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GNWT further reduces child care fees for families and increases funding for licensed operators

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Government of Northwest Territories
Publication Date: 
8 Feb 2023


The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has released the annual increases for child care rates under the Child Care Fee Reduction subsidy for 2023/2024.

Effective April 1, families with children attending licensed early learning and child care programs will receive an increase in their Child Care Fee Reduction subsidy from the department of Education, Culture and Employment, which will reduce their total child care fees. Previously, through the Canada-wide Canada-NWT Early Learning and Child Care Agreement (Canada-wide ELCC Agreement) the GNWT was paying an average of 50 per cent of child care fees, which will now increase to an average of 60 per cent.

Also, licensed programs will be able to increase their fees by two to six per cent, depending on the total fee rates being charged by that program for infant and preschool spaces, and by a flat rate of $10 per month for out-of-school.

With this additional GNWT funding, families will pay less for licensed early learning and child care and licensed programs will be able to receive more funding. For further information on how these increases may benefit families and maintain or increase revenue for licensed programs visit:

Licensed operators will have the option and ability to decide when and if to increase their fees by their eligible percentage. They will need to communicate directly with the families they serve if they choose to increase their fees.

The allowable increases for child care fees are based on current rates:

  • Up to $650/child/month – eligible to increase by six per cent, or up to $650, whichever is greater
  • $651 - $999/child/month – eligible to increase by up to six per cent
  • $1,000 - $1,199/child/month – eligible to increase by up to four per cent
  • $1,200 or higher/child/month– eligible to increase by up to two per cent.

This tiered approach acknowledges and helps to address the varying fee ranges across the territory and provides increases according to the range of fees currently charged (e.g., high, medium and low). The tier amounts help move towards an average of $10 per day for child care. To achieve affordability, as well as the other commitments in the Canada-wide ELCC Agreement, the GNWT must work within an established budget to support access to affordable, quality, inclusive early learning and child care programming for families throughout the territory.


“The move to a 60 per cent reduction in child care fees paid by families, on average, continues to improve affordability. The GNWT has structured these increased enhancements not only to reduce fees for families, but also to raise the total funding for licensed program operators to assist with rising costs. Although there is more work to do, addressing affordability is a step toward meeting the early learning and child care needs of families in the NWT.”

- R. J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

Quick facts

  • Across the NWT, there is a wide range of child care rates. Some licensed early learning and child care programs are free for families. Of those licensed programs that charge fees, current child care fees in the NWT range from approximately $540 to $1,380 per child per month.
  • Licensed early learning and child care program operators were able to increase fees by up to 2.3 per cent in 2022. Effective April 1, 2023 licensed program operators  may choose to increase fees by another two to six per cent, depending on their tier. This results in a possible net increase of fees by 4.35 – 8.44 per cent over two years.
  • While not all jurisdictions have published their increased rates, the NWT is currently near the top of the list for allowable increases for program operators. In comparison, British Columbia’s increase is three per cent and the Yukon is a range of one to three per cent. Ontario froze child care fees at the rate charged on March 27, 2022.