The Daily
|
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Canadian Survey on the Provision of Child Care Services, January 2021

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Released: 2021-06-15

Over half of the 52,794 child care providers in Canada reported that they were unlicensed and home-based in January 2021, while 28% were licensed and home-based and 18% were centre-based. Although there are more unlicensed providers than licensed providers, 74% of children were enrolled in centre-based child care.

There are twice as many unlicensed home-based child care providers as licensed providers

Across the country, except in Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba and in the three territories, there were more unlicensed than licensed centre-based and home-based child care businesses caring for children aged 5 and younger.

Child enrolment down by over one-fifth since the onset of the pandemic

Although there are more unlicensed home-based child care providers than licensed providers, most children in child care are registered in centre-based child care businesses. Almost three-quarters (74%) of children in child care were enrolled in centre-based child care in January 2021, while 15% were in unlicensed home-based child care and 11% were in licensed home-based child care. Despite a 22% (-190,063) decline in child enrolment overall from January 2020 to January 2021, the shares of children in all three types of child care were relatively unchanged.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Number of children enrolled in all child care businesses by children's age group, January 2020 and January 2021
Number of children enrolled in all child care businesses by children's age group, January 2020 and January 2021

Flexible child care options not common

Child care providers offer various child care options to parents, including full-time and part-time, before school, after school, evenings, weekends, overnight, drop in and flexible programs.

Full-time child care was by far the most common service offered. In January 2021, 99% of licensed home-based child care providers, 91% of centre-based providers and 86% of unlicensed home-based providers offered this option. Conversely, part-time programs were far less common, with 43% of centre-based providers, 30% of unlicensed home-based providers and 19% of licensed home-based providers offering this option.

All types of providers reported a decline in offerings of child care before or after school in January 2021 compared with the same month a year earlier. One reason for the decline was school closures, as a result of which child care providers were not able to offer before and after school care. Another important factor was that parents felt it unsafe to send their children to child care during the pandemic.

Half of child care providers report temporarily shutting down during the pandemic but reopening since

About 8% of all responding child care providers said they had remained open to serve front-line workers at some point during the pandemic, while 14% remained fully operational the entire time.

Approximately two-thirds (65%) of centre-based child care providers and half of unlicensed (51%) and licensed (47%) home-based providers said that they had shut down temporarily because of the pandemic, but that they have since reopened.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Proportion of child care providers, by operational status during the COVID-19 pandemic and by business type, January 2021
Proportion of child care providers, by operational status during the COVID-19 pandemic and by business type, January 2021

Centre-based child care employees most likely to have Early Childhood Education qualifications

Over half of employees working for centre-based child care providers (54%) had completed an Early Childhood Education (ECE) one-, two-, or three-year certificate in, or obtained an ECE diploma from, a postsecondary institution. In comparison, this was the case for about one-third (35%) of licensed home-based child care providers and their employees, and approximately one-fifth (21%) of unlicensed home-based providers and their employees. In total, 44% of licensed home-based providers and their employees had completed an ECE course or workshop of less than one year. Meanwhile, 41% of unlicensed home-based providers and their employees had not obtained any ECE-related training.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Proportion of child care providing employees, by Early Childhood Education training and by business type, January 2021
Proportion of child care providing employees, by Early Childhood Education training and by business type, January 2021

Child care fees are highest for the youngest children and lowest for those aged 5 and older

Child care providers were asked to report the average daily fee, including subsidies, per child, by child age group. As a child's age increases, child care fees decrease. For all three types of child care providers, parents or guardians paid the highest average daily fee for children under 18 months of age. The lowest fees were for children aged 5 and older.

In January 2021, the average daily fee for children under 18 months of age was $46 at centre-based child care providers and $37 at licensed and unlicensed home-based providers. Compared with January 2020, the average daily fee charged by centre-based child care providers for children under 18 months of age was up slightly, while it was unchanged for licensed and unlicensed home-based child care.

The average daily fee for children under 18 months of age in centre-based child care ranged from $30 in Manitoba to $65 in Ontario in January 2021, while at licensed home-based providers, fees ranged from $26 in Manitoba to $50 in British Columbia.




  Note to readers

The Canadian Survey on the Provision of Child Care Services is a pilot survey on the provision of child care services at the national, provincial and territorial levels for children aged 5 and younger. The survey collects data from centre-based, and licensed and unlicensed home-based providers. The sample size of the survey is 4,000 units. It is a voluntary survey with a response rate of 56%. The survey sample was selected from Statistics Canada's Business Register. Understanding the child care sector through the lens of the provider offers an important perspective when developing an early learning and child care system.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

Date modified: