Choosing child care is one of the most significant decisions new parents face when moving to Canada. With various options available, it’s essential to understand the types of care and costs to select what best suits your family’s needs and budget. 

Types of child care in Canada:

  • Daycare/child care center: Daycares provide full-time care for infants to school-aged children. Most are open year-round from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Daycares follow educational programs and have staff to care for groups of children of the same age. At Angelic Treasures Christian Daycare, we offer infant, toddler, preschool, and before/after school programs in a nurturing environment guided by Christian values.
  • Home-based daycare: A home-based daycare operates out of a caregiver’s private home. This option is more personalized with a smaller child ratio compared to centers. However, you must research properly to ensure the home meets safety and licensing standards. Some municipalities also offer subsidy support for registered home daycares.
  • Nannies: Nannies provide one-on-one full or part-time care in the child’s home. While more customized to your family’s routine, nannies can be expensive. Use referral services to find experienced, bonded caregivers who also undergo criminal background checks.
  • Kindergarten: These full-time programs are available to children ages 3-5 to promote early learning through structured activities and socialization with other kids. Publicly funded junior and senior kindergarten is free in Ontario for eligible children ages 4-5.
  • After-school care: Programs offered after the child’s school day ends, usually till 6 pm. They provide supervision, snacks, homework help and activities for school-aged kids till their parents return from work. Many daycares and community centers offer after-school care.

Cost of child care in Canada:

The monthly cost of child care varies significantly by province/territory and the type of care chosen. On average, Canadians pay amongst the highest rates worldwide for early learning and child care:

  • Center-based daycares offer the most expensive options for infant care ($1,250-2,500/month), toddler care ($1,000-2,000), and preschool ($800-1,500).
  • Quebec has the most subsidized system, with an essential contribution of $8.35/day. 
  • Registered home daycares cost $700-1,200 on average once the municipality approves.
  • Nannies range from $2,400-5,000 per month, depending on qualifications and duties.
  • After-school programs cost $29- 42/day, depending on hours needed.

Canada’s childcare aid

The federal government has announced a historic investment to make childcare more affordable for Canadian families. Ottawa will transfer billions of dollars to the provinces and territories this year through a new Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Plan.

The goal is to work with provincial and territorial partners to reduce family childcare fees over the next five years. By 2026, regulated early learning and childcare should cost parents an average of only $10 a day per child across the country. This represents a significant drop from current median fees, which can exceed $1,000 monthly in some regions.

For families, low-cost childcare will help make lives more financially secure and manageable. It could enable more parents, especially mothers, to enter or rejoin the workforce. It also supports children’s development by improving their access to early learning opportunities outside the home.

If rolled out successfully over the coming years, it would mark a milestone for Canadian families that have long struggled with the high costs of early childhood care and education. Affordable, inclusive childcare could pay large dividends for Canadian society and the economy.

Tips for newcomer parents in choosing child care:

  • Research licensed programs with good reviews, background checks and educational curricula well in advance, as popular centers have long waitlists.
  • Check if your employer or associations offer child care referral/subsidy programs that may reduce costs.
  • Inquire about the availability of provincial/territorial childcare subsidies based on your family income. Conditions vary by region.
  • Consider relative/friend referrals for an affordable home-based option if the outside caregiver meets standards.
  • Daycares with flexible schedules are ideal for shift workers or if special occasions require different hours of care.
  • Daycare tours help you assess the facility, interact with staff, and see if the environment fits your child’s needs.
  • Ask about the routines, discipline methods, cultural sensitivity, and support for non-English-speaking kids to aid a smooth transition.
  • Budget for increased care costs during school breaks and summer when kids are off from part-time programs.

Navigating child care when new to Canada takes time and effort, but knowing your options and planning can make the process easier. Starting your search early allows you to choose the arrangement that best suits your family’s situation and lifestyle in the long run.

Give Your Child the Best Start at Angelic Treasures Christian Daycare

Are you searching for a nurturing daycare environment that fosters holistic growth and development? Look no further than Angelic Treasures Christian Daycare. As a leader in early childhood education for over 20 years, we provide age-appropriate learning through our Christian-focused curriculum. Our expert staff has assisted countless children in achieving significant milestones, from their first steps to kindergarten readiness. Contact us today to tour our facilities and learn more. Give your little one the best possible head start at Angelic Treasures, where quality education meets family values.