Caroline Fernandez: Activity Mummy


The Cost of Childcare in Canada

Are We Working For Daycare

I have been lucky to be a stay-at-home Mom for 18 months, however, I need to start looking at daycare options (for my career as well as boy's socialization). In researching childcare costs, I am surprised by the waiting lists, deposit fees, and high cost of child care. If I put my son in full time care, will I be working for daycare and not bringing home much more?!

In Toronto, childcare for an 18-month-old child starts at $55/day. It rises from that figure depending upon whether the childcare is a home provider or full brick-and-mortar daycare. I have found some as high as $65/day because the caregiver offers homemade, organic meals. This figure does not include leaving diapers and other baby supplies at the child care centre.

Extended hour care, for a school-aged child, starts at $25/day in Toronto. Extended care offers babysitting from 8am-9am and afterschool from 4-6pm (usually snack and homework time included).

So baby at $1,500/month and two school-aged children at $870/month makes a whopping $2,370/month in child care costs ($28,440/year). And that's just IF I find day care! The more I research, the more I find most caregivers in my area have long waiting lists with priority going to siblings. I know a family who has been on a waiting list for a specific child care centre for years.

In 2005, the CBC did a news story on "Day Care: Costs to Parents" presenting the median rate at which parents pay for full time day care (the inforgraphic below is from CBC)—despite the fact that the stats are dated—it is surprising to see the difference in cost for child care.

Of course, there are alternative child care options—a nanny for example (though I would think a nanny would be just as expensive, if not more expensive than a child care centre).

Every parent who works needs childcare but it seems as though there is just not enough affordable and good child care in Canada.

Maybe I should give up writing and start a home day would solve the child-care problem...and it looks like an industry with growing demand!