Advocate’s Quick Facts

Prepared by the Coalition of Child Care Advocates – updated July 2007
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As we continue to make the case for publicly funded, affordable, high quality child care, the numbers are on our side! Let’s use the statistics and research information to educate and advocate.


Summary of Community Consultations by the Ministry of Children and Family Development and Ministry of Education, released June 9, 2006:

  • “Child care was identified as a primary need of working families, and limited access to quality child care was cited as a key barrier, especially among vulnerable populations and in remote communities.
  • There was general agreement that access to quality child care must be a priority.”


  • More than 3.2 million Canadians welcomed new children by birth or adoption between 2001 and 2006.
    [Statistics Canada]
  • BC has one of the 2 largest consolidated provincial, territorial and local surpluses in Canada. The country’s governments (from Parliament Hill to city hall) racked up a collective surplus of $29 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007, a billion more than in 2006.
    [Government finance: Revenue, expenditure and surplus – Statistics Canada]
  • The BC government budget forecasted a $600-million surplus in 2006/07. The actual record surplus amount announced by Finance Minister Taylor and Premier Campbell was $3.5 billion higher, a total of record $4.1-billion surplus.
    [July 11, 2007, Ministry of Finance News Release 2007FIN0023-000910]
  • CCPA predicted BC was set to finish 2006/07 with a substantial surplus, and in the next two years (pending new spending announcements and/or tax cuts) we are likely to see even larger surpluses.
    [BC Solutions Budget 2007, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives]
  • “One in four B.C. children, or nearly 9,000 students, will begin kindergarten in September without the skills they needed to succeed…”
    [Education Minister Shirley Bond, Office of the Premier, Ministry of Education, June 13, 2007]
  • More women are working than ever before: more than 1.021 million as of January 2006.
    [“For the Record: The Latest Facts on Current Issues in BC”, Key Facts about Women, BC government web site]


Over the past eight years, the proportion of children in child care has increased significantly:

  • 54% of Canadian children were in some form of child care in 2002-2003, whereas 42% were reported to be in some form of child care eight years earlier.
  • The increase in the child care rate occurred for children from almost all backgrounds, regardless of geographic location, household income, family structure, parental employment status or parental place of birth.
    [Statistics Canada, April 2006]

Women who return to work after maternity leave undergo far more stress than men who take similar time off.

  • 6 out of every 10 mothers (62%) reported that the transition between leave and work was stressful. One-fifth described it as very stressful.
  • Nearly half of parents cited balancing job and family responsibilities as the main source of stress associated with their return to work.
  • More than 77% of parents returned to the labour market. Most fathers returned to work in the month following the child’s birth or adoption. Nearly half of mothers returned to work between 12 to 47 months following the child’s arrival.
    [Statistics Canada General Social Survey: Navigating family transitions, June 13, 2007]

Enriching Children, Enriching the Nation, Public Investment in High-Quality Pre Kindergarten
Robert G. Lynch, USA, May 2007

  • “A nationwide commitment to high-quality early childhood education would cost a significant amount of money upfront, but it would have a substantial payoff in the future as such a program would ultimately reduce costs for remedial and special education, criminal justice, and child welfare, and it would increase income earned and taxes paid.”
  • “Children who participate in high-quality pre kindergarten programs fare better in school, have better home lives, and are less likely to engage in criminal activity than their peers who do not attend such programs.”
  • “The economic and social benefits from pre kindergarten investment amount to much more than just improvements in public balance sheets. The participating children go on to higher achievement later in life, graduating from high school and attending college at a higher rate, and earning more once they enter the labor force.” “Investment in young children has positive effects on the U.S. economy by raising incomes, improving the skills of the workforce, reducing poverty, and strengthening U.S. global competitiveness. Crime rates and the heavy costs of criminality to society are reduced”.

Women in the workplace
Statistics Canada, April 2007

  • “The entry of large numbers of women into the paid workforce has been one of the dominant social trends in Canada over the last half century.”

In 2006, 58% of all women aged 15 and over had jobs.

  • Women accounted for 47% of the employed workforce.
  • Women between the ages of 25 and 54 are currently more likely to be part of the paid workforce than women in other age ranges. 77% of women aged 25 to 44 and 45 to 54 had jobs.
  • 73% of all women with children less than age 16 living at home were part of the employed workforce, [up from 39% in 1976].
  • Many women, work part-time because of child care, personal or family responsibilities.


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) places Canada last out of 14 countries in public spending on early learning and child care.

International comparisons using data from Starting Strong II
[Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2006]

  • Public spending for Early Learning and Child Care ranges between 0.2% to 2% of GDP for 0-6 years. Canada is the lowest spender, 14th out of the 14 countries for which these data is provided.
  • Less than 20% of children aged 0-6 years find a place in a regulated service (compared to Belgium 63%; Denmark 78%; France 69%; Portugal 40%; and U.K. 60%).

The Canada report recommended:

  • substantially increased and better focused public spending;
  • a national framework for quality;
  • much wider access with universality as a goal;
  • defined action plans by provincial governments;
  • better inclusion of children with special needs;
  • improved access for Aboriginal and disadvantaged children; and
  • improved physical environments.

Save The Children’s eighth annual State of the World’s Mothers report ranks 140 countries on the wellbeing of their mothers and children. Canada ranks 15th.
[May 2007]

  • President and CEO David Morley says his organization used a number of criteria to create their rankings, including: early childhood education; the support given to moms who want to stay home with their children; and health services for young children.

Human Resources and Social Development Canada Ministerial Advisory Committee

  • Parental demand for child care is increasing but demand is also increasing from employers who are struggling to fill jobs that are vacant due to the increasing competition for skilled labour and the growing labour shortage.
  • “To compete globally, Canada needs to reduce barriers to labour market entry including increasing the supply and quality of child care.”

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