Topic FAQ

How many children are in daycare centres in Canada?
14.9% ages 6 months to 5 years

How many parents prefer daycare centre care?
9 of 10 parents say they prefer a parent to look after their pre-school age child.

What does a “child care” space cost?
Total costs including operation, capital, training, government bureaucracy, pensions, etc. are not available.
Costs that include increased indirect costs like medical services, loss of volunteerism, sick leave for parents, etc. due to the negative effects of group care are not available.
Estimates based on the data available for direct costs indicate:

  • age 0-18 months in a daycare centre: $25,000-$30,000/year
  • all-day kindergarten: $10,000-$15,000/year

What are the definitions of terms like “child care” and “early learning and child care”?
In different studies, reports, and policies these terms have 2 different sets of definitions:

  1. Inclusive definitions—these are used to prove that “early learning and child care” is good for children and produces benefits.

    It can include parental care, grandparent care, nannies, family-run daycare, prenatal services, nutrition programs for very low income mothers-to-be, government financial benefits for families (tax deductions, family allowance, tax credits, etc), parent-information pamphlets, breast-feeding information, parent-child drop-ins, library use, music lessons, programs to help mothers, programs for mothers and kids (for example, Perry Preschool), Sunday School, medical/dental care funding for low income children, Unemployment Insurance leave, and everything in the category “exclusive” below.

  2. Exclusive definitions—these are used to define who actually gets funding for “early learning and child care”

    It typically includes only group-care facilities such as daycare centres and sometimes also licensed preschool centres. Sometimes other programs are included as part of “strategic positioning,” which “packages” unpopular programs with popular ones in order to sell the unpopular ones. But always the vast majority of funding is for centre-based group care.