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Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost and Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee

Universal child care program details released

Starting on April 1, families will save up to $700 per month per child registered in participating licensed full-time child care programs, the Yukon government said Monday.

By Whitehorse Star on March 9, 2021

Starting on April 1, families will save up to $700 per month per child registered in participating licensed full-time child care programs, the Yukon government said Monday.

For example, if a family pays $850 per month, it would pay $150 in fees starting next month.

Children in part-time programs will receive a pro-rated fee reduction.

“To support Yukon families and make their lives more affordable, the Government of Yukon is investing more than $25 million in 2021-22 towards early learning and child care initiatives,” the government said in a statement.

“This includes approximately $15 million for a new Yukon-wide universal child care program.”

The funding in included in the $1.8-billion territorial budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year tabled in the legislature last Thursday.

Licensed child care operators who opt into the new universal child care program will receive additional funding from the government, which will benefit families through reduced monthly fees.

Operators who choose to participate in the program will also benefit from enhanced funding for operations and wages for early childhood educators.

Existing subsidies such as the teen parent grant and the grandparent grant will continue to be provided.

“Introducing universal affordable child care in Yukon will put more disposable income into the hands of families and create more choices for those who want to work outside the home,” said Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost.

“This will save families up to $700 per month per child, helping to build a stronger economy and support Yukon children to grow into healthy, happy adults.”

“Our government believes that all families should have access to affordable, high-quality child care and early learning opportunities,” added Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee.

“Early childhood educators play a key role in setting up our children for success in school and life, and it is important that we recognize and support them. By investing in families and education, we are creating healthy, thriving communities.”

In July 2020, Premier Sandy Silver announced the Yukon would be moving to a universal, affordable child care system.

In 2018 and 2019, the government consulted First Nations governments, child care operators, early childhood educators, families and stakeholders in the child care sector to better understand the needs of children and families in their communities.

Using information from past Yukon engagements, a team from Health and Social Services and Education has been working with Yukon First Nations governments and key stakeholders, including child care operators and education partners, over the past few months, to determine how to create a universal childcare model for the Yukon based on the principles of affordability, accessibility and quality, the government said.

On April 1, the Child Care Unit will move to the Department of Education and become the Early Learning and Child Care Unit to help ensure that early learning and childcare services are co-ordinated at all levels.

“The integration of early childhood development programs and education will help create a learning continuum that begins at birth and supports individuals throughout their learning journey,” the government said.

McPhee tabled amendments to the Child Care Act on Monday.

They also address one of the recommendations in Putting People First, the final report on the comprehensive review of health and social services, to align learning programs and services under one department.

“The establishment of the Early Learning and Child Care Unit in the Department Education would help ensure that early learning and child care services are co-ordinated at all levels, including the transition into kindergarten and primary school,” McPhee said.

Comments (34)

Up 14 Down 0

Groucho d'North on Mar 15, 2021 at 12:46 pm

I'd like to see governments (all of them) work to abolish the need for two parents to be working in order to make a comfortable living. Most are aware of the latch-key kid problems and resulting impacts of crime in their young lives. Yes it takes a Village, but having a parent at home after school to provide guidance will yield better results for our society, and for our kids.

Up 12 Down 0

Astonished Citizen on Mar 14, 2021 at 6:44 am

Great Scot, this news bulletin is incredible. It's as if the Liberals have the whole economy taking off and there were 278,000 new full time jobs added to the economy in February.

Up 28 Down 4

Yukoner on Mar 12, 2021 at 2:49 pm

Going to see a lot of new bikes, boats, ATV's and other "toys" around this summer with all the "savings" families get.

Up 25 Down 10

Juniper Jackson on Mar 12, 2021 at 1:53 pm

I can't see where anything is going to change. Welfare already get free day care whenever they want it, (I need daycare to go look for a job this week.) and low income workers are already subsidized. Nothing is free. Workers will take home less money as more goes into social programs. If you work for government, well, you're stuck with this bill too. Anything for a vote eh Liberals?

I always wanted to see a salary for stay at home Mothers. Every study on the face of this earth says, children with Moms that stay at home, take care of them, their dad's, the home, prosper substantially more than children that are virtually raised by strangers. Not all women want to stay at home and be traditional Moms and wifes. But, all women, and men too for that matter, should be given that choice.

Up 15 Down 2

Just Sayin' on Mar 12, 2021 at 9:35 am

@Anie, thanks for clarifying. Any woman that wants to pursue a career should be able to. No arguments there. Having said that, it seems the vast majority of women who value stay-at-home parenting would choose for themselves to be the stay-at-home parent. This is part of the reason there are so many more stay-at-home mothers than fathers. There are exceptions, of course. I've known a couple of full-time stay-at-home fathers who raised their children while their wives pursued careers, and this worked well for them.

Up 22 Down 9

Raise your own little sociopaths! on Mar 11, 2021 at 11:19 pm

@ Look at it from the other side: This is not going to be the stimulus everyone hopes it to be because there will be heavier taxation to pay for this socialist, dystopian idyll. WTF are you all thinking? Why am I paying for you to ditch your kids everyday? You had them, you raise them!

Up 15 Down 25

Proud Dad on Mar 11, 2021 at 6:19 pm

This is amazing. Let alone the cost savings for each family. The Yukon economy will see an unbelievable boost from this. You will see this become the most ground breaking policy the Yukon has seen since the UFAs were signed. This is a lot of disposable income about to be made available. Spend Local everyone!

Up 24 Down 1

@Look from the Other Side on Mar 11, 2021 at 4:46 pm

I am a retired “boomer” and happy to see this program which will assist working parents. We pay taxes for public schools even though our kids are grown and gone, because that’s how our society works. For 12 to 15 years our kids were in public schools so we did reap the benefits of other people’s taxes too. But just to correct you about CPP: you aren’t paying for my retirement. CPP is 100% paid for by workers (employees) and employers. In fact, for many years I was an employer, so I paid both sides of those premiums. It’s not paid for from general tax revenue.
As for sitting in my chair complaining, I don’t complain about the price of gas any more or less than the next person. And I spend my time volunteering to help others through several NGO’s, as do many retirees. But rest assured, from someone who was once a young person, happy to party and eager to work, raising a family in an era when there was no daycare and certainly no subsidies beyond the $50 per month “baby bonus,” which most of us saved for our kid’s future education: you won’t be young forever. Try not to be so bitter towards elders, as you will one day be one, and sooner than you can believe.

Up 5 Down 18

can you show one household in The Yukon that has a net income of $200,000.00 on Mar 11, 2021 at 3:02 pm


I can't think of any. The entire Yukon fits under the guise of the working poor. We have ZERO 1%'ers. The richest people in the Yukon are broke. It's a huge lie that creates this idea "oh, there are some elite people with so much money." Zilch, nada, none. The Yukon is based on assets and debt spending. Each dollar people earn is usually doled back out. In retirement the hope is that they can sell the assets and live off that capital. But if a person is working, most likely, they're not pulling $200,000.00 net

Up 11 Down 5

Anie on Mar 11, 2021 at 2:50 pm

Just sayin, sorry I wasn't clear, I'm not expressing any opinion on the value, or lack of it, to stay at home parenting, My intended meaning was that if we really think society (those folks paying for the subsidy) benefits from stay at home parenting, then we would see relatively equal mothers and fathers staying home. But we don't. And we won't. So let's accept the fact that women have brains, they deserve careers, and children will thrive in well funded educational environments.

Up 24 Down 2

Anie on Mar 11, 2021 at 2:41 pm

To "Look from the outside", why are you so nasty? As a senior I very much support this initiative. And I won't call you a snowflake if you stop calling me a boomer - how about we just all walk this earth together without lumping people into categories by date of birth? But in order to help you stay fully informed, let me assure you that you are very definitely not funding my retirement (not that anyone coukd actually live on CPP). CPP is an independent fund, accumulated and invested by business and by the people who eventually collect it. Not a dime comes out of current taxation or current CPP contributions. I hope you can be happier knowing this

Up 16 Down 1

JustSayin' on Mar 11, 2021 at 9:40 am


Inflation is one factor, yet, you must consider the lifestyle families want. Those who are struggling to put food on the table and those who want to make sure their child has the "best birthday ever." Keeping up with the consumerism and the wants of todays society is primarily one of the reasons we are in this mess.

Gotta keep up with the neighbors.
We are such an entitled bunch of humans.

I am not against this policy, I think it can benefit so many parents who are struggling, especially single parents, but how many will abuse this system.. no mitigation or proactive measures to ensure that does not occur.

Up 9 Down 3

Just Sayin' on Mar 11, 2021 at 9:23 am

@Anie, there is value in having a parent stay at home, regardless of whether the mother stays at home 50%, 75%, or 100% of the time. Some couples don't care which stays home, or how often that person stays home compared to the other. What's most important for those who value stay-at-home parenting is that at least one parent be available at all times to raise the child. The value in this doesn't vanish simply because staying at home isn't shared between both parents 50-50. If you think I am wrong in this, I look forward to hearing your logic.

I can't speak for all wives, but my wife would be happy to stay at home 100% of the time when we have kids. This is a sacrifice she would choose and be happy to make. This also makes sense for us financially, as I currently earn about 90% of the household income.

Up 20 Down 0

Salt on Mar 10, 2021 at 10:31 pm

Why don't more people recognize that government policy is the reason two income households are a necessity today?? They are intentionally destroying the middle class and using our money to bribe us. Our grandchildren will be peasants at this rate.

Up 5 Down 29

Look from the otherside on Mar 10, 2021 at 7:32 pm

Sounds like there are some people that refuse to think of this from outside there point of view.
Universal child care- will help everyone equally. Asking from retroactive reimbursement on a government program, shame on you. There are plenty of government programs you old folks will get that the parents of the young children won’t - like CPP (yet we still pay and don’t demand a refund)
This child care funding will let all mothers have the option to got to work. Allowing for equality (I know, dads could stay home to, but let’s be honest that's not what the statistics state) our economy might grow, jobs that need workers-might actually get filled. And while the majority of the retirees sitting in their arm chairs complaining about life collecting there CPP, my family will get a bit of help with some of our cost.

Don’t worry boomers! Your getting your piece of the cake. Go back to complaining about the price of gas and let us find your retirement while I get subsidized childcare!

The family making 200K a year.

Up 19 Down 1

Megan Cowls on Mar 10, 2021 at 7:04 pm

I own a dayhome business. I'm incredibly passionate about my field, my family and our employees pour ourselves into our work, committed to raising the whole child, seeing them, witnessing their growth... It is expensive for parents. Not everyone can afford it. Not sure what the answer is, but I believe that with ingenuity and wisdom, families can find ways to make child care work or ways to be able to stay at home (especially with today's online income opportunities). I have amazing clients who value the work and the service that we do for their families. I am also private, without a license, for the single reason that there is no license at all available for the type of day home that I run.
I wish I could pass on the good news about child care subsidy to my parents, but now other families will be receiving this money because their kids go to licensed day homes. This isn't exactly encouraging my business, but I move forward knowing what we're doing is still important. It will be exciting when this or a future government has flexible licensing options or doesn't discriminate against private child care.

Up 15 Down 28

Anie on Mar 10, 2021 at 3:19 pm

We all quite willingly (and quite properly) contribute to the cost of educating children from kindergarten through university, even if we are childless. This is no different. I'm happy we are finally contributing to early childhood education. To those who whine about not recognizing the value of stay at home parenting: when men routinely stay home for at least half of early childhood, I might see your side. But for now this is an excellent step forward.

Up 9 Down 8

CW on Mar 10, 2021 at 2:40 pm

Actually they did think about that. All new day cares that are being licensed are required to submit their rates for approval. The rates need to be within 10% of the average cost. They are also asking day cares not to raise their rates until next April. And when they can raise their rates they are only allowed to raise them 1% or 3% depending on whether or not they are within 10% of the average.

Up 26 Down 13

Sarah on Mar 10, 2021 at 2:01 pm

$11,000 a year for 8 years, between two kids. $88,000. Just so I could work. So families now, by the new Liberal calculations, would only have to pay $31,200 of the 88k. So if I vote for you, Liberals, when can I expect the application for retroactive child care payments? Equalling to $56,800 - by your math. What about us who are in debt by tens of thousands because child care was always expenseive. Not just this election year.

Up 29 Down 6

TMYK on Mar 10, 2021 at 1:14 pm

This was a poorly thought out vote buying scheme. There is nothing that limits raises in payments daycares can charge. They know what the market will let them charge. Expect every daycare to raise rates in September negating cost savings for parents.

Up 34 Down 3

Resident on Mar 10, 2021 at 12:40 pm

Stay-at-home parents went away when single-income paycheques stopped keeping up with inflation. The days of Dad working 8-5 paying the mortgage, bills, and a yearly holiday were gone 30 years ago.

Up 17 Down 34

Brenda Baxter on Mar 10, 2021 at 10:42 am

Bravo! There are a lot of great reasons for Universal Childcare. One is that it will help to stimulate the economy which will benefit all Yukoners.

Up 20 Down 4

Accidentally communist on Mar 10, 2021 at 8:08 am

@bonanzajoe: Sounds like you're proposing one of the basic tenets of communism: from each according to their ability, to each according to their need. Hear, hear!

Up 27 Down 8

Cut me a check for the big, Liberal, boogey-woogey, all you can get cash party... on Mar 9, 2021 at 9:54 pm

Celebrate good times, We’re gonna have a good time tonight... Come on... Does this mean that I will get a rebate on the 10s of thousands my wife and I have already paid for our children’s daycare? I promise I will stimulate the economy by purchasing a boat, truck, some atv’s, and a couple of sleds. When can I expect my check to be ready?

Show me the money! I’ll vote twice for any Liberal that signs my check... No more Kraft dinner! Yahoo!

Up 24 Down 6

My Opinion on Mar 9, 2021 at 5:40 pm

@SH You are absolutely correct. Steven Harper had the exact program you speak of. Income splitting was allowed to put them, as a pair in a lower tax bracket and being able to have one parent stay home and raise their children. This was almost the very first thing that Trudope reversed when he was elected.

No one can raise your child better then the parents. Just ask the First Nations.

Up 32 Down 10

My Opinion on Mar 9, 2021 at 5:31 pm

Election call. The Liberals have OUR cheque book out. They will announce this to come into play only if they get re-elected of course. This kind of vote buying with our money should be illegal.

Up 36 Down 39

Patti Eyre on Mar 9, 2021 at 4:09 pm

I have 3 kids, all planned, to all the haters of this initiative: god bless you! Childcare is so important, this can really make a difference for all, good work!

Up 55 Down 32

Are you freaking kidding me! on Mar 9, 2021 at 4:08 pm

I can’t believe this - $700.00/month/child!!! Unbelievable. As Just Sayin states: when are people held accountable for the choices they make??? If you can’t afford to have a child, then don’t have a child. It’s your choice to have children. Not mine but yours. So why are my tax dollars paying for your child/children?? What an opportune time for the liberals to bring this in. This is most definitely the Liberals buying votes because I do believe they know there would be a slim chance of them getting back in as government. After all these vote buying gimmicks, they most certainly don’t have my vote!

Up 45 Down 14

HOLY BUYING VOTES BATMAN! on Mar 9, 2021 at 4:02 pm

Great plan to get votes.
Parents will love this one!
The question of who pays is a tough one but the Liberal policy is who cares! We get free money from the Fed!
But it's not all sugar and cinnamon .
Anyone who has dealt with a government program knows that the way they market it versus the outcome are drastically different!
Prepare for daycares to boost their fees! Thanks libs

Up 62 Down 9

bonanzajoe on Mar 9, 2021 at 3:32 pm

Daycare financing should be regulated on the amount of money a household takes in. For instance, why should a highly paid Gov. worker get so much free daycare and have the underpaid workers fund it out of their pockets? There are a lot of households taking in over 200,000 bucks a year. Let them pay for their own daycare.

Up 53 Down 13

JustSayin' on Mar 9, 2021 at 2:50 pm

How about making birth control free for both sexes? How about providing more physiological support and counseling for families. My ideology, my child is my fiscal responsibilities and no one else's. Also what about separated families? Who gets the decrease then? What if one parent makes more than the other?

When are people held accountable for the choices they make?

Up 51 Down 16

Max Mack on Mar 9, 2021 at 2:35 pm

"Putting People First".

Translation: transferring wealth from other Canadians to child care operators and parents requiring child care. This obviously implies that some people are more important than other people; hence, only certain people come first.

This obvious vote-buying scheme reeks on that basis alone, but I certainly question whether child care subsidies are the best use of my tax dollars. What other programs and services will be foregone to fund this lavish scheme?

Up 52 Down 24

One for the money, two for the show, it’s clear that these Liberals will never know... on Mar 9, 2021 at 2:28 pm

Nice. Strangers will raise your kids. The Liberals will tell them what to do. And the parental units can spend their time shopping away with their Universal Guaranteed Income while sipping lattes and watching the latest on TikTok... Ahhh... Sweet detachment... Future generations of Liberals safely tucked away from the responsibility that a reality might bring... Show me the money... Show me the money!

Up 67 Down 7

SH on Mar 9, 2021 at 2:10 pm

I have mixed feelings about this.

On one hand I am happy that full-time employment will suddenly become a more viable option for parents who could otherwise not afford childcare. On the other hand I feel the value of the stay-at-home parent is underrated, as reflected in "modern society".

Perhaps the Yukon Government should find creative ways to support stay-at-home mothers (or fathers) who would rather not send their children to daycare.

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