Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Releases new Child Care Fee Study

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released Time Out: Child Care Fees in Canada 2017. This study, authored by David Macdonald and Martha Friendly, is the latest in a series of studies conducted annually since 2014 including The Parent Trap (2014), They Go Up So Fast (2015) and A Growing Concern (2016). It confirms that child care parent fees are rising – up to 10 times the rate of inflation in some cities – and that regulated child care continues to be very expensive.

Study Highlights:

  • Preschooler spaces, the most numerous type, have a median fee in Toronto of $1,212 a month, but close behind at around $1,000 a month are: Mississauga (ON), Brampton (ON), Vaughan (ON), Markham (ON), London (ON), Ottawa (ON), Calgary (AB), Richmond (BC), Kitchener (ON) and Vancouver (BC)
  • Since 2014, preschool fees rose the most in Toronto, six times faster than inflation (21.4%). Since 2016, Richmond (BC) saw the biggest hike in preschool fees: up 12%, or 10 times faster than inflation
  • Cities in Quebec continue to have the lowest fees across all age categories: $168 a month in Montreal and $183 a month in Gatineau, Laval, Longueuil, and Quebec City
  • New data for rural Ontario and Alberta show fees in those areas are not significantly cheaper than in nearby cities
  • The lowest fees are consistently in the cities of Quebec, Winnipeg, Charlottetown, and First Nations communities. Here governments set low fees and provide direct grants to providers, using public policy to prioritize affordable child care
  • Most of the cities surveyed reported that at least 70% of child care centres maintained waiting lists, although wait list fees are on the decline