2017 Licensed Child Care Survey Report

Introduction

The 2017 licensed child care survey was the third survey of licensed child care centres and home child care agencies (i.e. licensees) conducted by the Ministry of Education.  The ministry carried out the previous two surveys in 2012 and 2015.

Similar to the previous surveys, the 2017 survey asked licensees to provide information about their operations, such as hours, enrolment, fees, fee subsidies, staff wages, and staff qualifications.

The licensed child care surveys are important to the child care sector and to the ministry because they provide essential information used to develop child care policies in Ontario, particularly during a time of legislative and regulatory changes.  The data are also used for planning, delivering, evaluating, and monitoring child care programs and services.

It is important to note that the data in this report covers the period up to March 31, 2017, to coincide with previous data collection reporting, and therefore does not reflect the impact of all of the recent provincial investments.

Data Collection

All licensed child care centres and home child care agencies that were operating as of March 31, 2017 were asked to complete the 2017 survey.  The data were collected between April 1st and June 30th, 2017, under the Child Care and Early Years Act.  Section 77 of O.Reg.137/15 states that:

"Every licensee shall, in respect of each child care centre or home child care agency it operates, furnish to a director such statistical information as the director may require with respect to the operation of the child care centre or home child care agency.”

As of 2017, submitting the annual survey is a licensing requirement. In contrast, the 2012 and 2015 surveys were voluntary and the data were collected under Day Nurseries Act.

The ministry asked licensees to provide accurate information as of March 31, 2017 thereby collecting point-in-time data that provide a snapshot of licensed child care operations at the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year. Reminder emails were sent out to inform licensees of their pending surveys and the Child Care Survey Helpdesk responded to phone calls and emails from licensees requiring clarification or assistance throughout the survey period.

Data Analysis

The ministry collected the 2017 survey data in the Child Care Licensing System (CCLS).  Verification of the survey data included comparisons to current information in CCLS, the 2015 survey results, and licensed child care data contained in the 2017 annual report (available on the ministry’s website).

The results presented in this report are the raw data as provided by the survey respondents. Due to the high volume of data received through the survey, ministry staff did not validate the survey results with respondents (e.g. by contacting each licensee to validate their responses). 

Data analysis included descriptive statistics such as distribution (frequency counts, histograms), measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode), and distribution (standard deviation, percentiles, quartiles). Outliers were not removed for data integrity purposes and to minimize the loss of data.

Survey Respondents

Response Rate

In 2017, 95% (5,059) of 5,351[1] licensed child care centres and 95% (118) of 124[2]  home child care agencies[3] completed and submitted the survey.  The response rates in 2015 were 90% for child care centres and 94% for home child care agencies.

Figure 1: 2017 Survey Response Rate


Figure 2:  2015 Survey Response Rate


Summary of Respondents

In 2017, 77.1% (3,902) of licensed child care centres and 89.8% (106) of home child care agencies who responded to the survey were non-profit, similar to the 2015 results of 77.5% and 89.5% respectively.

The proportion of centres located in publicly funded schools was 55.2% (2,795) in 2017, similar to the 55% of centres in 2015. 

Over 80% (62) of centres and 100% (2) of home child care agencies operated by First Nations[4] responded to the survey in 2017, compared to 49.3% (37) of centres and 50% (1) of home child care agencies in 2015.

Table 1: 2017 Survey Respondents

Child Care Centres (n=5,059)

Auspice Number of Centres Percentage of Centres
Non-profit 3,902 77.1%
For-profit 1,157 22.9%
Total 5,059 100.0%

Location Number of Centres Percentage of Centres
Publicly Funded School 2,795 55.2%
Community 2,264 44.8%
Total 5,059 100.0%

Language Number of Centres Percentage of Centres
English 4,728 93.5%
French 273 5.4%
Bilingual 51 1.0%
Other 7 0.1%
Total 5,059 100.0%

Home Child Care Agencies (n=118)

Auspice Number of Agencies Percentage of Agencies
Non-profit 106 89.8%
For-profit 12 10.2%
Total 118 100.0%

Table 2:  2015 Survey Respondents

Child Care Centres (n=4,536)

Auspice Number of Centres Percentage of Centres
Non-profit 3,51577.5%
For-profit 1,02122.5%
Total 4,536 100.0%

Location Number of Centres Percentage of Centres
Publicly Funded School 2,49555.0%
Community 2,04145.0%
Total 4,536 100.0%

Language Number of Centres Percentage of Centres
English 4,190 92.4%
French 249 5.5%
Bilingual 70 1.5%
Other 27 0.6%
Total 4,536 100.0%

Home Child Care Agencies (n=114)

Auspice Number of Agencies Percentage of Agencies
Non-profit 102 89.5%
For-profit 1210.5%
Total 114 100.0%

Programs Offered

Of the 5,059 licensed child care centres:

  • 65% (3,303) offered full day programs along with other program options
  • 27% (1,349) offered only before and after school programs
  • 5% (273) offered only half day programs
  • 2% (90) offered only after school programs
  • 1% (44) offered a combination of half day and before/after school programs

Figure 3:  Programs Offered by Child Care Centres, 2017 (n=5,059)


Figure 4:  Programs Offered by Child Care Centres Located in Publicly Funded Schools, 2017 (n=2,795)


Hours Of Operation

The hours of operation reported in 2017 were similar to those reported in 2015.  Typically, child care centres provided care between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM.  Approximately 85% of respondents reported program start and end times within 30 minutes of the typical times.

Table 3:  Typical Hours at Child Care Centres

2017 2015
Start End Start End
Full Day 7:00 AM 6:00 PM 7:00 AM 5:45 PM
Before School 7:00 AM 9:00 AM 7:00 AM 8:45 AM
After School 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 3:15 PM 6:00 PM

Non-standard Hours and Non-instructional Days

Care during non-standard hours continues to be limited, with a decrease in the proportion of homes providing care during evening, weekend, and overnight hours.  Conversely, the proportion of homes providing care before and after school, and during school breaks (e.g. summer, winter, and March breaks) has increased since 2015.

Table 4:  Percentage of Centres and Homes Offering Care During Non-standard Hours and Non-instructional Days

2017 2015
Centres Homes Centres Homes
Before School 66% 55% 69% 28%
After School 69% 54% 70% 29%
Before and After School 66% 63% 68% 42%
Evening N/A[5] 18% 2% 29%
Weekend 3% 14% 1% 24%
Overnight 0% 11% 0% 21%
Summer 66% 94% 66% 86%
Winter Break (December-January) 58% 93% 60% 85%
March Break 66% 94% 67% 85%
Professional Activity Days 77% 94% 78% 86%
Statutory Holidays 1% 33% 2% 37%

Enrolment

The total reported enrolment (child care centres and home child care) was 386,478 in 2017 and 329,140 in 2015.  Home child care enrolment made up 4.1% of reported enrolment in 2017, down from 4.9% in 2015.[6]

In child care centres, most children were enrolled in the Preschool, Kindergarten, and School Age groups.  Infant enrolment decreased in both child care centres and in home child care, while Kindergarten enrolment increased in both.  Enrolment growth in child care centres was mostly in School-age and Kindergarten age groups.[7]

Figure 5:  Enrolment by Age Group, 2017


Figure 6:  Enrolment by Age Group, 2015


Enrolment Distribution by Age Group

The age distribution of children enrolled in child care centres is different from the age distribution in home child care, with children in child care centres more likely to be in the older age groups.[8]  For centres, enrolment in each age category is generally similar to licensed capacity.

Figure 7:  Enrolment in Centres and Licensed Capacity by Age, 2017


Figure 8:  Enrolment in Centres and Licensed Capacity by Age, 2015


Figure 9:  Enrolment in Homes by Age, 2017


Figure 10:  Enrolment in Homes by Age, 2015


Fees

Care for younger children continues to be more expensive than care for older children.  Generally, median fees for home child care were lower than fees in child care centres for younger children, and higher for older children.  Median fees for all types of care increased between 2015 and 2017.

Figure 11:  Median Daily Fees in Child Care Centres, 2015 and 2017


Figure 12:  Median Daily Fees in Home Child Care Agencies, 2015 and 2017


90% of the reported daily fees in licensed child care centres and homes fall within the ranges identified in the tables below.[9]

Table 5:  Daily Fees in Centres and Homes, 2017

Age Group Child Care Centres Median Fee/Day and Range Home Child Care Agencies Median Fee/Day and Range
Infant $62 ($40-$97) $44 ($31-$56)
Toddler $51 ($34-$83) $43 ($31-$54)
Preschool $45 ($29-$72) $40 ($30-$47)
Kindergarten $40 ($25-$60) $38 ($28-$46)
Kindergarten Before and After School $24 ($14-$36) $25 ($10-$39)
Primary/Junior Before and After School $22 ($15-$42) $30 ($15-$45)
Junior Before and After School $21 ($15-$45) $30 ($15-$45)

Table 6:  Daily Fees in Centres and Homes, 2015

Age Group Child Care Centres Median Fee/Day and Range Home Child Care Agencies Median Fee/Day and Range
Infant $57 ($35-$107) $42 ($31-$51)
Toddler $48 ($32-$80) $41 ($24-$50)
Preschool $42 ($25-$66) $39 ($29-$46)
Kindergarten $37 ($20-$56) $36 ($21-$45)
Kindergarten Before and After School $23 ($15-$36) $24 ($14-$34)
Primary/Junior Before and After School[10] $20 ($14-$30) $22 ($11-$34)
Junior Before and After School10 $20 ($14-$30) $22 ($11-$34)

Enrolment And Fee Subsidies

The total number of children who were reported to have received a full or partial subsidy in 2017 was 123,497 compared to 97,293 in 2015.  In 2017, 111,569 children in child care centres and 11,928 children in home child care were reported to have received a subsidy.

Children enrolled in child care centres and home child care have very different likelihoods of receiving a subsidy.  In 2017, 75% of children enrolled in home child care received a subsidy, compared to 30% of children enrolled in child care centres.  However, children enrolled in home child care made up only 9.7% of all children receiving a subsidy.

Figure 13:  Enrolment by Age and Subsidy Status in Centres, 2017


Figure 14:  Enrolment by Age and Subsidy Status in Homes, 2017


Fee Subsidies by Age Group in Centres

Overall, approximately 30% of children enrolled in centres received a subsidy in 2017, up from 28% in 2015.  In general, younger children were more likely to receive a subsidy than older children.  Compared to 2015, the number of children who received a subsidy increased or stayed the same across all age groups.

Figure 15:  Child Care Centre Subsidy Rates by Age, 2017


Figure 16: Child Care Centre Subsidy Rates by Age, 2015


Fee Subsidies by Age Group in Homes

Overall, approximately 75% of children enrolled in homes received a subsidy in 2017, up from 66% in 2015.  In 2017, younger children were less likely than older children to receive a subsidy.  Compared to 2015, subsidy rates increased across all age groups except for infants.

Figure 17:  Home Child Care Agency Subsidy Rates by Age, 2017


Figure 18:  Home Child Care Agency Subsidy Rates by Age, 2015


Program Staff Wages At Child Care Centres

Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECE) or Director Approved (DA) staff tend to be paid more than non-RECE/Director Approved staff.  Wage distributions for all staff types have shifted upward since 2015.[11]

Figure 19: Program Staff Hourly Wage Ranges in Licensed Child Care Centres, 2017


Figure 20:  Program Staff Hourly Wage Ranges in Licensed Child Care Centres, 2015


Program Staff and Supervisor Wages at Child Care Centres

In 2017, 61% of Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECE) or Director Approved (DA) full-time staff, excluding supervisors, earned less than $20/hour.  Part-time staff tend to be paid comparably to or slightly more than full-time staff.

Table 7:  Program Staff Wage Ranges in Licensed Child Care Centres, 2017 (Number and Percentage of Staff)

Wage Range/Hour RECE/DA Full-time RECE/DA Part-time Non-RECE/DA Full-time Non-RECE/DA Part-time Supervisor Full-time Supervisor Part-time
$11.40 - $15.00  2,805 (16%)  858 (13%)  4,629 (57%)  3,395 (50%)  120 (3%)  71 (7%)
$15.01 - $20.00  8,077 (45%)  2,744 (42%)  2,733 (34%)  2,706 (39%)  666 (18%)  326 (30%)
$20.01 - $26.68  5,341 (30%)  2,469 (38%)  615 (8%)  666 (10%)  1,337 (37%)  381 (36%)
$26.69 - $30.00  792 (4%)  244 (4%)  66 (1%)  35 (1%)  583 (16%)  91 (8%)
$30.01 - $35.00  712 (4%)  149 (2%)  21 (0%)  23 (0%)  421 (12%)  117 (11%)
$35.01 - $40.00  198  (1%)  33 (1%)  5 (0%)  13 (0%)  211 (6%)  43 (4%)
$40.01+  91 (1%)  27 (0%)  8 (0%)  14 (0%)  268 (7%)  42 (4%)
 TOTAL  18,016 (100%)  6,524 (100%)  8,077 (100%)  6,852 (100%)  3,606 (100%)  1,071 (100%)

Table 8:  Program Staff Wage Ranges in Licensed Child Care Centres, 2015 (Number and Percentage of Staff)

 Wage Range/Hour RECE/DA Full-time RECE/DA Part-time Non-RECE/DA Full-time Non-RECE/DA Part-time Supervisor Full-time Supervisor Part-time
$11.00 - $15.00 3,907 (24%) 1,437 (24%) 4,179 (67%) 3,908 (64%) 2,132 (65%) 859 (73%)
$15.01 - $20.00 7,363 (45%) 2,921 (49%) 1685 (27%) 1,772 (29%) 2,132 (65%) 859 (73%)
$20.01 - $26.26 3,553 (22%) 1,418 (24%) 345 (6%) 385 (6%) 2,132 (65%) 859 (73%)
$26.27 - $30.00 677 (4%) 98 (2%) 26 (0%) 26 (0%) 500 (15%) 192 (16%)
$30.01 - $35.00 608 (4%) 108 (2%) 13 (0%) 6 (0%) 317 (10%) 50 (4%)
$35.01 - $40.00 131 (1%) 11 (0%) 9 (0%) 5 (0%) 144 (4%) 26 (2%)
$40.01+ 39 (0%) 9 (0%) 6 (0%) 5 (0%)  167 (5%)  43 (4%)
 TOTAL  16,278 (100%)  6,002 (100%)  6,263 (100%)  6,107 (100%)  3,260 (100%)  1,170 (100%)

Home Child Care Agency Staff Wages

Full-time home visitors tend to be paid more than part-time home visitors.  55% of full-time home visitors earned over $26.69/hour.  Wage distributions for all staff types have shifted upward since 2015.

Table 9:  Staff Wage Ranges in Home Child Care Agencies, 2017 (Number and Percentage of Staff)

 Wage Range/Hour Home Visitor Full-time Home Visitor Part-time Home Supervisor Full-time Home Supervisor Part-time
$11.40 - $15.00  3 (1%)  4 (4%)  0 (0%)  1 (4%)
$15.01 - $20.00  23 (11%)  45 (51%)  8 (9%)  0 (0%)
$20.01 - $26.68  68 (33%)  22 (25%)  20 (23%)  5 (21%)
$26.69 - $30.00  44 (21%)  6 (7%)  6 (7%)  1(4%)
$30.01 - $35.00  27 (13%)  7 (8%)  12 (14%)  5 (21%)
$35.01 - $40.00  29 (14%)  5 (6%)  16 (18%)  4 (17%)
$40.01+  11 (5%)  0 (0%)  26 (30%)  8 (33%)
 TOTAL 205 (100%)  89 (100%)  88 (100%)  24 (100%)

Table 10:  Staff Wage Ranges in Home Child Care, 2015 (Number and Percentage of Staff)

 Wage Range/Hour Home Visitor Full-time Home Visitor Part-time Home Supervisor Full-time Home Supervisor Part-time
$11.00 - $15.00  9 (4%)  19 (18%) 108 (77%) 46 (74%)
$15.01 - $20.00  62 (29%)  58 (54%) 108 (77%) 46 (74%)
$20.01 - $26.26  56 (27%)  18 (17%) 108 (77%) 46 (74%)
$26.27 - $30.00  35 (17%)  5 (5%) 5(4%) 2 (3%)
$30.01 - $35.00  24 (11%)  5 (5%) 9 (6%) 5 (8%)
$35.01 - $40.00  23 (11%)  3 (3%) 7 (5%) 4 (6%)
$40.01+  2 (1%)  0 (0%) 11 (8%) 5 (8%)
 TOTAL 211 (100%) 108 (100%) 140 (100%) 62 (100%)

Home Child Care Agency Services

Home child care agencies provide support services for the home child care provider, including placement of children, administrative support, equipment lending, and professional learning and programming support. Services were relatively consistent across agencies.

Figure 21:  Services Provided by Home Child Care Agencies, 2017


Figure 22:  Services Provided by Home Child Care Agencies, 2015


Services For Centres In Publicly Funded Schools

In both 2017 and 2015, 55% of child care centres that responded to the surveys were located within publicly funded schools.  Most centres (88% in 2017) had a lease with the school.  In some cases, services were provided without a lease.  There was some variation in the services included in the lease or otherwise provided by the school, with utilities, use of outdoor space, and custodial care being the most common.

Figure 23:  Services Provided by School, 2017


Figure 24:  Services Provided by School, 2015


[1] The number of licensed child care centres as of March 31, 2017.

[2] The number of licensed home child care agencies as of March 31, 2017.

[3] Home child care agencies reported having 3,765 active and 402 inactive home child care providers affiliated their agencies in the 2017 survey.  The definitions for active and inactive homes were the same as those used in the Child Care Licensing System Reference Guide for Applicants/Licensees:  "An active home is one in which children are being cared for.  An inactive home is one where the provider has no children enrolled, but could have one or more eventually.”

[4] There were 76 licensed child care centres and two home child care agencies operated by First Nations as of March 31, 2017.  In 2015, there were 75 licensed child care centres and two home child care agencies operated by First Nations.

[5] The 2017 survey included evening hours only for homes and not for centres.

[6] 2017 and 2015 reported enrolment numbers are not directly comparable due to different response rates (95% in 2017 and 90% in 2015).  Growth analyses based on rescaled enrolment to account for the different response rates indicates that enrolment in child care centres increased by 8% and home child care enrolment decreased by 5%.

[7] 2017 enrolment counts for Kindergarten and School Age groups may be inflated due to double-counting of children enrolled in before and after school programs.

[8] 2017 enrolment counts for Kindergarten and School Age groups may be inflated due to double-counting of children enrolled in before and after school programs.

[9] The reported range is the interval between the 5th and 95th percentile, which includes 90% of the reported fees.  Zeros were removed from the analysis.

[10] The 2015 survey did not distinguish between Primary/Junior and Junior.  For comparative purposes, the fees for the 2015 School Age group are used in both the Primary/Junior and Junior age groups.

[11] The wage ranges used in the 2015 and 2017 surveys differed slightly because they were aligned with relevant minimum wage and wage enhancement criteria.