Child Care is a Debt Sentence


Vancouver Living Wage Improves, But Child Care Still a Huge Strain

Having kids remains a debt sentence for many families in Metro region.

By David P. Ball, April 28, 2016,

In North America's most unaffordable city, Vancouver teacher Sara Langlois now spends more on child care for her 15-month-old daughter than she and her architect partner do on rent.

"Day care is our biggest expense monthly," the 32-year-old says. "I think people would expect us to be able to afford life basics, but in Vancouver that's actually difficult."

The East Vancouver family spends $1,453 on day care a month, totalling more than $17,000 a year, so they can both work.

The new mom is grateful her family was recently accepted into co-operative housing, cutting their housing costs by one-third.

She's also grateful for a rare child care space, estimating she had to spend 200 hours applying to dozens of programs before getting a spot (and applying the moment she discovered she was pregnant).

"We're lucky people," she says. "But we [don't] feel like we can afford a second child. Or if we do, we'll have to wait until our first one finishes day care because we can't afford two day cares at that price."


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