Globe and Mail
Child-care costs have been dictating the decisions in Erin Filby’s life for years – stalling her career, delaying a second child, even limiting what goes in her grocery cart. When her son, Teddy, was born, she had to quit her job at as a financial researcher with a consulting company because she couldn’t find part-time care, and the full-time fees would have soaked up about two-thirds of her salary. “I would have been working to pay for daycare,” the Toronto mom says.
Even today, with Teddy in an after-school program, and her mother sending money from Alberta, she and her husband, a software programmer, skimp on groceries some months to pay for daycare. “It is mortifying,” says Filby, who has returned to school to boost her undergraduate credentials. “One of us has a pretty good job, and we’re still living hand to mouth.”
At 38 years old, she says her window for growing a family is “barely ajar.” She can’t afford more time out of the work force, falling behind in seniority, missing out on a pension. Besides, she says, “if I had to look for infant care now, it would be more than we pay for rent.”
It doesn’t help that she lives in the most expensive city in the country, as far as child care is concerned. But across the country, parents are paying more for daycare, as fees rise year over year, outpacing the rate of inflation.
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