Too many families across Canada lack access to high‑quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care. That is why the Government of Canada has laid out a plan to provide families in Canada with, on average, $10‑a‑day child care for children under six years of age by March 2026. This plan will make life more affordable for families, create new jobs, get parents— especially women—back into the workforce, and grow the middle class, while giving every child a real and fair chance at success.
Today, Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, along with the Honourable R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment of the Northwest Territories, announced that licensed child care fees for Northwest Territories families with children under six years of age will be reduced by an average of 50%, retroactive to January 1, 2022.
Families will be reimbursed 50%, on average, for licensed child care fees paid from January 2022 to March 2022. They will also see that fee reduction moving forward. Families in the Northwest Territories could save up to $4,950 per child by the end of 2022.
Today’s announcement means that the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories have achieved their goal of reducing licensed child care fees by 50%, on average, one year ahead of schedule. This is a significant step toward the goal of achieving an average of $10-a-day out-of-pocket fee for families whose children attend licensed early learning and child care in the Northwest Territories by March 2026.
More than half of Canada’s provinces and territories have announced the implementation of child care fee reductions, working toward the commitment under the Canada-wide early learning and child care agreements to reduce fees for licensed child care spaces by 50% on average by the end of 2022. The governments of Quebec and Yukon have already achieved an average cost of $10 a day or lower for regulated child care.
A Canada-wide early learning and child care system is becoming a reality across the country. The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners to make life easier and more affordable for families.
“The Government of Canada’s goal is to ensure that, by the end of March 2026, all families in Canada, no matter where they live, will have access to regulated early learning and child care for an average of $10 a day. The reduction of fees announced today in the Northwest Territories is a meaningful step toward achieving that goal and will make a real difference for families across the territory. We will continue to work with the Northwest Territories to help ensure that children have access to the high‑quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care they need to succeed.”
– The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“A high-quality early learning and child care system provides children with the foundations that influence their wellbeing, learning, and development for the rest of their lives. Today, we are taking the first step toward transforming our early learning and child care system by making child care more affordable for families by reducing child care fees by an average of 50%. We will continue to collaborate across the territory to create an early learning and child care system that meets the needs of children and families in the Northwest Territories.”
– The Honourable R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment of the Northwest Territories
As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of more than $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with territories and provinces, which includes more than $51 million for the Northwest Territories over five years to help improve licensed early learning and child care for children under six years of age in the territory. Combined with other investments, including investments in Indigenous early learning and child care, up to $30 billion over five years will be provided to provinces and territories in support of early learning and child care.
By March 2026, the Northwest Territories expects to create 300 licensed early learning and child care spaces and to improve access for families in the Northwest Territories.
Through previous investments in early learning and child care, the Government of Canada helped to create over 40,000 more affordable child care spaces across the country prior to the pandemic, including spaces in the Northwest Territories.
In addition to these investments, the Government of Canada is directly supporting families, no matter how they choose to care for their children, through the Canada Child Benefit.