Early Learning & Childcare

Ensuring all Alberta families have access to high-quality, affordable child care

Access to high-quality early learning and child care is vital to enabling prosperity for all Albertans. However, the average family in Alberta is struggling to afford high-quality child care right now.

High quality and affordable child care is vital to enabling shared prosperity—the security, belonging, and opportunity for every Albertan.

However, child care in Alberta is expensive.

In Edmonton, the cost of child care for an infant is over $1,000/month. In Calgary, the cost is $1,300/month. And if you have more children, this cost accumulates and can eat up a significant portion of household budgets.

Even with a subsidy, finding affordable child care options can be a challenge for many Alberta families.

And the high cost of child care has broader economic and social consequences, including limiting labour force participation, especially for women.

To better understand this issue, particularly how affordable (or unaffordable) child care is in Alberta, we worked with two experts—Rob Buschmann, a research associate at the University of Alberta, and Gordon Cleveland, an economist who specializes in child care research, from the University of Toronto.

Calculating the cost of child care in Alberta

Child care costs can vary greatly depending on the number of parents and/or children in a family or even how we define affordability. To understand just how affordable child care is in Alberta, we’ve built this interactive model.

You can select various variables to see how the cost of child care differs in the province.

Note that data for families with more than two children under 5 years old are not available and not included in this interactive.

You can learn more about the methodologies of measuring child care affordability here.

Additional Work

Affordable child care is a complex issue and conversations about affordability and accessibility will continue. Here is a list of current work published by the collaborative. New work will be posted here as it is released.

Collaboration Members

  • Alicia Planincic, Economist Business Council of Alberta
  • Rob Buschmann, Research Associate, University of Alberta
  • Gordon Cleveland, Economist, University of Toronto


For more information on this Collaboration or its work, please contact:

Alicia Planincic, Economist

Media Inquiries: media@businesscouncilab.com