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Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland lead the nation on supplying $10-a-day child care

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Quebec remains province with lowest child care fees in the country
Zimonjic, Peter
Publication Date: 
26 Oct 2023


Cities in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador are leading the country on offering $10-a-day child-care services, but the availability of spaces remains an obstacle, says a new survey.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Martha Friendly, director of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit, published the "Measuring Matters" survey Thursday. It's the first survey from the centre to assess fees paid by parents nationwide since the federal government's new child-care policy took effect.

"Overall, the findings related to child-care fees by city and age group show that Canada is making solid progress in offering more affordable child care," the report said.

Researchers surveyed child-care centres in 37 cities across the country — five cities in Quebec (which already had child-care fees below $10 a day) and 32 cities in provinces and territories that joined the federal child-care program.

It found that in 18 of the 32 cities, median child care fees had been reduced by more than half. Another eight to 10 cities saw fees drop by 40 to 47 per cent, depending on the level of care.


The Measuring Matters survey has been conducted every year since 2014. This is the first to assess the impact of the new child-care policy on fees.

Researchers conducting the survey made about 11,000 calls to child-care centres across the country to track the median fees in those cities for infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children.


While not all provinces met the $10 a day benchmark or cut fees by 50 per cent, all provinces and territories managed to reduce fees for child care significantly, the report said.


The report says that if no new spaces are created, the reduced fees will simply increase the number of people on waiting lists for child care spaces — and the national child-care program will have failed.


The report also asks governments to develop strategies to increase the number of child care spaces and boost wages for child-care workers.