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.