A Wednesday morning coffee talk with MLA Lori Carr gave Estevan parent Cory Casemore a chance to raise concerns about the daycare system in the city.
Casemore has five children ranging from age two to 15, including twins. He has three of his kids in daycare right now.
"The daycares in Estevan are at max capacity with massive waitlists which is preventing homes from being able to have both parents working," said Casemore. "It was extremely stressful, especially in the lead up to when my wife was returning back off maternity leave last April. We were two months out and we didn't have a daycare because we had twins that were born and no day home would take twins."
There are three registered daycares in Estevan. Two are non-profits and the other is privately run.
Casemore said one of the biggest issues with daycares is the lack of pay for its staff.
"The bigger constraint is trying to keep workers to be able to support the needs of childcare," he said. "They're a low income job, and they do a lot of I would call dirty work, dealing with a lot of children at different development stages and it's a high stress job and in my opinion they are underfunded."
But it's not all bad, as Casemore said he's paying significantly less for daycare services ever since the 10 dollar a day daycare mandate came into effect in the province.
"I went from paying 40 dollars a day per child to 675 dollars a month for all three children, so the equivalent of approximately 2,400 dollars a month to 675 dollars," he said.
MLA Lori Carr said the responsibility lies with the industry itself rather than government to establish new daycare spaces, though they will provide funding.
"I would love to see more new spaces in Estevan. It's a matter of industry deciding that they want to set up a daycare, and then we will give those spaces the granting and the funding to go with them," she said.