Child care by the numbers

Safe and affordable child care remains elusive for many parents in Canada. Here are some numbers on early childhood education and care in Canada.

Safe and affordable daycare remains elusive

It's no secret that in Quebec, parents pay the lowest child care fees in Canada, $154 per month for a full-time space. A young girl whispers her name in the ear of Quebec Premier Pauline Marois at a daycare, Nov. 12, 2012 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Child care has been in the news this month, and not always for the best of reasons.

In Ontario, the Ombudsman's office has a new investigation underway into how the province responds to public concerns about unlicensed daycare providers, following the death of a toddler at an unlicensed centre  in Vaughan.

And on Monday police in Kitchener announced the arrest of a former home daycare operator, who was charged in the poisoning of two children.

Here are some numbers on early childhood care and education in Canada.

Demographics

Number of children, 0-4 years old on July 1, 2012: 1,928,762.

Number of children, 0-5 years with mothers in the labour force, 2009: 1,268,200.

Mother's labour force participation rate when her youngest child is 0-2 years: 69 per cent.

Child-care spaces

Per cent of children 0-5 years for whom there was a regulated centre-based child-care space in 2010: 21.8 per cent (up from 14.9 per cent in 2001).

Province with the highest share of regulated spaces: P.E.I., 41.6 per cent.

In 2010 there were regulated child care spaces for 21.8 per cent of Canada's children under six years old. (iStock)

Province with the lowest share of regulated spaces: Saskatchewan, 10.5 per cent.

Per cent of children under six from poorest quartile of families who do not participate in out-of-home daycare: 65 per cent.

Per cent of children under six from the most affluent families who do not participate in out-of-home daycare: 30 per cent, according to a 2011 study by the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation.

Child-care funding and costs

Amount of provincial/territorial funding for regulated child care in 2009-2010: $3.5 billion (up from $1.9 billion in 2001).

Amount per child: $752 ($1,969 in Quebec).

Share of child-care spaces that were for-profit in 2010: 28 per cent. (For-profit spaces fell from 30 to 20 per cent during 1992 to 2004, then rose steadily.)

Number of provinces providing no funding or fee subsidies to for-profit child-care centres: 1 (Saskatchewan).

Number of provinces that have set maximum parent fees: 3 (Manitoba, P.E.I. and Quebec).

Average full-time monthly fees for a two-year-old, 2010, in Quebec: $154 (the lowest for any province or territory).

Average full-time monthly fees for a two-year-old, 2010 in B.C.: $850 (the highest for any province or territory).

Amount the federal government pays to families for each child under 6 years old, per month: $100.

Early childhood education

Canada has the lowest share of public expenditure on early childhood education services among comparable European and English-speaking countries, according to the OECD. (Ian Barrett/Canadian Press)

Public expenditure on early childhood education services, as a share of GDP: 0.25 per cent. (That's the lowest share among comparable European and English-speaking countries, according to the OECD.)

Increase in annual public spending required on early childhood education for Canada to be at the OECD average: $3-4 billion.

Average share of a province's or territory's budget spent on early childhood education: 1.53 per cent. (Quebec, 4.67 per cent, the highest share.)

Estimates of the benefits to the economy for every dollar spent on early childhood education:  from $1.49 to $2.78.

Number of years since the Royal Commission on the Status of Women first recommended a national child-care program: 43.

Median income for full-time, qualified child-care program staff with a post-secondary qualification, 2006: $27,000.