How Much Is the Cost of Daycare in Ontario? 

The federal government made a commitment to reduce child care fees by the end of 2022 

Today, many parents are struggling to find a new normal. After two years of dealing with the pandemic, their childcare options are still being affected. With the growing need for many parents to return back to the workplace, many are looking to expand their childcare options. 

Here is a look at what is happening in the Ontario daycare landscape, some historical information and the solutions proposed. 

What is the current situation across Ontario daycares? 

According to statscan, in early 2022, the number of parents who used child care centres went back to normal pre-pandemic rates, while the use of family child care homes (home-based child care) decreased. Similar to 2020, four in ten parents still have difficulty finding childcare. 57% of parents reported difficulty finding care in their community, while 46% had difficulty finding affordable care. 

According to Gordon Clevland, a child-care policy expert and associate professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, to meet the growing needs of parents and to minimize the long waiting lists currently in place the province needs over 200,000 licensed childcare spaces to fulfill the demand. 

Another key point is affordability, overall, childcare has increased since the start of the pandemic. The average daycare costs are around $1,600 in Ontario, ranging up to $70 a day. For a full-time spot for a toddler in Toronto, it is amongst the highest in the country.  

How much has daycare in Ontario cost historically? 

In 2011, the average daycare cost of having a full-time child aged four and younger in Ontario was $677 per month. Today if you are a parent living in Toronto, it costs $1,000 more to have your infant or toddler in daycare. This is an increase of 67%, which is astronomical. The rise in the cost of daycare in Ontario over the past number of years may be attributed to: 

  1. Increasing cost of real estate- whether to buy or rent a property for daycare. 
  2. Lack of support from the government to the private operators to help cost of building and opening daycares. 
  3. Increased cost of living year after year, which leads to higher HR costs for daycares to be in ratios required by Licensing. 

Private companies opening daycares actually operate at a much lower cost in relation to the government run daycares, yet they need to keep higher fees in order to afford the costs of running the daycare.  

Is Support Coming to the Ontario Daycare Community? 

Many parents continue to struggle as they wait for help. However, some fundamental changes are coming to the childcare system. Earlier this year, Ontario signed a deal with Ottawa to join a national child-care program to bring fees down to $10 per day by 2025. 

The six-year, $13.2-billion federal-provincial deal was announced in March and promised parents in Ontario a rebate for 25% of their fees for this year retroactive to April 1 and a further reduction of 25% starting next year. According to CBC, only 17% of Toronto’s licensed for-profit daycares have signed onto the program. More than 80% of daycare operators can join the program as of today but just recently have just started their applications. If a majority of providers choose to opt out of the program, this will leave many parents without access to affordable childcare. The private operators are yet to receive details for CWELCC and have been asked to sign up for the program with little information. Based on the preliminary details received, none of the guidelines issued help the above 3 challenges in providing accessible daycare for parents.   

The deadline for operators to join the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care program is September 1, 2022.  

Childcare with Subsidy – SimplySmart childcare 

If you want to join a community created to help parents, we would like you to consider thinking of SimplySmart Child Care Centre & Montessori for your child and family needs. We accept subsidies for your child’s early learning. 

To learn more about our Play-Based or Montessori programs, please visit https://simplysmartchildcare.com/play-based-or-montessori/.