National Post (Latest Edition)



For more than 20 years, Quebec’s subsidized daycare program has been the envy of parents in the rest of the country. The system offers direct subsidies to three types of reduced-fee providers:

❚ Centre-based non-profit Centres de la petite enfance, commonly known as CPEs. The most popular and hardest to get into

❚ Family-based caregivers

❚ For-profit private daycares that conform to specific conditions outlined by the government and that qualify for the subsidy.

There are also private, for-profit daycare centres that charge full fees. With the provincial and federal tax credits, the amounts paid by parents is reduced so they are fairly competitiv­e with those in the subsidized system. How much does it cost?

When the system began, the fee was set at $5 per day and was increased in 2004 to $7 per day. As of 2014, a sliding scale was introduced that was tied to family income. As of 2018, the fee ranges from $8.05 per day (for those making less than $51,340) up to $21.95 for the first child (for those making more than $165,000). For those making more than $51,340, the additional contributi­on for the second child is reduced by 50 per cent. For those with children in private, for-profit daycares, a fee reduction is calculated through the provincial refundable tax credit, which lowers parents’ net after-tax payment. The credits bring the final amounts paid to the same level as the subsidized care.

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