Some parents on Prince Edward Island have received notice that their daycare costs will go down to $10 a day on Jan. 1, 2024, though that date has not yet been officially announced by the province.
The P.E.I. government originally committed to $10-a-day daycare at designated early years centres by the end of 2025, through a funding agreement with Ottawa.
Then, in last spring's provincial budget, the King government promised to spend $4 million to get to $10 a day "before the end of this year."
Some parents told CBC News that early childhood directors have emailed them, saying fees will go down to $10 a day on Jan. 1, 2024.
One director confirmed that Jan. 1 is the date given in the centres' contract with the P.E.I. government.
However, the province has not publicly announced the date.
Alicia Chiasson is among the 2,000 Islanders on a waiting list for a child-care spot. (Steve Bruce/CBC)
In an email to CBC News Monday, a spokesperson said, "We need to respect the process we have in place with the federal government when it comes to announcing joint initiatives."
New mom Alicia Chiasson said whenever fees do go down, it'll take a lot of financial pressure off her at a time when other costs are rising — if her baby actually gets a spot in daycare, that is.
People are already scrambling to find spots in the system, let alone when it's $10 a day. — Alicia Chiasson
She's among the 2,000 Islanders on the waiting list, and demand is expected to grow when child care gets cheaper.
"People are already scrambling to find spots in the system, let alone when it's $10 a day," she said.
Melanie Cochrane, director of Tiny Tot Child-care Centre in Charlottetown, says the savings for her clients will be 'massive.' (Steve Bruce/CBC)
Bryana Pearson Martin, the mother of a six-month-old, hopes the decrease comes soon.
"For someone in my position, I can afford to wait it out. For many others, they can't afford to wait it out any longer."
Whenever it happens, it will be a significant change for her clients, said Melanie Cochrane, director of Tiny Tot Child-care Centre in Charlottetown.
"At one point in time, we were over $30 a day. So to be able to pay $10 a day, it's massive. It's a massive, massive savings."