For too long, families have faced high monthly child care fees and too few high-quality child care options. That is why the Government of Canada is supporting the implementation of a Canada-wide early learning and child care system, giving children the best possible start and making life more affordable for families across Canada.
Today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, and Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, announced that, effective December 31, 2022, fees for families with children under the age of 6 at licensed child care operators in Ontario that have enrolled in the Canada-wide early learning and child care system will be reduced by an average of 50% across the province, compared to 2020 levels.
The lower fee structure is supported by federal investments under Ontario’s Canada-wide early learning and child care agreement. As a result, parent fees for licensed child care operators enrolled in the Canada-wide system will be brought down to an average of $23 per day, which could save Ontario families up to $6,000 per child per year. This is a significant milestone toward reaching an average of $10-a-day early learning and child care fees in the province by March 2026.
Additionally, under the Canada-wide agreement, Ontario is working towards creating 86,000 new licensed child care spaces by the end of 2026, which will include the spaces the province allocated today.
Building an early learning and child care system that works for all families in every region of the country is a key part of the Government of Canada’s plan to make life more affordable for families while creating good jobs and growing the economy. All of Canada’s provinces and territories have announced reductions in child care fees or were already providing child care services for $10-a-day or less upon joining the Canada-wide early learning and child care system.
“As families here in Ontario are dealing with elevated inflation, a 50 per cent reduction in their child care fees will mean real relief. Affordable child care also means that women in Ontario do not have to choose between their career and their family—this is feminist economic policy in action. Today’s announcement is great news for Ontario, and it is growing our economy and making life more affordable for families at the same time.”
– Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
“Access to affordable, high-quality, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care is increasingly becoming a reality for families in Ontario, and across the country. The fee reduction announced today for centres that are part of the Canada-wide system is a key step toward our ultimate goal for an average of $10-a-day regulated child care. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories toward a better future for children, and families, everywhere in Canada.”
– Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“Our government is proud to deliver affordable child care for Ontario families. That is why we are excited to announce a 50% reduction in fees on January 1st, saving families $6,000 on average, with some families saving as much as $10,000 per year. By doing so, we put money back into parents’ pockets, while investing to create over 50,000 additional spaces. Our government will continue to ensure choice is respected, spaces are created, and fees are significantly reduced benefiting all parents in all regions of our province.”
– Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education for Ontario
“The YMCA is proud to be working together with the federal and provincial governments to build a successful Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system. As the largest provider of not-for-profit child care in the country, YMCAs have long advocated for a high-quality, publicly funded system that is affordable, accessible, and inclusive for families. The reduction of fees by an average of 50% this January is another important step in making child care more affordable for more hardworking families at a time when they need it most.”
– Linda Cottes, Senior Vice-President of Child and Family Development, YMCA of Greater Toronto and Chair of the YMCA Ontario Child Care Advisory Group
- As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of more than $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with provinces and territories. Combined with other investments, including in Indigenous early learning and child care, up to $30 billion over five years will be provided in support of early learning and child care.
- As part of the Canada-wide agreement with Ontario, the Government of Canada is investing more than $10.2 billion over five years to help improve licensed early learning and child care for children under the age of 6 in the province.
- On November 17, 2022, Nunavut announced that, as of December 2022, it will become the first jurisdiction to achieve $10-a-day regulated child care under a Canada-wide system. Quebec and Yukon had both achieved $10-a-day, or less, through their existing early learning and child care systems before the Canada-wide agreements were established.
- The Government of Canada has recently introduced Bill C-35, which, if passed, would enshrine the principles of a Canada-wide early learning and child care system into federal law. Bill C-35 marks an historic milestone in the Government’s commitment to ensuring families in Canada have enduring access to affordable, inclusive and high-quality early learning and child care. This includes a commitment to maintain long-term federal funding for provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners to support the provision of early learning and child care under a Canada-wide system.
- Canada – Ontario Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement – 2021 to 2026
- Toward $10-a-Day: Early Learning and Child Care
- $10-a-day child care for families in Ontario
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