Ottawa - Post Report Question and Answers

Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Yes, and they are very expensive - similar to DC, each school is different in their after/before school offerings. The school day starts later here - around 8:30 or 9, depending on the school, so that factors into a spouse’s work availability. - Sep 2023

They are here and not cheap. Public Junior Kindergarten is free in Canada, however, and your child can go for a little less than 3 hours a day. A few embassy kids have gone that route. - Dec 2010

Preschools are plentiful and run the gamut in price and hours. Daycare is a real concern for those who have preschoolers and want to work. Some embassy folks have brought nannies from previous posts with them. It is prohibitively expensive to employ Canadians as nannies. Canada has agencies that will (for a fee) bring a nanny from the Philippines for you, but that is really expensive, too. We have been very very happy with our cooperative preschool, but my spouse is a full-time mom, so we can do the monthly cooperative duties. Single parents -- or situations where both parents work -- would not be conducive to the co-op environment. - Aug 2010

Daycare is in short supply and is generally costly. Given that the government provides a benefit to new mothers up to 1 year, there is a real shortage of daycares taking in children less than a year. Home-based care is generally in the 800-1000/month range. Daycare in an actual centre can range from 1000 - 1800/month...and these are non-profit facilities! - Nov 2009

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