It’s a new life in Canada! You have many things to consider, like finding the right child care. Childcare options can be daunting for newcomers with kids- it is important to find an affordable and accessible center before your little one grows too fast (or becomes unwilling).
We’ll explore what costs are involved when looking into these services and how best to fund them through taxes or other sources such families might use personally.
In this post, we’ll look at the many childcare choices available in Canada, as well as costs and subsidies to assist you in planning and budgeting better. We’ll also provide some pointers on locating a suitable kid care provider.
Child Care in Canada: Types, Cost & Tips for Newcomers
There are many different kinds of child care in Canada. Some are more expensive than others. But there are ways to help pay for child care. You can also get help finding a good place for your child to stay while you work.
There are two types of child care services in Canada- regulated and unregulated. Regulated care is more expensive, but it is also more highly supervised and safe. Unregulated child care is cheaper, but you might not know what conditions your child will be in. It is important to research both types of care before you decide which is best for your family.
Type of child care service and regulatory overview
Full-time child care centers
Unlicensed child care centers are illegal in Canada. However, private schools, religious schools, or other early childhood education facilities may be exempt from licensing in some regions.
Part-time childcare programs (includes nursery and pre-school)
Unlicensed programs are allowed in Saskatchewan and the Yukon.
School-age child care programs
Some before and after school, summer and vacation programs/camps for elementary school-age children do not require licensing (including those that operate in school facilities).
Kindergarten – offered by provinces/territories
In most Canadian provinces, kindergarten is part of the public school system and therefore regulated by the provincial government.
Regulated family child care (home-based child care – provided in the caregiver’s home)
In some provinces, regulated family child care is “approved” rather than regulated. Most family child care is not regulated, supervised, or approved. No province requires all family child care to be regulated unless it exceeds the maximum number of children.
Unregulated family child care (home-based child care – provided in the caregiver’s or child’s home and including “babysitters” or “sitters”)
Unregulated family, child care providers do not need a license, are not inspected or supervised and are not required to meet established standards for training, physical space or other characteristics.
Note: In the case of full-time daycare in your home, you must negotiate the terms of employment with the provider. There must be a written contract between the employer (you) and employee (the caregiver) if the caregiver is part of the Live-In Caregiver Program. It must include job responsibilities, hours of work, wage rate, and other terms and conditions of employment.
Tip: If you’re searching for a nanny, check out these tips before signing a contract with an unlicensed family child care provider. A sample Live-In Caregiver Program contract may be useful during the drafting process.
Budgeting and planning for child care costs
To budget for childcare costs, it is important to understand the different age groups that child care services cater to. The three most common age groups are infants (0-18 months), toddlers (19-36 months), and preschoolers (3-5 years old).
- Infant: Children under two years of age.
- Toddler: Children between 18 months to three years of age.
- Preschool-age: Children between two-and-a-half years to kindergarten age (age four or five, depending on the province).
Is child care free in Canada?
Some people think that child care is free in Canada. But it’s not free. You might have to pay for it, especially if you need someone to watch your child full-time. Fees in certain jurisdictions, such as Quebec and Manitoba, are more reasonable than those in other provinces.
How much does child care cost in Canada?
Child care can be expensive, but there are ways to make it more affordable. The cost of child care varies depending on the child’s age, but it’s usually more expensive to have someone watch an infant than a toddler. The highest monthly cost for child care is in Ontario, at CAD 1,986 per kid. Depending on the province, these might be as low as $181. The table below details specific costs by province.
Key highlights for child care costs in Canada
- There are four provinces where at least half of childcare places are paid at a provincially set price: Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
- In Toronto, infant, toddler, and pre-school childcare are the most expensive, with median costs of C$1,866, C$1,578, and C$1,250 per month, respectively. Next are Markham, Mississauga, Oakville, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan, all cities in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) with the highest median cost for infant care. The cities with the lowest infant care fees are Quebec City (Gatineau, Laval, Montreal, Longueuil, and Quebec City), where the median price is $181 Canadian per month, set by the province.
- The next most affordable city is Winnipeg, where an infant’s place costs a provincially fixed fee of CAD 651 per month.
Child care waitlists and waitlist fees
In many situations, because there are only a few child care spots available, several centers across the country have a waiting list, which is usually quite extensive. Many families join the waitlist before their kid is born.
In some cases, these lists may need parents to pay a charge (between $50 and CAD 200 or more) for their kids to be added to the list. Since each facility maintains its queue, parents may have to pay several waitlist costs while they wait for a place on the list to become available.
Tips for planning for child care costs
- Budget your expenses: Determine how much you’ll need to save each month and the amount of money you’ll require. Make a list of your monthly expenditures and have an idea of your costs. Plan your finances using the Arrive cost of living calculator, which will help you be prepared.
- Apply for grants: There are a few different types of grants parents can apply for regarding child care. The Canada Child Benefit, for example, is a grant that helps Canadian families with the cost of raising kids under 18 years old. Applicants must have children under six and meet certain income requirements to be eligible.
- Consider subsidies: Subsidies are available in some provinces and can help with the cost of child care. Contact your provincial or territorial government to see if you’re eligible for a subsidy. Reach out to your nearest newcomer settlement center, and they may assist you.
- Compare the cost of private care to full-time daycare: Although both options are costly, hiring a nanny (for example) may be more cost-effective if you have two or more children.
Newmarket is a town located in the Regional Municipality of York, in the southern part of the Greater Toronto Area. The town is home to several daycare facilities offering various services and programming.
One popular daycare option in Newmarket is Cozytime Montessori-based child daycare. This daycare provides a safe and nurturing environment for children aged six weeks to six years. The staff at Cozytime Montessori are certified in Early Childhood Education, and the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators accredits the facility.
How to find a child care option that works for your unique situation
Finding the right child care for your family can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are a few tips that can help you find the perfect child care for your needs:
1. Do your research – It’s important to research your options before deciding. Read reviews, compare prices, and ask other parents for recommendations.
2. Consider your budget – Child care can be expensive, so it’s important to consider your budget when deciding.
3. Think about your child’s needs – Each child is unique, so you’ll need to find a child care option that meets your specific needs.
4. Ask for help – If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a friend, family member, or professional.
5. Check whether the service is licensed, regulated, and monitored by the government. Examine their credentials.
6. Check whether the staff is certified in providing emergency first aid.
7. Examine if they have receipts for any payments made.
8. Inquire about costs.
Finding a child care solution that meets your needs takes time and money. Knowing how the Canadian child care system works and learning about the numerous choices and costs is critical for ensuring you are well-equipped to locate a child care service that’s a good fit for you and your children.
When finding a good daycare in Toronto, parents must do their research first. There are many different types of child care available, each with its pros and cons. Costs can add up quickly, so parents need to plan and budget appropriately. There are a few ways for parents to save on child care costs, such as subsidies and grants, so be sure to explore your options. Ultimately, finding a child care option that works best for your family’s unique needs is the most important thing.