Toward $10-a-Day: Early Learning and Child Care

All families in Canada should have access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care no matter where they live. That is why we are building a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners.

Affordable care

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Early learning and child care will be more affordable by:

  • reducing fees for regulated child care by 50% on average by the end of 2022 and
  • bringing fees for regulated child care down to $10-a-day on average by the end of March 2026.
  • *These targets apply everywhere outside of Quebec, where an affordable, well-established early learning and child care system already exists

The Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to make meaningful progress towards a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system that works for families.

Savings

Estimated average annual savings per child at $10-a-day compared to 2019 child care fees
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  • BC – $ 9390
  • NS – $ 6780
  • YK - $ 7300
  • PEI – $4170
  • NL - $ 7560
  • MB - $ 2610
  • SK - $ 5220
  • AB - $ 8610
  • NWT - $ 7300
  • NU - $ 7300
  • ON - over $ 9000
  • NB - $ 5220

Achievements

The Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system will provide families with access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care no matter where they live.

In less than a year, the Government of Canada reached Canada-Wide early learning and child care agreements with all 13 provinces and territories, including an asymmetrical agreement with the Government of Quebec.

Access to care

Through the 2017 to 2020 Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care agreements, the Government of Canada achieved its previous target of creating up to 40,000 more affordable child care spaces across the country.

Through the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care agreements, the Government of Canada aims to create 250,000 new child care spaces across the country by March 2026 to give families more affordable child care options for their children.

Inclusivity will ensure every child, including children with disabilities, Indigenous children, and official language minorities, have access to affordable, high quality child care.

Our aim is to work to build a child care system that is community-based, designed from the start as inclusive. The goal is to give every Canadian child the best possible start in life.

Affordable care

Nearly half of Canada’s provinces and territories have either announced child care fee reductions or have already achieved an average cost of $10-a-day or lower for licensed child care.

Progress being made to reduce fees
Chart Progress being made to reduce fees: description follows
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Map of Canada highlighting progress being made toward achieving fee reductions across Canada.

  • Quebec and Yukon have already achieved an average cost of $10-a-day or lower for licensed child care
  • Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, British Columbia,Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have announced licensed child care fee reductions
  • Ontario and Nunavut are on track to reduce fees for parents with children in licensed child care by 50 per cent on average by the end of 2022

Benefits for Families across Canada

Access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care is important for the future of children. Accessible child care also promotes greater gender equality by allowing more parents, particularly mothers, to participate in the workforce and achieve greater economic security. It also improves and grows the female-dominated early childhood educator workforce.

Affordable, high-quality child care will:

  • grow our economy
  • allow more women to enter the workforce; and
  • help give every child in Canada the best start in life
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Children who regularly participate in early childhood education programs: have higher graduation rates, have improved work habits and grades, are excited about learning, develop strong social skills, make gains in reading and math, make better decisions.

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Features

Family and caregiving benefits
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Benefits to help with the costs of raising children, including children with disabilities. Employment Insurance benefits such as maternity, parental and caregiving benefits and leave.

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