Toronto Mike

The Crippling Cost of Daycare in Ontario

My oldest son went into daycare when he turned one. His mother's parental leave ended, and she went back to work. James started daycare, and I still remember the day I was told how much it costs to put a 12 month old in daycare in this city.

It cost so much, when my oldest daughter was born, it didn't make financial sense to put her in daycare at one. That would mean two kids in daycare, and we'd be poorer than if their mother quit her job and stayed home. That's exactly what we did.

I'm experiencing the exact same scenario a decade later. My youngest son has been in daycare since he turned one and his mother went back to work. My wife is now on parental leave with our newborn, but in exactly eleven months, that will end.

The Star has an article today on the proposed provincial changes to age groupings, staff-child ratios and group sizes. The end result will be fewer spaces and higher fees.

If you put your kid in daycare at 12 months, it's about $1800 a month until they turn 18 months. Then, the price plummets to a mere $1200. So with the current fee structure, it will cost us $3000 a month when my wife's parental leave expires.

The costs are already crippling, yet we're looking at increases of 20-40%. There has to be a better system.

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