Vancouver Living Wage Improves, But Child Care Still a Huge Strain
Having kids remains a debt sentence for many families in Metro region.
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."