Why is the solution to affordable daycare in Canada so elusive?
For so many working families in this country, it's called the Daycare Dilemma. Even before their child is born, they add the family's name to daycare waiting lists.Then, the wait begins.
More from this episode:
- Should we turn to senior citizens to take care of our children?
- Kids or career? 'There is no right answer': Checkup caller
- Shift work makes finding daycare difficult: Checkup caller
Sometimes it can take six months, a year, and sometimes, longer. That wait can be followed by sticker shock when parents find out how much daycare will cost. Depending on where you live, the annual cost of daycare can be more than university tuition. It's an issue that hits families in the heart and the wallet.
There is a patchwork of daycare solutions across the country from Quebec's $7-a-day universal childcare to provinces where there's a mix of private and public daycare with subsidies for families with lower incomes.
In B.C, daycare is a hot-button election topic right now with battlelines drawn over the NDP's proposal for $10-a-day child-care. Earlier this month, Alberta announced a pilot for a $25-a-day child-care program. And, the city of Toronto just released a report calling for 30,000 new daycare spaces by 2026 at a cost of $2.5 billion.
Ottawa has promised to do it's part. The federal budget recently set aside $7 billion to make more child-care spaces available across the country. But those billions need divvying up between provinces and territories, and will be stretched over ten years. Will parents see shorter waitlists and capped fees any time soon?
Our question today: Why is the solution to affordable daycare in Canada so elusive?
Sarah Ehrhardt and Munizah Salman, two mothers who have struggled to find daycares for their children.
Andrea Mrozek, Program Director of Cardus Family and former Executive Director at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.
Louis Senécal, CEO of the Quebec childcare association (AQCPE) L'Association Québécoise des Centres de la petite enfance. Twitter: @aqcpe
Gordon Cleveland, Associate Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. He is a specialist in the economics of child care and child-care policy. He has also advised federal, provincial and municipal governments and nonprofit organizations across Canada.
What we're reading
- Province names centres to provide $25-a-day daycare
- Billions in child-care spending needed to fix child care in Toronto, report says
- Parents to pay more for daycare if Toronto goes ahead with funding cuts, TDSB says; daycare costs more than university
- Child-care costs rising rapidly in Canada's biggest cities, study finds
- Quebec daycares urged to 'positively welcome' roughhousing for boys
- 'Recognizing feelings' better for boys than 'war games' and roughhousing, says Windsor daycare worker
- CBC Archives: Who Cares For Our Kids? The Changing Face of Daycare in Canada
Globe and Mail
- Liberals look to target child-care funding to 'vulnerable' families
- Liberal budget's child-care funding commendable, but won't help families any time soon
- Child-care investment should be a priority for British Columbia
- Bringing Quebec costs to B.C. daycares a key commitment for NDP
- Provinces should be wary of Quebec's daycare model
- William Watson: Quebec's subsidized daycare costs a whopping $2.6 billion and the children may not be better off
- $2.5B daycare plan could serve half of Toronto's young children
- Vast majority of Toronto parents can't afford daycare
Winnipeg Free Press
Studies (mentioned in media)
- Cardus: All the Daycare Research That's Fit to Print
- National Bureau of Economic Research: The long-run impacts of a universal child care program (pdf)
- Puzzling it out: The current state of scientific knowledge on pre-kindergarten effects
- Quebec's Daycare Program: A Flawed Policy Model
- Toronto's Licensed Child Care Growth Strategy (pdf)
- Factors of risk, vulnerability and school readiness among preschoolers: Evidence from Quebec (pdf)
- City of Toronto Licensed Child Care Demand and Affordability Study (pdf)
- Child care for all of us: Universal child care for Canadians by 2020 (pdf)
- Twelve flawed statements of the Fraser Institute on Quebec's childcare program (pdf)
- An Economic Perspective on the Current and Future Role of Non-profit Provision of Early Learning and Child Care Services in Canada (pdf)