Res #: 16-06A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Office of the Premier of Saskatchewan
Resolution No. 16-06A
WHEREAS, publicly funded daycare is an issue that is currently being discussed in Parliament; and
WHEREAS, parents that choose to stay at home are not being considered for additional funding for child rearing;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this convention request equal funding and fair taxation for families thus allowing the option for parental child rearing or daycare services; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that SARM lobby both levels of government in this regard.
Response from Kirk McGregor, Acting Minister of Finance:
Saskatchewan's personal taxes, including both the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and the personal income tax system, are designed to support families, particularly families with children. Family essentials like groceries, children's clothing, reading material and restaurant meals are currently exempt from PST. In support of the family, the 2000-01 reform of our personal income tax system introduced:
– a refundable Saskatchewan Sales Tax Credit, which offsets the PST paid by lower income families by as much as $364 per year; and
– a universal dependant child tax credit that helps to offset the costs that all families face in raising their children.
For 2006, the $2,684 per child credit will assist in removing lower income families from the tax rolls and significantly reduce taxes for all Saskatchewan families.
Response from Honourable Deb Higgins, Minister of Learning:
Providing support to our children in the first few years of their lives is an important investment in the future of our province. The Early Learning and Child Care Program in Saskatchewan facilitates the development of choices for families by promoting early childhood development for all children in the province. We believe that families offer an extremely important environment within which their children grow and learn. We also know that many parents today work outside the home, and they want the assurance that their children are safe, well cared for and challenged to develop and learn the skills that will help them as they mature.
Across Canada, government licensed child care services developed as a result of greater participation of woman in the workplace and the subsequent need for safe facilities for the care of children. In Saskatchewan, over 70% of women with children up to six years of age are in the workforce. We support the participation of parents in employment or training by improving access to affordable, quality early learning and child care services. Providing early learning and child care options for families as a support to employment and training leading to labour market attachment will continue to be an important thrust of our work.
At the same time, the importance of early childhood development for all children is receiving broad recognition and is a good investment of public dollars. Federal and provincial governments, individually and working together, have heightened emphasis on the importance of the early years of childhood. By working with the federal government, Saskatchewan will continue to improve early learning and child care opportunities for families with young children whether they are parents in the workforce, or those who choose to remain at home. We look forward to further contact with you as we move towards a system that supports families and the learning and care of our most valuable resources – our children.