Parents across northwestern Ontario who have been sending their kids to childcare services in 2022 could be eligible for thousands of dollars in rebates.

The federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, says parents with children under the age of six that are attending eligible childcare services will see their childcare fees reduced by 25 per cent retroactive to April 1, 2022 – saving families an average of $2,200 per child.

Gould adds that by the end of December, 2022 – fees for licensed childcare for children under the age of six will be further reduced to 50 per cent, which could save Ontario families an average of $6,000 per child each year.

The Minister stresses that the government’s nationwide $10-a-day childcare for youth under the age of six will help make life more affordable for families and help get parents – especially women – back into the workforce, while giving children a real and fair chance at success.

“The Canada-Ontario Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement puts families first, and will ensure every child has access to high-quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive child care,” says Gould.

“These critical investments will also support ongoing recruitment and retention for early childhood educators, who are the backbone of our child care system. The Government of Canada remains focused on making life more affordable for families, and giving every child the best possible start in life,” adds the Minister.

Ottawa and the Ontario government finally reached a $13.2 billion childcare deal in March, which calls for an average of $10-a-day childcare in Ontario by September 2025.

The 25 per cent fee reduction retroactive to April, 2022 was the first step in the deal. The 50 per cent in December, 2022 reduction is the second step. Parents will see two further fee reductions to bring costs down to $10 per day by September of 2024 and September of 2025.

The agreement also supports the creation of 86,000 more licensed child care spaces to address increasing demand, including more than 15,000 licensed child care spaces created since 2019.

The Liberal government campaigned on a national $10-a-day childcare plan within five years, and set aside $30 billion in 2021’s budget to do so.