Kids First Parents Association of Canada

Is All-Day K Needed to Ease Daycare Shortage?

Daycare Vacancy Rate Over 7% in Toronto

The Toronto area has over 7 % of daycare centre spaces vacant as of December 2009. This does not include vacancies in family daycares and in centres that do not receive fee-subsidy children. Including those spaces would mean an even higher vacancy rate.

We hear all-day kindergarten for 3-5 year olds is needed as daycare for "working parents" and that there is a severe shortage of daycare spaces. Daycare advocates use "wait lists" as a proxy measure to prove shortages and demand for more daycare. Other observes note that "wait lists" are statistically meaningless because names are listed more than once, names are counted long before parents want to use daycare, some are already using daycare, and names are not removed .

Unreported vacancy data provide a more accurate and very different picture.

Child Care Vacancies

"At any given time there will always be child care vacancies in the licensed system because of the progression of children from one age group to another as well as the movement of children in and out of the system." From: http://www.toronto.ca/children/facts_figs.htm

Toronto city data reveals there is a daycare space surplus: there is an over-all vacancy rate of 7% in fee-subsidized centres.

Current Vacancies in Toronto Daycare System

Vacancies in Daycare Centres with Fee-Subsidized Spaces
(vacancy data for daycare centres without fee-subsidized spaces and for family daycare homes is not available)
Age Vacancies Total Spaces Vacancy Rate (%)
Infant (0-18 months) 130 2250 5.8
Toddler 283 4,737 6
Pre-School 1,804 20,975 8
School-Age 703 12,739 5.5
Total 2,920 40,701 7.2
  • Toronto has 946 daycare centres.

  • Total spaces: 53,122

  • 653 daycares have spaces purchased—the fee paid—by the City.

  • There are 40,701 total spaces in these 653 daycare centres. 21,913 of those are currently spaces purchased by the City—that's 41% of all the spaces, or 54% of the spaces in centres with purchased spaces.

  • The City keeps up to date statistics on vacancies in the centres with purchased spaces only. Vacancy data is not available for the other daycare centres or for home-daycares.

  • All daycare spaces are heavily subsidized—even if the fee itself is not subsidized - —by various grants, and by publicly funding of training, bureaucracy, etc.
Maps of vacancies

Daycare spaces in Toronto. "Purchased" spaces means fee is subsidized —ie. the fee is paid by Toronto.

Vacant spaces in daycares that have fee-subsidized spaces
Toronto increasing per diem rate for daycare



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