Education Minister Tracy McPhee speaks to media in Whitehorse on April 7, 2020. McPhee gave details on March 9 about the Yukon government’s new childcare subsidy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Education Minister Tracy McPhee speaks to media in Whitehorse on April 7, 2020. McPhee gave details on March 9 about the Yukon government’s new childcare subsidy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Affordable childcare subsidy will be provided to licensed daycares and applied to parent on April 1

“It’s as wide a net as we could cast in the first phase.”

The Yukon government has unveiled new details on a promise for affordable childcare.

Starting on April 1, the government said parents can save up to $700 per month, per child. The subsidy will be provided directly to licensed child care providers, who will be adjusting the bill of parents accordingly.

Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee said they have been working with over 70 private, public, NGO-run and First Nation-run daycares across the territory. She said each of those facilities will have a transfer payment agreement finalized before April 1.

As an example, the government said if a family pays $850 per month for one child, they would now pay $150 in fees.

The subsidy is only available for children who are enrolled in a licensed child care space. Children in part-time programs will receive a prorated fee reduction.

Opposition parties took issue with the fact that not every family is able to access licensed child care, and will be unable to benefit from the current program. Education critic Scott Kent noted that could include parents who have previously given up child care spots and decided to leave the workforce.

“While this announcement will provide welcome financial relief to some families, it may leave others behind and it doesn’t address existing gaps in our system,” said NDP leader Kate White said in the legislature.

“It’s a pretty wide net,” McPhee said, speaking with reporters on March 9. “It’s as wide a net as we could cast in the first phase. Licensed daycares are managed and they’re required to comply with certain rules and regulations.”

In the legislature, McPhee said licensed childcare programs and services need to be expanded. She said the new funding program also includes a wage supplement for qualified childhood educators.

“We need to protect our early childhood educators and have them be properly paid, properly resourced, and properly retained into their position so that children in the Yukon can benefit,” she said.

The government said the program is not a replacement for existing benefits such as the Direct Operating Grant, the Yukon child care subsidy, the Grandparent Grant and the Teen Parent Grant.

Questioned by the opposition as to the timing of the program, McPhee said the program will start April 1 to align with the start of the fiscal year.

“There was no interest in waiting any longer with respect to this for families. We’ve seen the impact of COVID-19 on families, the stress of having daycare either unavailable or only partially available. We know that this has been a long-time situation, particularly for women re-entering the workforce, trying to start a business or returning to school,” she said.

Contact Haley Ritchie at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: Another election, another anomaly

Monday’s “double-tie” election is generating some free publicity for the Yukon as Outside news agencies scramble to find someone to interview.

A cyclist rides along the Millenium Trail in downtown Whitehorse on a frigid Feb. 9. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of an e-bike bylaw that would designate how e-bike riders can use city trails. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
First two readings passed on Whitehorse e-bike bylaw

Delegate calls on city to consider age restrictions and further regulations

Whitehorse City Hall at its Steele Street entrance. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Change of plans approved for city hall

Project would see 1966 city hall demolished

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

Joel Krahn/ Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

Most Read