Premier Scott Moe announced on Thursday the province has updated childcare availability for working parents and expanded the temporary wage supplement to include more workers.
According to the province starting June 8, employees returning to work as part of Phase 3 will now be offered access to school-based childcare facilities, and child care facilities can have a maximum of 15 children per designated space, up from eight.
The new guidelines state groups of children and staff members assigned to them must stay together throughout the day and cannot mix with other groups. Additionally, children are restricted to attending a single facility to reduce transmission risks.
According to numbers released by the province, applications have been received for 1,030 school-based child care centre spaces out of an available 2,170.
Moe also said the expansion to Saskatchewan’s Temporary Wage Supplement Program will now include anyone, regardless of income level who is working at a licensed public or private long-term care facilities, which are under public health orders restricting visitation.
The supplement is a top up of $400 for up to four months and is already being provided to many lower income employees in seniors care homes and in personal care homes.
According to the province, workers at assisted living facilities also are under public health orders will now be eligible for the wage supplement if they earned a wage less than $24.00 per hour in the four-week period for which the worker has applied for the supplement. The expansion says to be eligible workers must also earn less than $2,500 including earnings from work outside an eligible essential care facility.
“We understand the additional pressure that has been placed on these employees because of the risk to our seniors and family members in these long-term care homes,” said Moe.
“Through this time these workers have provided tremendous physical and emotional support to our seniors. Most importantly, they have provided for our family members, our parents and our grandparents. They have protected them from the devastating outbreaks that we’ve seen in long-term care centres in other provinces,” he added.
Moe said these workers have gone above and beyond. He added the wage top up is in recognition of the great work they have done and continue to do.
The expansion will now include private day cares and approved private service homes.