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:


Aasa Marshall
Director of Communications, Co-operatives First
(306) 382-4410



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.

“Heather and the team at Co-operatives First are top-notch. Not only their knowledge but their understanding of the project. They have truly helped us along every step of the way. Their timely response and knowledge of the steps are extraordinary. They are forthcoming with information. This is one of the most knowledgeable and friendliest teams I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”

Weyburn Theatre

“Co-operatives First made the process of establishing our Artisan Co-operative a very clear and easy process. The expanse of available tools and resources provided by Co-operatives First answers many questions and lightens the workload. Greatly appreciate having the connections made with Trista and Kyle, they keep the co-operative moving forward.”

Nehiyawaskiy Indigenous Peoples Art Co-op

“Our experience working with the Co-operatives First team was absolutely fabulous. The staff was accommodating, knowledgeable and patient. It was truly a breath of fresh air to have such a wealth of skill and resources available to a non-profit. They were invaluable to our successful launch!”

Heart Linked Community Services Cooperative

“Working with Co-operatives First was fantastic! We are still new to the cooperative world, and we relied heavily on their advice and expertise when drafting our rules/bylaws, and our memorandum of association. The team has experience with many different cooperative models, so they provided advice on what has and hasn’t worked for other cooperatives. We wouldn’t have been able to incorporate without their help!”

Ananda Cooperative

“We have had a very positive experience with everyone at Co-operatives First. They have helped us in multiple ways. Right from the first step in knowing how to incorporate, how to set our business and offering ideas for us to help steer us in the right direction plus allowing us to really make our own decisions. If our decisions go off track, they have gently guided us back to where we needed to be. The Co-operatives first guys are always eager to answer questions, and give ideas to us that got us off the ground.”

South East Butcher Block