1. Get the financial assistance you’re entitled to in the first year
Baby’s first year is a double hit for most parents. Your costs go up, while your income goes down when one or both parents take parental leave.
Luckily, maternity and parental benefits can help ease the financial impact. Parental leave benefits from Employment Insurance (EI) come in 2 parts. First, a maternity benefit that pays 55% of the mother’s average weekly earnings for 15 weeks. The maximum is $650 a week (as of June 2023).
You can then choose the parental benefit that works best for your family:
- The 35-week parental benefit, which pays out at the same percentage. One parent can take all 35-weeks or parents can share.
- Or the 61-week extended parental benefit, which pays 33% of average weekly earnings. Both parents can share.
In addition, there’s the Canada Child Benefit, a tax-free monthly payout.
With one child under 6, your maximum benefit would be $583.08 a month (or $6,997 a year). That amount falls to $522.91 a month (or $6,275 a year) for a kid between 6 and 17.
However, the benefit changes based on your household income and the number of children living with you.