Did you know that the provincial government only sponsors a certain amount of spots each year? This can vary between 0 and 500 for the ENTIRE province of Saskatchewan. The number over the last couple of years? 0. Zero. Nadda. Nil.
Why is this a problem? Without “spots”, a potential daycare cannot access any of the grants:
- Set up grants – for a 90 spot daycare, approximately $300,000.
- Operating grants – for a 90 spot daycare, approximately $25,000.
- Subsidy grants – allowing a daycare to provide discounted spots to low-income families.
Without these grants, in order to run a daycare, we would need to charge $900-$1800 per child depending on age. And this is just to break even – pay the lease, staff, etc. This is no-frills daycare.
According to the Ministry of Education, there are currently a number of organizations (I don’t have numbers) waiting to get funding to START daycares.
If a daycare has managed to start without funding, they get put on another list (and there are a number on this list too, according to the Ministry). These daycares may be running on a deficit and be forced to close down (this happened to a daycare in Glen Elm this year in Regina).
So, we chose to fundraise. People often ask how much we need to raise. I answer, that depends. Without any government funding, we would need to raise about $500,000 to lease, renovate, and open a new daycare. With funding, this number would be significantly lower – around $50,000.
We run a number of fundraisers each year. This year, we have managed to raise over $5,000 (which is phenomenal considering we have 5 board members – only 3 of which are able to actively fundraise). So, we have $10,000 in the bank over 2 years…however, we had to spend $2750 on a building appraisal and inspection. We had found a (not perfect but great) building in the perfect location – near downtown. (Subject of tomorrow’s blog.) Unfortunately, we had to walk away from it because it needed a lot of money put in for repairs (that we could not get government funding).
So we continue to fundraise and hope the government manages to free up some spaces and some funding at some point in time that may trickle down to us. Some progress forward is better than not trying. :0)