Child care is the care of a child, no matter who provides that care. Families have diverse care needs and rely on a variety of forms of care to meet those needs. Public policy best serves families when it offers flexibility and choice. Child-care policies should be equitable for all families, regardless of the type of care they choose. Universal child-care systems fail to recognize the diverse care needs of Canadian parents and their reasons for the type of care they choose.
- Of Canadian children under age six, about 40 percent are in parental care only.1
- Less than 3 percent of Canadian children under age six are in parental care because the parent could not find another option.2
- Of parents in Canada who use non-parental care, 64 percent report that they have no problem finding the care.3
- Of all Canadian children under age 6 (those in non-parental child care and those who are not) about 32 percent are in centre-based care or preschool.4