Spotlight on Canadians: Results from the General Social Survey

    Child care in Canada


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    • In 2011, almost half (46%) of parents reported using some type of child care for their children aged 14 years and younger in the past year. Child care was more often used for children aged 4 and younger (54%), than for children above the age of 4 (39%).
    • Rates of child care were highest in Quebec (58%) and lowest in Manitoba (34%), Alberta (40%) and Ontario (43%).
    • The majority of parents (86%) had used child care arrangements on a regular basis, particularly for young children.
    • Parents primarily relied on three types of child care arrangements for their children aged 4 and under: daycare centres (33%), home daycares (31%) and private arrangements (28%). The use of these arrangements varied widely by province.
    • Before and after school programs were the most common type of child care arrangement for school-aged children in Quebec, Ontario and eastern Canada. Conversely, private arrangements were the top choice among parents in western Canada.
    • The location of the child care arrangement was the leading reason behind parents’ decision to use a particular type of care, as reported by 33% of parents. Next was trust in the care provider (18%).
    • The median cost of full-time child care differed by province, ranging from a low of $152 per month in Quebec to a high of $677 in Ontario.
    • Overall, 69% of parents indicated that they were very satisfied with the overall quality of their child care arrangement, and another 29% were satisfied.
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