Families in rural Saskatchewan with young children will have access to further mobile early learning opportunities, thanks to an additional $405,000 investment from the Governments of Saskatchewan and Canada.

Funding for KidsFirst Regional programming has now been increased to $1.2 million.  

KidsFirst Regional travels to communities across the province bringing learning opportunities to children up to age five with programs such as take-home literacy kits, story walks and pop-up preschool events.

"Providing KidsFirst Regional with more funding will ensure that regardless of where children live, they can have access to high quality early learning opportunities," said Education Minister Dustin Duncan in a news release. "The variety of programs KidsFirst Regional offers will continue to support early childhood development, school readiness goals and positive social engagement in communities across Saskatchewan."

There are 10 KidsFirst Regional areas across the province that received funding the Moose Jaw-Assiniboia area, Kindersley area, Tisdale area, Prince Albert area, Saskatoon area, Southwest area, Regina area, Yorkton area and Southeast area, which all received $40,000. Lloydminster-Meadow Lake-the Battlefords received $45,000 as they service a larger area. 

KidsFirst Regional Community Developers work collaboratively with local partners and families such as public health, Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP), family resource centres and libraries within smaller urban and rural communities.

"Every family is important to us," stated KidsFirst Regional, Regina-Qu’Appelle Area Supervisor Donna Coleman-Trombley in a news release. "If you only have 10 children under the age of five in your community - we still want to come to you and provide programming. Being able to go out into these rural communities shows these families that their children are important no matter where they live."  

Last year KidsFirst Regional supported almost 16,000 parents and young children in 343 communities. The program also distributed 8,600 early learning kits and backpacks across the province which included activities to enhance all five elements of child development including linguistic, social-emotional, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills.

This increase of $405,000 in funding is being provided through the Canada-Saskatchewan Bi-Lateral Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, 2021-26.