children playing

Why is the solution to affordable daycare in Canada so elusive?

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
CBC Radio: Cross Country Checkup
Publication Date: 
22 Apr 2017


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.

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?

-reprinted from CBC News