Excerpted from the executive summary
Ontario child care costs and female labour force participation
• In Ontario, the average cost of child care was approximately $12,800 in 2018. Ontario’s child care costs are the second highest in Canada, after British Columbia, and approximately 40 per cent higher than the national average. The province with the lowest average child care costs is Quebec, at $4,400 a year, a third of Ontario’s costs.
• Ontario’s relatively high child care costs contribute to the province’s relatively low rate of child care usage. Only 40 per cent of Ontario children below the age of six participate in child care,1 the second lowest rate in the country.
• Low child care usage is closely associated with lower female labour force participation2 because mothers are often forced to limit their working hours or take time off to care for their children. In 2018, the participation rate for core-age Ontario women, at 81.5 per cent, was the lowest in the country.