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What is $10 a Day Daycare in Canada and How Does It Work?

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Written by Brianna Harrison


Fact Checked

Have you ever wondered how families in Canada can access high-quality daycare at an affordable rate? The answer is the $10 a day daycare program.

In this guide, we’ll check out its particulars, including the $10 a day rates, costs, and who qualifies for this program. 

Keep reading to learn more and how you can take full advantage of it.

What is 10 Dollar a Day Daycare?

Canada’s $10-a-day daycare program, formally known as the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system, aims to provide affordable and high-quality child care to families for an average of $10 per day by 2026. 

At its heart, the $10-a-day daycare initiative helps parents face the challenges of affordable childcare. Imagine a world where parents pay just $10 a day for their child’s daycare services. 

This program is a joint effort between the Canadian government and individual provinces and territories. While the rules and conditions differ between provinces, the goal is the same.

Also, to make sure that the funding for this initiative aligns with its guiding principles, it will build on existing investments in early learning and child care that are already being made by the provinces and territories. 

The funding will also prioritize investments in regulated early learning and childcare programs and services for children under the age of six. This means that the provinces and territories will use federal funding to support the delivery of early learning and childcare systems that are tailored to their specific local and regional needs.

This universal daycare approach ensures that families, regardless of their financial background, can access reliable and quality childcare services.

How Does 10 Dollar a Day Daycare Work?

The national childcare program in Canada strives to offer affordable childcare, averaging around $10 per day for families. 

In order to achieve this goal, provincial and territorial governments are committed to creating 250,000 new childcare spaces throughout the country by 2026. An initial $30 billion in federal funding was released to support this. 

This program grants parents with children enrolled in qualifying daycares a gradual reduction in childcare fees. While participation in the program is optional for daycare facilities, about 92% of licensed childcare sites in Ontario had joined by November 2022, for instance.

Parents whose children attended participating facilities between April 1 and Dec. 31, 2022, are entitled to receive a credit or rebate of up to 25% on their daycare fees. 

In 2023, this rebate had increased to 50% of childcare fees. The government plans to continue reducing fees until an average of $10 per day is achieved in 2026.

Where is $10 Dollar a Day Daycare Implemented?

The $10 a day daycare initiative isn’t confined to one or two provinces; it’s a nationwide movement.

In less than a year since its introduction in 2021, the initiative has achieved Canada-wide early learning and childcare agreements with all 13 provinces and territories, including a unique agreement with the Government of Quebec. Ontario was the last jurisdiction to sign the agreement with the federal government, doing so in March 2022. 

The Canadian government will work with the provinces and territories over a period of time to build long-term capacity in the early childhood education and care sector.

Who is Eligible for $10 a Day Daycare?

In Canada, eligibility for $10 a day daycare varies depending on the program and province or territory. 

Families with lower incomes, single-parent households, and those receiving certain government benefits may be eligible. Also, applying for a fee reduction is not needed. 

In general, you are eligible for reduced childcare fees if you meet the following conditions:

  • Your current childcare cost exceeds $12 per day.
  • Your child is below the age of six.
  • Your child is enrolled in a licensed childcare facility that is part of the national childcare program.

How Much Could You Save With A 10 Dollar a Day Daycare 

Let’s talk numbers. The savings you’ll get vary based on your childcare provider’s fees. 

Here are the government’s projected average yearly savings per child under the $10-a-day daycare system, compared to 2019 fees.

Province/TerritoryEstimated annual savings
British Columbia$6,600
New Brunswick$3,900
Newfoundland and Labrador$6,300
Northwest Territories$4,950
Nova Scotia$6,000
Prince Edward Island$2,000

Quebec managed to maintain childcare fees below $10 a day on average even before the nationwide early learning and childcare system was established.

Future Expectations

Once fully implemented, this national childcare program is anticipated to bolster Canada’s economy, enhance employment opportunities for women, and facilitate the participation of young children in early childhood education programs. 

This initiative stands as a significant stride toward accessible and affordable childcare services for families across the nation.


Who qualifies for $10 a day child care in Ontario? 

This program primarily supports low- to moderate-income families, ensuring that those who need it the most receive it.

How will $10 per day child care impact Canada’s immigrants? 

Immigrant families stand to benefit because they often arrive at a younger age, leading to younger families. Hence, affordable child care is crucial for them, especially since they lack the support of family and friends.

How much is daycare in Toronto? 

Traditional daycare costs in Toronto can be steep, with full-time daycare costs ranging from $32.25 to $45.45. This makes the $10 a day daycare initiative a much-needed relief for local families.

How much do Canadians get per child per month? 

The government provides financial assistance to families through programs like the Canada Child Benefit. For the 2021-2022 benefit year, the maximum annual benefit is $6,833 for each child under the age of 6 and $5,765 for each child aged 6 to 17.

How much is daycare in Halifax? 

Before the 25% reduction that took effect on December 31, 2022, the average monthly cost of child care in Halifax was between $868 to $957. This is according to a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives on March 2021.


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Brianna Harrison

Brianna is a writer from Toronto, Canada, specializing in the personal finance and tech niche. She has been writing, editing, and proofreading for over 5 years as a freelancer, and her writing has been featured in The Globe and Mail. She loves to travel, meet new people, and discover new places. When she’s not writing or travelling, Brianna likes to bake, decorate cakes, and even ran her own custom cake business.

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