CCPA report shows high fees, long wait lists, low wages permeate system

The report highlights that high fees are not the only issue. Even if Canadians can afford child care, there are long waiting lists due to the lack of available regulated spaces.

Ottawa (11 Dec. 2015) – The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) has released a report on child care fees. The report, They Go Up So Fast: 2015 Child Care Fees in Canadian Cities, surveys fees for child care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers in 27 Canadian cities. This is the second year that the CCPA has produced a report on child care fees and it found that on average, fees have increased by 5 per cent since 2014.

Costs of child care dramatically different depending on where you live

The report found the highest fees for child care are in Toronto — a couple with 2 children under five pays $28,300 annually. The lowest fees were found in Quebec due to its cap on fees at a low level for everyone. However, Quebec did see a 14 per cent increase since the province introduced a system geared more to parental income. Manitoba and Prince Edward Island have capped fees but at a higher level than Quebec. The capped fees resulted in lower child care costs in these provinces compared to the rest of the country.

Nowhere in the country is it more evident that a subsidized child care program is needed than in the Ottawa—Gatineau region. In Ottawa, the cost for a preschool space is $987 per month — across the river in Gatineau, the cost is $174 per month.

Long wait-lists add to the problem 

The report highlights that high fees are not the only issue. Even if Canadians can afford child care, there are long waiting lists due to the lack of available regulated spaces.

Provincial child care regulations related to quality and the ratio of staff-to- children determine the cost of child care, with staff costs playing a significant role. However, child care workers earn some of the lowest wages of any occupation—just over $25,000 if working full time.

From its examination of the child care situation in Canada, the report found that it is unlikely that child care fees will drop or child care spaces will increase without additional government subsidies.

Liberals promised to create National Early Learning and Child Care Framework within first 100 days

The Liberals have committed to beginning work in the first 100 days of government to develop a National Early Learning and Child Care Framework. It is to be funded through the Social Infrastructure Fund.

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), along with child care advocates from across the country, will continue to stress to the new government the need for a high quality universal child care plan in Canada that also addresses the need to provide good wages tow orkers in early learning and child care..  

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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