Funding for national childcare system an opportunity for parents to create daycare co-ops

SASKATOON, SK, April 21, 2021 — The Government of Canada’s commitment to building a national daycare system is an opportunity for rural and Indigenous communities to expand much-needed childcare capacity. Parents could take this process into their own hands by creating daycare co-operatives.

In its recently released budget, the federal government committed to implementing a “Canada-wide, community-based system of quality childcare” with an investment of $30 billion over five years. Its goal is for all families in Canada to have access to affordable, flexible childcare no matter where they live.

Rural and Indigenous communities often lack childcare options — they also know that to get services generally means doing it themselves. Forming a co-op is an excellent solution to that kind of problem. By starting a daycare co-op, parents create an organization they control and that meets their specific needs.

“There are many daycare co-operatives in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, but they are less common in other provinces,” said Co-operatives First’s Executive Director, Audra Krueger. “Our organization was pleased to present the idea to a group of parents in Smoky Lake, Alberta, who went on to create the first daycare co-op in their province. This federal budget commitment is an exciting opportunity for parents in other communities to do the same.”

Though more details about the program have yet to be released, Co-operatives First encourages the government to provide funding to groups who start their own daycare centres through this initiative. This will increase available childcare spaces in the communities that need it most.


Audra Krueger
Executive Director, 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.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Good Governance Matters course offered by Co-operatives First. The course provided a solid background on governance generally and specific examples of good governance practices in co-operatives. It is uncommon to find governance training specific to co-operatives so this was refreshing.”

Janet Taylor (Corporate Secretary)

Libro Credit Union

“The Good Governance Matters Course was a valuable course. I shared it with the [Arctic Co-operatives Limited] Senior Leadership Team. If it ever comes up again, I highly recommend others to take it.”

Mary Nirlungayuk (Corporate Secretary and Vice-President, Corporate Services)

Arctic Co-operatives Limited

“The online course, Good Governance Matters was very informative, easy to navigate and discussed issues relevant to our needs as a Board of Directors. This course is a great tool for boards to build their knowledge to become strong, strategic boards.”

Lori Sanders (President)

Sherwood Co-op

“This course has greatly increased my understanding of what good governance could/should look like and how each part (boards, management, members) plays a vital role in the co-operative’s success.”


“This course was highly enjoyable, and relevant to working in not only the co-op space, but with any group that needs to make decisions.”