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Saskatchewan Education Minister Dustin Duncan speaks at the Legislative Building, in Regina, on April 6, 2021.Michael Bell/The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan is to achieve $10-a-day child care by April 1, three years ahead of schedule for the federal Liberal government’s national plan.

Education Minister Dustin Duncan said affordable and high-quality child care provides children with a positive start in life while also giving parents the flexibility to build both a family and career.

“We want our children safe, healthy and developed to their full potential,” Duncan said Monday.

Parents whose children are under the age of six and attend regulated child care on a full-time basis can expect to pay $217.50 per month.

Saskatchewan signed onto the Liberal government’s national child-care plan in 2021, which saw Ottawa commit $1.1 billion to the province over five years.

Karina Gould, the federal families minister, said by working together, Canada and Saskatchewan achieved a shared goal of affordable child care three years ahead of schedule.

“At the end of the day, we want to set our children up for success,” Gould said.

The money is also to be used to create 28,000 new regulated early learning and child-care spaces. Saskatchewan committed to creating a wage grid that officials said will ensure early childhood educators are well paid.

The Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system has been key to the Liberal government’s agenda. All 13 provinces and territories have signed child-care agreements.

Yukon and Nunavut have already achieved the reduction and Quebec reached a deal to opt out of the national child-care plan, while still receiving its share of funding for the program.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Manitoba last week to announce that province would hit $10-a-day child care by April 2, one day after Saskatchewan’s stated goal.

Sanjay Patel said more affordable child care will make a big difference for his family.

Patel and his wife both work and have two children. He expects to save about $500 to $600 a month compared to last year.

“This is going to help my family out a lot because we’ll have more money left over for other things our family can use,” he said in a news release Monday from the provincial government.