3 out of Canada’s 5 priciest cities for toddler child care are in B.C.: report

Click to play video: 'New study tallies up soaring cost of child care'
New study tallies up soaring cost of child care
A new study shows how B.C. compares with the rest of the country when it comes to the soaring cost of child care. Tanya Beja reports – Dec 12, 2017

Toronto may have Canada’s priciest child care fees for toddlers.

But no province besides B.C. can lay claim to three out of the five top spots in the country.

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That’s according to a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

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It showed that median monthly child care fees for toddlers was $1,354 this year.

Trailing Toronto was Vancouver at $1,292, followed by Richmond, Burnaby and Mississauga, which were tied for third with $1,200 each.

This chart shows median monthly child care fees for toddlers across Canada, according to the CCPA. CCPA

The CCPA came up with these numbers by calling all day care centres and home agencies, as well as home day cares in B.C.

And while Vancouver trailed Toronto on rates for median toddlers, the city topped the country for home day care fees.

Home monthly fees for infants were $1,300, they were $1,200 for toddlers and $1,000 for preschool-aged kids.

All three rates are higher than anywhere else in the country for these categories.

READ MORE: Child care costs in Canada rose faster than inflation in 2017

“It shows that we do have a child care crisis here in B.C.,” Child Care Minister Katrina Chen told Global News.

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“And that affordability is a very important point that our government has to work on.”

But the cost of child care is only one part of the equation.

“Even if you can afford those high fees, you can’t necessarily get a space because in most places, there are long wait lists,” said Iglika Ivanova, a CCPA economist.

That’s certainly been the case for Michelle Horen, who put her name on dozens of waiting lists when she was looking for a daycare that would fit her family’s budget.

“It was the biggest stressor,” she said.

The provincial government last week announced $33 million for 3,800 new child care spaces, but the province is still a long way from achieving a universal child care model like the one in Quebec.

The NDP is expected to address the child care crisis in February’s budget.

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