You may have heard it said that there is a childcare crisis in Canada.
Incredulous? Well, if you Google the term ‘childcare crisis Canada,’ you’ll get seven hundred and forty thousand results.
What could possibly be the reason for the childcare situation in Canada to be deemed a ‘crisis’? You guessed it.
But just how expensive is childcare in Canada?
Let’s look at some of the numbers.
According to Global News, as of October of last year, the top three most expensive cities for childcare are Toronto, St. John’s, and Vancouver (the third of which will surprise no one).
To get a sense of just how expensive this is, let’s take a look at the five most expensive cities in Canada for university tuition:
What could possibly be the reason for childcare costs in Canada being that exorbitant?
According to Today’s Parent, the answer is simple: there is a lack of government funding.
Not only that, but the actual number of spots available in Canadian daycares is far too few for the number of families requiring care for their children. An article from the Huffington Post estimates that there are only enough spots in daycares for one in five children.
So how does Canada rank in childcare on the world stage?
So you can see why the term ‘crisis’ applies here. But is this ‘crisis’ actually universal across Canada?
For the most part, the answer unfortunately is yes.
The province of Quebec, however, is the exception.
As of last year, the cost of childcare in Quebec, thanks to government subsidies, was, regardless of the child’s age:
- $7.30/day for families with an income of less than $50,000 annually
- $20/day for families with an income between $50,000-$150,000 annually
This makes British Columbia’s proposal of $10/day for childcare seem a little less ‘radical’ to those in government who would be opposed to increasing the budget for childcare subsidies. After all, according to $10aDay.ca:
Not only that, in the approximately 20 years Quebec has been making universal access to low-cost childcare a priority, there has also been a dramatic increase in the number of mothers who are able to and do join the workplace which, concurrently, has over time led to the burgeoning of Quebec’s economy.
Sounds like Quebec has got it figured out.
So, what can be done to remedy this crisis in the rest of Canada?
According to the Toronto Star in an article published just days ago (8 March), change will be difficult without the support of the government.
Interestingly, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has yet to fulfill his campaign promise to ‘deliver affordable, high-quality, flexible, and fully inclusive childcare for Canadian families,’ the work for which he claimed would commence in his first 100 days in office.
Notwithstanding, the three ideas that Carolyn Ferns posits in this Toronto Star article that might transform the childcare crisis in Ontario (or perhaps on a more broad scale, Canada as a whole) are:
- Making childcare more affordable
- Making the wages for educators more fair
- Opting for non-profit childcare spaces
Hard to argue with that. Especially coming from Ferns, the public policy and government relations coordinator for the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.
In the meantime, what are our other childcare options?
Some families hire part-time babysitters to cut the parents a break from time to time.
Some families do a nanny-share with another family and their children for convenience and to cut costs.
Other families prefer to hire caregivers through agencies like us.
Interested in finding out more about one of your childcare options?
Give us a call today at 1 (800) 820 8308.
Update: THE FEDERAL BUDGET WILL BE ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY, 22 MARCH.
Childcare is among the six things to watch, according to the Globe and Mail.
“Solving Ontario’s childcare crisis.” Toronto Star, 8 March 2017.
“Child care.” RealChange.ca, 2017.
“How child care costs compare in Canada (hint: they’re way more than tuition).” Global News, 13 October 2016.
“B.C.’s child care crisis: ‘so much more stressful than it has ever been.” Vancouver Sun, 24 September 2016.
“It’s Time to Rip the Bandaid Off Canada’s Daycare Crisis.” Huffington Post, 26 April 2016.
“The Canadian child care crisis.” Today’s Parent, 18 February 2015.