfirst.com/start-a-daycare-cooperative/
Director of Communications, Co-operatives First
Co-operatives First is a non-profit organization funded by Federated Co-operatives Limited and the Co-operative Retailing System. Founded in 2015, the organization provides co-op start-up resources, such as feasibility studies, business plans, and incorporation support to rural and Indigenous co-op entrepreneurs across western Canada. Our goal is to help leaders in these communities build new businesses, grow local economies, and support community development.