Unlocking Canada's $10 a Day Childcare: Your Ultimate Guide!

Unlocking Canada's $10 a Day Childcare: Your Ultimate Guide!

For many parents across Canada, finding reliable and affordable childcare has been a journey filled with challenges and compromises. The costs associated with quality daycare often strain family budgets, making the dream of balanced work-life dynamics seem elusive. Enter the "$10 a day childcare" initiative, a beacon of hope for families nationwide. This groundbreaking program promises not only to make daycare more financially accessible but also to elevate the standard of early childhood education, ensuring every child gets the best start in life.

As parents, we all strive to provide the best possible opportunities for our children, and this program is an important step in that direction. Beyond the obvious financial relief, the $10 a day daycare program underscores Canada's commitment to future generations. It's about creating an environment where parents can pursue their career goals without having to constantly worry about the logistics of parenting. As we dig into this guide, we'll explore the nuances of this transformative initiative and how it will benefit families like yours and create a better, more inclusive future for all Canadian children.

How much does daycare cost in Canada?

Childcare in Canada is a significant investment for families, with costs varying widely across the country. On average, Canadian families have been known to spend close to $10,000 annually on daycare for a single child. In urban regions, this figure can escalate, making childcare one of the most substantial expenses for young families. The high costs, coupled with long waitlists for daycare facilities, have been a source of concern for many, often influencing family planning decisions.

Daycare costs continue to fluctuate based on several factors. For instance, in cities like Toronto, known for its high daycare costs, families can expect to spend around $1,758 monthly on infant care, translating to an annual expense of approximately $21,096.

However, in other parts of the country, these costs can be significantly lower, with monthly daycare expenses ranging between $850 and $1300. Some of the more premium facilities can charge up to $2000 per month. 

Despite the high costs, many families view daycare as a necessary expenditure, given the importance of early childhood education and the need for dependable childcare for working parents. 


As we navigate the future, it's crucial for families to stay updated about the evolving childcare landscape and explore all available options to secure the best possible care for their children.

While exploring various childcare options, it's equally important for parents to consider strategies for managing the associated costs. Childcare expenses can be a significant part of a family's budget, especially in Canada where the costs vary widely. To help parents navigate these financial challenges, we've compiled a list of effective strategies in our article, 'What type of strategies do parents use to manage childcare costs?'. This guide offers practical tips and insights on how families can balance quality childcare with affordability, ensuring that their children receive the best possible care without straining the family budget.


What does Canada’s $10 childcare program mean for you?

For Canadian families, the "$10 a day childcare" program represents more than just a policy; it's a transformative shift in how we perceive and access early childhood education. At its core, this initiative is about leveling the playing field, ensuring that every child, regardless of their socio-economic background, has access to quality care and education. For parents, this translates to significant financial relief. Imagine the savings from reduced daycare fees, which can then be channeled towards other essential family needs or future investments for your child, such as their education fund.


Beyond the immediate financial benefits, the program carries broader societal implications. It acknowledges the critical role of early childhood education in shaping future generations. Moreover, with affordable and accessible childcare, parents, especially mothers, are presented with greater opportunities to re-enter the workforce or pursue further education. This not only boosts household incomes but also contributes to the broader economy.

In essence, the "$10 a day childcare" program is a testament to Canada's commitment to its families, ensuring a brighter future for both parents and children.

Navigating the $10 a day DayCare Initiative Across Canadian Provinces and Territories

The $10 a day childcare program is a transformative initiative by the federal government, aiming to make quality childcare accessible and affordable for families across Canada. While the overarching goal is consistent, the implementation details vary based on the unique needs and challenges of each province and territory. Here's a breakdown of the deals signed across the country:

BC was the pioneer in this initiative, having started a $10 a day daycare pilot program even before the federal proposal. The province aims to reach an average of $10 per day childcare in regulated spaces for children under six before 2027. The agreement also promises the creation of 30,000 new spaces in BC over five years, with fees for regulated spaces expected to be halved by the end of 2022.


The territory's deal includes the creation of 110 new regulated early learning and childcare spaces within five years. Yukon's plan ensures parents pay an average of $10 a day in out-of-pocket fees for full-time regulated spaces for children under age six. The agreement also funds the implementation of Yukon's wage grid, providing a minimum wage of nearly $30 an hour to qualified early childhood educators.

A $51-million deal signed in December 2021 promises to cut childcare costs in half immediately, aiming for the $10 a day target in five years. The agreement also plans to create 300 new daycare spaces in the territory by 2026.

Alberta's agreement, backed by $3.8 billion in federal funding over five years, aims to halve child-care fees by the end of this year and achieve the $10 average by 2026. The deal encompasses all types of licensed child-care facilities up to kindergarten and plans to create 42,500 new regulated early learning and child-care spaces by March 2026.


Nunavut's $66-million deal, announced in January, was halve daycare fees by the end of 2022, reaching the $10 target by 2024. The territory plans to create 238 new daycare spots by 2026. Given the longstanding daycare shortage in Nunavut, the government aims to create new daycare spaces in schools and vacant buildings. This initiative marks a significant step towards addressing the childcare needs of the region, ensuring that every child in Nunavut has access to quality and affordable care.

Saskatchewan's deal with Ottawa aims to bring the cost of childcare for kids under six down to $10 a day by 2025-26. However, fees was halved by the end of 2022, saving parents up to $400 a month. The agreement also promises the creation of 28,000 new provincially regulated spaces.

Manitoba's agreement with the federal government commits to $1.2 billion over five years, aiming for $10 a day childcare by 2023. The funds will also help create 23,000 early learning and childcare spaces for kids aged six and under.

Ontario's $10.2 billion deal will halve childcare fees by the end of the year. Parents will start receiving rebates in May, retroactive to April 1, for a fee reduction of up to 25%. Further reductions are planned for September 2024, aiming for an average of $10 a day by September 2025. The deal also includes the creation of 86,000 child-care spaces.

Wondering about the specific costs of daycare in Ontario? Find detailed information on the various pricing options and what to expect in our comprehensive guide on How Much Is the Cost of Daycare in Toronto?.


Quebec has opted out of the national childcare program but will still receive its share of the funding. The province will get $6 billion over five years without any conditions on the money's use. Currently, Quebec's daycare program costs parents $8.50 a day per child, with an estimated need for another 37,000 subsidized spaces.

New Brunswick's deal with Ottawa grants the province $491 million to create 5,700 new spaces at an average cost of $10 per day by 2026. The agreement also promises to increase the wages of daycare workers to $23.47 per hour over five years. This collaboration between New Brunswick and Ottawa signifies a shared commitment to enhancing the childcare sector, both in terms of accessibility for families and fair compensation for dedicated childcare professionals.


Nova Scotia's $605-million agreement with Ottawa aims to create 9,500 new regulated early learning and child-care spaces by the 2025-26 fiscal year. The province will also contribute $40 million over the agreement's duration.

PEI's deal with Ottawa promises $120 million for $10 a day childcare spots by the end of 2024. The agreement also plans to halve average childcare fees by the end of 2022 and create over 450 new spots within two years.

The province's deal with Ottawa promises $347 million over five years to create about 6,000 new child-care spaces. The agreement will reduce average parent fees to $15 a day from $25 a day in 2022 and $10 a day in 2023.

The "$10 a day childcare" program is a testament to Canada's commitment to its future generations. As the initiative continues to evolve, it's essential for parents to stay informed and proactive, ensuring they can make the most of the benefits it promises.

For a detailed breakdown and further insights on the child-care agreements across Canada, you can refer to the comprehensive report by CBC News.

How do I find a licensed and subsidized daycare that provides $10 a day daycare?

Finding a licensed and subsidized daycare that aligns with the $10 a day initiative is a priority for many Canadian parents. Here's a step-by-step guide to streamline your search:

  1. Official Government Websites: Most provinces and territories maintain directories of licensed childcare providers. These platforms often highlight facilities participating in the $10 a day program. Depending on your location, you can visit your provincial or territorial government's official website for detailed information.
  1. Community Resources: Local parent groups, community centers, and online forums can be invaluable. Engaging with these communities can provide firsthand insights and recommendations. Websites like Childcare Center offer extensive listings and reviews of daycare facilities across Canada. Leveraging these community resources empowers parents to make informed decisions, ensuring they find the best daycare facilities that align with their family's needs and values.
  1. On-site Visits: Once you've identified potential daycares, schedule visits. This hands-on approach allows you to gauge the environment, meet the staff, and inquire directly about their involvement in the $10 a day initiative.
  2. Stay Updated: The landscape of the $10 a day program is dynamic, with more centers joining as the initiative expands. Regularly check announcements from your provincial government or trusted news sources to stay informed about new additions or changes.

While the affordability of the $10 a day program is enticing, it's essential to ensure the daycare meets your child's specific needs and aligns with your family's values. Prioritize a holistic approach, considering both cost and quality of care. Finding the perfect daycare can be overwhelming. To simplify the process and ensure you're making the right choice, explore our comprehensive guide on How to Choose the Best Daycare for Your Child.


What this means for childcare providers

The introduction of the "$10 a day childcare" program is not just a game-changer for families but also has profound implications for childcare providers across Canada. As the landscape of early childhood education undergoes this transformative shift, providers find themselves at the intersection of opportunity and adaptation.

1. Increased Demand: With the reduced fees, more families are likely to seek out licensed childcare services. This surge in demand means providers can expect higher enrollment rates, leading to fuller classes and potentially extended waitlists.

2. Financial Adjustments: While the program promises affordability for parents, providers need to navigate the financial intricacies of reduced fees while maintaining quality care. The subsidies from the government will play a crucial role in bridging this gap, ensuring that providers can continue to offer top-notch services without compromising on their operational costs.


3. Enhanced Standards: The program's emphasis on quality care means providers might face stricter regulations and standards. Continuous training, curriculum enhancements, and facility upgrades might become necessary to align with the program's objectives. Embracing these enhanced standards not only aligns with the program's goals but also fosters a culture of excellence, ensuring that every child receives the highest quality of care and education.

  1. Administrative Dynamics: With government subsidies and new regulations, providers may experience an uptick in administrative tasks. This could involve regular reporting, adherence to subsidy guidelines, and ensuring compliance with the evolving standards of the program.
  2. Collaboration and Community Building: The initiative encourages providers to collaborate more closely with local communities, government bodies, and other stakeholders. This collaborative approach can lead to shared resources, knowledge exchange, and a more integrated childcare ecosystem.

In essence, while the "$10 a day childcare" program presents providers with new challenges, it also offers unprecedented opportunities. Embracing change, staying informed, and fostering a collaborative spirit will be key for providers to thrive in this new era of Canadian childcare.

Feds on track for making $10 a day childcare a reality by 2026

In a recent CTV News report  , Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasized the Canadian government's commitment to making childcare more affordable across the country. He shared that British Columbia has achieved its joint goal with the federal government to halve average childcare fees, leading to families saving up to an additional $6,600 annually per child. This is part of the broader plan to implement $10 a day childcare by 2026.

Trudeau highlighted the story of a mother who, thanks to reduced childcare costs, is now saving over a thousand dollars a month and has been able to return to full-time work. This real-life example underscores the significant impact of the $10 a day childcare program on Canadian families.

Despite opposition from some quarters, Trudeau assured that the government will continue to stand up for families and work towards making life more affordable. This commitment to affordable childcare is not just a social policy, but also an economic one, as it allows more parents to participate in the workforce.


In conclusion, the "$10 a day childcare" program is a significant stride towards making childcare more accessible and affordable for families across Canada. It's a testament to the country's commitment to its future generations, promising to level the playing field for all children, regardless of their socio-economic background. The initiative also acknowledges the vital role of early childhood education in shaping future generations and the importance of providing parents, especially mothers, with greater opportunities to re-enter the workforce or pursue further education.

As we navigate this transformative shift in the landscape of early childhood education, it's crucial for families and childcare providers alike to stay informed and proactive. For families, this means exploring all available options to secure the best possible care for their children. For providers, it means embracing change, staying informed, and fostering a collaborative spirit to thrive in this new era of Canadian childcare. The "$10 a day childcare" program is not just a policy; it's a promise of a brighter, more inclusive future for all Canadian children.

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