The cost and availability of childcare in Canada is a huge issue that policy makers are grappling with. The prices of daycare are increasing quicker than the rate of inflation.
The price of daycare varies across Canada. For example, the city that offers the most expensive childcare is Toronto. In Toronto, families spend a median of $21,096 each year on childcare. In some parts of Quebec, childcare is provincially funded. As a result, there are areas where childcare costs only about $2196 each year—about $183 per month.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives came out with a report that discussed this issue. According to the report, childcare in some rural parts of Canada costs just as much as the expensive childcare offered in major metropolitan areas—for the first time.
Martha Friendly co-authored the report. She said that the problem of childcare is not getting any better, and that there have not yet been helpful government interventions.
Liberal politicians have promised to make childcare affordable for people who cannot afford the exorbitant prices.
It has been planned that the federal government will give out $7.5 billion over the next 11 years. This year, the federal government will start out by giving $500 million. The government plans to increase the amount annually until the annual amount reaches $870 million in 2026. This money will be used to provide services for people in both territories and provinces. The money will be spent for subsidizing spaces and training childcare workers.
The Canadian government is also working on childcare plans for First Nations, Metis and Inuit. The government will put special attention on the needs of these groups as childcare is planned out.
Some people think that government funding of childcare would make a big difference. Others think that there is a chance that government funding may not make as much of a difference as what everyone would like. This is because even if the government funds childcare, attempts to defray costs will be made by charging fees. These fees may still be unaffordable, or at least a bit too much for some people.
Last week, the House of Commons released a budget wish-list with recommendations on what to spend money on in 2018. Among the spending items was a request to spend funds on a system for childcare and early learning.
There must be agreements between the provinces and the federal government before such programs are funded.