Average Cost of Raising a Child in Canada



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Parenthood can be a thrilling experience that brings a lifetime of joy. It can also do a number on your pocket. The average cost of raising a child in Canada is no child’s play. But regardless of the amount involved, all parents want to give their child/children the best things in life. 

Even though the cost might be discouraging, raising a family is a common goal among many Canadians. Canada is the second-largest country and one of the best countries to raise children.

A good healthcare system, safety, ecology, quality educational system, among many others are perks attached to raising a child in Canada. 

Before the Baby Arrives

When planning for the arrival of your baby, prepare a family budget that can help you adapt well when the baby finally comes. Reevaluate your finances to include an additional being and see if you can live through it.

When the baby comes, there are a lot of items your money will go into like diapers, clothing, childcare, braces, education, among many others. It is crucial you get your finances right and ensure you understand the financial commitment that comes with having a baby.

Average Cost of Raising a Child in Canada

Intending parents should budget at least 10,000 – 15,000 CAD yearly to raise a child.

Birthing your child in Canada automatically makes the child a Canadian citizen. Hence, the child will have access to every right and privilege like every other Canadian citizen.

Some of the privileges include:

  • They can travel/enter Canada without a visa
  • The right to reside in Canada
  • They can enjoy benefits like free education, free social benefits, free health care service

Raising a family is a common goal among many Canadians, though, with the cost of almost everything on the rise, it might seem impossible to afford to raise a child.

Child supply ranging from diaper to childcare, braces, post-secondary education, it is important to budget and make plans before deciding to be a parent.

Aside from the grooming aspect of bringing up a child, the financial aspect is a very important subject that parents should discuss before deciding where to raise their child in Canada.

Raising a child in Canada might seem expensive but it is relatively cheaper than in other countries.

Life generally is affordable in Canada; parents are given 18 months of leave aided by the government. After rent/Mortgage, childcare is the second biggest expense parent spend in Canada. Intending parents should budget at least 10,000 – 15,000 CAD yearly to raise a child till age 18.

Average Cost of Raising a Child in Some Cities in Canada

Canada has one of the most welcoming and multicultural provinces in the world. Coupled with its picturesque settings, it offers a lifetime experience of memorable moments with loved ones.

Canada is prominent for its renowned free public healthcare and secondary education system; your child is guaranteed all the support and tools they need to create a quality life they need for themselves and generations to come.

Although like every other country, Canada has a crime rate but it is one of the most livable countries with some of the lowest crime rates in the world.

A child’s first year is one of the most expensive, parents spend an average of $8,000. Expenses from birth to preschool, a larger percentage of your income goes towards buying diapers and formula which costs an average of $105 monthly. And buying baby milk if the mom is not breastfeeding.

The expenses start to decline when they get into elementary school. An average of $7,000 should be budgeted when a child gets to age 12. During elementary and high school, you will spend an average of $1,004 yearly for recreational activities, school supplies, trips and care programs.

Teenage bills can also leave a hole in your pocket. Although you may qualify for the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and claim about $1,000 in fees when your child clocks.

All prices below are stated in Canadian Dollars.

Montreal, Quebec Child Care Costs

It is the least expensive city for full-time infant care. The average cost of child care in this province is around 7.55 CAD daily and 168 CAD monthly.

Calgary, Alberta Child Care Costs

Calgary is a beautiful location to raise a child. Life is relatively cheap. the average monthly daycare cost is around $922.82, with an average household income of $132,568.

Getting a home in Calgary cost an average of $563.463 with the average household monthly costs running at $3,955.

Ottawa, Ontario Child Care Costs

Also known as Canada’s smartest city, Ottawa is the Capital city of Canada. It is a great city to raise a child as it has affordable daycare services and accommodations. 

The average cost of daycare service is $1,003, with an average household income of $114,275.

The average monthly cost of running a household is about $4,010, and the average price of a home is $510,363. As children grow older beyond daycare, Ottawa offers the best educational service in Canada.

Be rest assured that your child will be having the best educational service there is.

Brandon, Manitoba Child Care Costs

Brandon offers one of the most affordable housings in Canada. If you are looking to start a new family and are on a budget. Brandon is your go-to city. You can get a family house for an average of $350,000.

Coupled with the job opportunity and amenities in this city, it is an exceptional place to raise a child. The average monthly cost of daycare is $738.48.  A family can estimate to spend an average of $4,580 monthly.

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador Child Care Costs

In this province, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is in charge of child care, early childhood education and development.

There is a kindergarten to grade 12 school system available with public libraries. Parents are responsible for finding and getting a child care space for their ward and also paying for the fees.

The monthly average cost of daycare service in St. John is around $933.92 with the average household income around $99,394.

A family can expect to spend an average of $3,912 monthly running the house, and $433,359 to get home. This city offers a coastal blissful life away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Guelph, Ontario Child Care Costs

Job security is very important when thinking of starting a family as being able to provide for your family is very essential. Guelph is prominent for its great support system for mothers and its high rate of job availability. 

The city has some of the lowest food costs in Canada, making living there relatively cheap. The average monthly daycare service cost $993 with an average household income of $70,880.

The unemployment rate is at 2.3% with an average household monthly cost of $3,873.64. You can start a family with a house of about $535,778.

Other Child Care Variables to Consider

Although money is one of the most important factors to consider when deciding to have children. It is also important to examine other sacrifices you might have to make to welcome the new addition to your family.

Some factors you should consider include:

  • Expenses

Things like baby crib, baby car seat, stroller, high chair, baby gates, etc. all fall under mandatory expenses. These items don’t come cheap if you decide to buy new ones. To save costs you can always ask family and friends or check for thrift through yard sales.

  • Wages

Note that during maternity leave, you will lose some of your income. It also affects the employability of the parent in the long term. According to research by MoneySense.ca, it suggests that for every year a parent takes off work, they experience a 3% wage loss.

  • Shelter

A shelter is very essential when it comes to raising a child, it cost an average of $226.67 monthly and $2,720 yearly to house a child including furniture household operations. So, it is advisable to plan beforehand.

  • Maternity leave

As an employed person in Canada, your employment insurance will only offer $484 weekly or an average of $45,900 yearly not inclusive of income tax. You are required to pay your income tax of the money. To make the arrival of the baby seamless, estimate how much you will get as maternity leave benefits and try living off it.

  • Miscellaneous

Children will always need one thing or the other. As they grow older, so do their need. Change in cloth, feeding, shoes, diaper, etc. can cost an average of $45,760. You can cut-cost by breastfeeding in the first years, get thrift toys instead of new ones, etc.

  • Child Care

In a situation where both parents work and are unable to take care of the child, the services of daycare will be employed. This cost an average of $700 to $1,100 monthly per child depending on the province you are in.

It is advisable to get on a waiting list as early as possible. Notably, daycare in Canada is a tax-deductible expense and the parent with the lower income can claim about $7,000 yearly if you can provide receipts for all childcare-related expenses like nanny services, nursery schools, day camps, etc.

Canadian Child Benefit

Canadian Child Benefit offset the cost of raising a child in Canada. They provide about $553.25 monthly and $6,639 yearly for eligible children under the age of six.

For children between age 6 – 17, they provide up to $466.83 monthly and $5,602 yearly. Note that only families of lower income are eligible for this.

Having a baby is a decision that should be seriously considered putting all short-term and long-term contingencies into consideration.

The average cost of raising a child in Canada can only be estimated, so to minimize cost and have a stress-free transition, budgeting and saving as soon as possible is important.

Also, you can ask other parents how to cut-cost so the financial burden won’t be too much for you to carry.

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Avid researcher, freelance writer, and personal finance enthusiast passionate about financial education and literacy.

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Kareena Maya

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.