Competing for a child care spot is the new norm. For every open child care space there are three parents in competition in Canada. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released a report that maps out a complete list of licensed child care spaces against the number of children in a given postal code.
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The report labels communities with the fewest child care spaces compared to the number of children as “child care deserts.” Communities get this label when there are at least three children in potential competition for each licensed child care space available.
“An estimated 44% of all non-school-aged children in Canada live in child care deserts”
- Spaces for children aged 0-3: 571
- Number of children aged 0-3: 1915
- Coverage 30%
- Spaces for children aged 0-3: 1,487
- Number of children aged 0-3: 4,270
- Coverage 35%
The report concluded that similar to how child care fees stress-out parents, so can the shortage of licensed spaces and the presence of long waiting lists and actually finding a child care space.
The report recommends; “Provincial efforts to improve child care affordability should be combined with initiatives to increase the number of licensed spaces, particularly in low coverage areas, and to ensure that new and existing spaces provide quality care.”
The report compiled all licensed centres and licensed homes or home care agencies in Canada, excluded were after-school care or spaces for those in junior kindergarten, kindergarten or older grades.