Canada’s $10-a-day daycare program: A guide for families

  • You currently pay more than $12 per day for child care. 
  • Your child is under the age of six. 
  • Your child is enrolled in a licensed child care facility that is participating in the national child care program.

Potential savings

The amount you will save depends on the fees charged by your child care provider. Below are the government’s estimates for the average annual savings per child with $10-a-day daycare in place compared to the fees in 2019.  

Province/Territory Estimated annual savings
Alberta $8,610
British Columbia $9,390
Manitoba $2,610
New Brunswick $5,220
Newfoundland and Labrador $7,560
Northwest Territories  $7,300
Nova Scotia $6,780
Nunavut $7,300
Ontario $9,000+
Prince Edward Island $4,170
Saskatchewan $5,220
Yukon $7,300

What impact will the program have on families?

The $10-a-day child care program will have a significant financial impact on young families in Canada by making child care more affordable. Families in Ontario and British Columbia, for example, can expect to save more than $9,000 per year compared to 2019. That means more money for other big expenses, such as housing, transportation and food. 

Affordable daycare could have other ripple effects, too. Couples who are unsure if they can afford to have kids might feel more confident about starting a family. This is especially true for those thinking about having more than one kidFewer mothers may feel the need to leave the workforce to care for their children, as so many did during the pandemic. And this would positively impact the finances of families overall.

What should you do with the rebates you receive?

Depending on the amount you currently pay for daycare, CWELCC could translate to thousands of dollars back in your pocket. Here are a few ways you can put that money to good use:

My experience with $10-a-day daycare

When I found out I was pregnant in the fall of 2020, my husband and I researched several child care providers in our neighbourhood and put our names on numerous wait-lists. We did online research and went on tours to meet the staff and see the facilities first-hand. From there, we anticipated spending an eye-watering $23,400 on daycare in the first year alone. 

We live in a major city and needed infant care (as opposed to toddler care)—two things that come at a premium. So, we came up with a plan. We opened a new savings account and stashed money away every month. Having a head start helped lessen the financial burden we knew we would face.

We also put together a chart comparing the fees of daycare facilities that either opted into or opted out of CWELCC. The difference added up to tens of thousands of dollars over several years. Not knowing whether our preferred facility would ultimately enroll, as a backup plan we put our names on several wait-lists for toddler care rooms. Fortunately, our child care provider did opt into the program last fall.

Currently, we are patiently waiting for our 2022 reimbursement—we anticipate getting roughly $3,500 back. And the new 50% reduction for 2023 will amount to around $11,500 in savings. With the rising cost of living, it’s a financial relief to get this money back. We’ll be putting it to good use by redirecting it toward our child’s future education.  

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