Should feds help with child care?

Will it be one, two, or three children?
My wife and I have brought up two sons, and I can’t ever think of a time that we might have considered how much it would cost to raise each one.
When they were babies, neither my wife nor I gave any thought to costs associated with competitive swimming or gymnastics or hockey. We never gave much thought to extra school activity costs.
We found a caregiver who would come to our house to look after our sons until they were both in school full-time.
We never added up the costs of food, clothing, or children’s furniture. Good quality child care was our biggest concern.
We never knew how big the total cost to raise our children to high school graduates was going to be. We just sort of drifted along covering all the costs that came along.
I think most parents behave as we did.
We looked for every opportunity to make our sons successful, and there were times when we had to say “no” to purchases.
I started thinking about this as the Fraser Institute published a study that pegs the cost of raising a child at between $3,000 and $4,000 per year, excluding housing, child-care costs, and post-secondary education.
The Fraser Institute believes that raising a child to 18 costs about $72,000.
Meanwhile, MoneySense in 2011 estimated the cost of raising a child closer to $243,660.
Canadian parents are discovering that child-care costs for baby-sitters, nannies, or day care is continuing to rise. It is not uncommon for parents in parts of Ontario to pay $1,000 per month per child for child care.
Often the annual cost of child care exceeds mortgage payments costs.
Kansas economist John Ward estimates that a child born today will require $700,000-$900,000 in funding to be raised through university. Will we begin raising $1 million babies within this decade?
And those costs do not include the lost-time costs parents take off from their jobs when their children are ill or when professional development days occur in the school system.
This all sounds bleak.
Most parents never ever sit down with a spreadsheet to create a budget to determine whether or not they will have a child. It is more often an emotional decision to have a child and has very little to do with economics.
Parents will find a way to raise their children. Parents will make personal sacrifices. Discretionary spending will be reduced to give their children every opportunity.
Today, parents are spending 118 percent of what was spent in 2011 on their children for day care.
Because of the growing costs, it is easy to see why fertility rates were dropping in Canada. For many years, the normal was for families to have only two children.
More recently, three-children families have become a new norm similar to the “baby boom” period.
Should Ottawa make child care more affordable for parents?

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