Hoping for $10-a-day child care? Here’s how many Toronto daycares opted in to the federal program for young workers.
It’s Canada’s largest employer-funded program designed to support young workers. But it has been hard to track how many families use it.
The federal program, called WorkSafeBC Kids, provides up to $1,000, which can be spent on child care before they turn 16. It’s an exception in the federal employment insurance program (EI) that everyone else has to use. There’s no cap on how many benefits can be used.
The federal program is for young workers ages 15 and up. It’s a relatively new policy and its effects have not been tracked.
A CBC News analysis is the first to look at the program’s impact on child care costs for families in Toronto.
Here are the numbers from the federal program:
Last year, the program spent $16.2 million in Toronto on child care payments, a rate of $13.05 per child per day.
Of that amount, $3.6 million was spent on subsidies by parents. That meant there’s likely about 1,800 parents in Toronto — and at least 400,000 children — with the option to use those subsidies to pay for child care.
The program gives parents about a $1,000 subsidy each year.
The average cost per child for full-time, full-year care is about $1,600.
Parents can earn the subsidy — and spend it as they please — before their child turns 16.
Parents can take the money and spend it on child care after the child turns 16 — even if the child still goes to school.
But there’s no cap.
So for example, a single parent could take money to buy two full-time care hours or one half-time care hour every month after the child turns 16.
It’s why the Parent as Parent program was created in 2013: “We saw the need to