The High Cost of Childcare in Calgary

Jul 28, 2016

Quality child care in Calgary doesn’t have to be a financial burden. There are so many great daycare centers around that offer excellent services. Parents need to prepare early and understand all of the childcare costs involved.

Do you need full or part-time childcare in Calgary?

One of the first things to consider is whether or not you will need full or part-time dedicated daycare.  A full-time slot typically equals five days per week, while part-time is simply less than five days of daycare in Calgary.

Ask the provider if an upfront fee is required. This is particularly important if you only need part-time childcare.  It is common for daycare centers to charge a higher rate per day for partial enrollment.  The childcare cost is justified because the facility will probably need to maintain the same amount of staff members on days your child is not in attendance.

How expensive is full-time dedicated daycare?

An informative report called The Parent Trap posted by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives reviewed the cost of daycare across Canada and how it compares to other countries around the globe. Although Canada ranks lower in childcare spending, costs are certainly not cheap. Full-time child care in Calgary for infants averages over $1,000 per month. In Edmonton, the average childcare cost is about $900 per month.

Why is the monthly cost higher for infants?

The price is lower still for preschool children. Preschool in Calgary goes for about $924 every month while in Edmonton the typical monthly rate is $746. As your children get older, the monthly fee decreases. The biggest factor for this decline is the staff-to-child ratio that licensed day care centers in Calgary need to adhere to, to operate legally. Younger children require more staff members; therefore, it costs a facility a lot more money to care for a baby than it does a preschooler or older child.

Are there extra fees not included in the monthly cost?

Remember to ask about all associated fees when you register your child for daycare in Calgary. It is common for childcare costs to include fees to cover such things as materials, meals and field trips. All of the extra fees can really add up. You may be able to have these fees spread out throughout the year and added to your monthly bill.

Is there assistance available if I can’t afford daycare in Calgary?

The Alberta government offers low-income families a subsidy plan to help cover the cost of part-time and full-time childcare services. Available programs cover the cost of in-home daycare, daycare facilities, before-school care, and after-school care. These programs can even sometimes cover situations where a family member cares for a child.

Shop around and ask all the right questions when looking for affordable daycare. Keep in mind that certain locations charge higher rates than others.  Some daycare centers offer discounts for families with more than one child. Prepare well in advance and start saving a small portion of the cost each week.