Yellowknife childcare costs place the city near the middle of the pack compared to other Canadian cities, according to a recent report.
In March, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA ) released its sixth annual report examining national monthly child care fees. The study included infants (0 to 18 months), toddlers (18 months to three years) and pre-school (age three to school age) at licensed child care spaces.
The report examined 37 cities across the country and involved phone interviews in October 2019 to learn the average figures.
The study generally found child care costs across the country remain “unaffordably high,” however, there is much that government policy can do to mitigate the costs, a news release from CCPA stated.
Infant costs were the highest for Yellowknife at $1,093 a month – more expensive than Edmonton at $1,075 but cheaper than Vancouver at $1,112.
Toronto had the highest rate of all Canadian cities at $1,774 and the lowest were several cities in Quebec at $179.
In the toddler range, Toronto ($1,457) and several Quebec centres, at $179, were at the highest and lowest ends of the spectrum. Yellowknife was at $990 — higher than Hamilton’s $977 but lower than Burnaby’s $1,000.
David Macdonald, CCPA senior economist who oversaw the study, said although his organization has been looking at childcare costs across Canada for about six years, this is the first time that the Northern territories, including Yellowknife, have been examined.
Macdonald said it’s clear that in some areas for young children, costs are quite high compared to larger cities in the south.
For preschool children, the city with the highest median cost was Iqaluit at $1,213, while the lowest, once again, were several provincial government subsidized cities in Quebec at $179.
In Yellowknife the median cost was $890, sandwiched between Edmonton ($875) and Vancouver ($954), the study found.
“Despite not being nearly as big a city as either of those two, it finds itself with fees similar to those two cities,” Macdonald noted. “Yellowknife is not a big city and when you compare it to some other big cities, you might think that things would be a bit cheaper in Yellowknife. Oftentimes things might be a little cheaper but that is not really the case here. You are sitting about in mid-range with several other mid-range cities in terms of preschool age costs.”