May 2013 Poll: Large Majority Wants Parental Child Care & Funding for Families, Not Daycare

Kids First media release

Burnaby, British Columbia, May 23, 2012 –  A new poll confirms what Kids First Parent Association of Canada has been saying for years. A large majority of Canadians prefer parental child care over any other form of child care, and would like to see funding going directly to families rather than to a daycare system.  

The Albion Research poll, commissioned by the Institute for Marriage and Family, found that 76% of Canadians “believe it is best for children under six to be at home with a parent”. If this is not possible, relatives are preferred, followed by neighbourhood family daycare. Daycare centres rank dead last.  

61 percent of respondents said government financial support should go to families. Only 12% believe the government should subsidize daycare centres, and only 10% “believe the government should expand the public school system so that daycare for children of all ages is included”.  

“Finally, someone asks parents what we want. The results are no surprise. Very few people prefer institutional care for children; so why does government spend billions on it? The problem lies in public funding of the daycare lobby. For example, we’re paying UBC’s Human Early Learning Partnership to lobby for $10/day daycare. Politicians need to stop this abuse of our money and respect parents; then we might have fair family policy that benefits kids by empowering parents,” said Helen Ward, President of Kids First Parent Association of Canada.   

“We will be submitting a human rights complaint over the discrimination against parental child care. Child care is defined in legislation to explicitly exclude parental child care from funding. This discrimination has been extremely harmful, especially to single mothers and their children. This poll demonstrates that these laws do not even have public support,” says Ward.  

There are flaws in the poll however. Ward notes, “The ‘stay at home’ versus ‘at work’ terminology has got to go: parental child care is productive work. And what about the children of single parents? The Convention on the Rights of the Child says they also have the right to be cared for by their parents.”  

Kids First hopes the poll may embolden politicians to revise policy and fund families on an equitable basis to better reflect diversity and parental preferences.   

Contact: Helen Ward 604-291-0088  

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