Over the past 2 years, I have talked to two daycares in Regina and one in Balgonie.  This is the information I have garnered for daycare centers (not home daycares):

  • Spots are allocated by the provincial government – up to 300 per year for ALL of Saskatchewan.  (None have been allocated over the past couple years except to special projects like the P3 schools.)
  • You have to submit a Letter of Intent to even be considered for spots.  Spots are only allocated once a year (March/April).
  • You can’t get spots unless you have a building and are ready to go.
  • You can’t get spots unless you have an inspection of the building/premise.
  • Rent on buildings is crazy – thousands of dollars per month depending on the space or area.  We would need to have at least 2 months of  rent in the bank in order to have renovations and inspections done.  Before we get spots.
  • 75 spots is the minimum you want to try to get – in order to break even.  90 is the max you can have in one facility.  You can have more than 1 facility in a building.
  • Before and after care spots (for Grade 1 & up) do not count as “spots.”
  • Infant spots do not make money.  They do not even break even.  There are really strict rules surrounding infant spots.
  • There are very specific regulations around spots in general including how much space, green space, toilets, food prep, staff, etc.
  • A certain percentage of your staff has to have their ECE (Early Childhood Education).  Not very many people hold this or are pursuing it.  And anyone can raise a child or have a home daycare without this training.
  • We have to fundraise start up costs – around $15,000.  Or take a personal loan (which is not feasible).
  • We can’t get a business loan until the daycare has been running for 2 years minimum.
  • Purchasing a building?  Don’t even go there.  Even empty, abandoned buildings (that may not be structurally safe) are over $1 million.
  • The city will not donate or work with a daycare to re-purpose one of their buildings.  For example, one of the schools in North Central is not being used.  It’s listed for $3.2 million.  It would be perfect for a daycare but we can’t afford to purchase it.
  • For profit daycares do not get access to any grants (in Saskatchewan).  In other provinces, they still have access to grants.

Needless to say, it may be a while before we get this daycare off the ground.  On the positive side, we are trying.  We are leading the way to, hopefully, make a new daycare in Regina.