Child Care Spaces
Child care spaces measures how many licensed child care spaces are available for every 100 children.
Why This Matters
Child care is not only an important service for parents who cannot take care of their children at certain times during the day due to work or other commitments, but it can also help prepare children for school by building cognitive, language, and social skills (Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP), 2004; Peisner-Feinberg et al., 2001).
This indicator is closely connected to basic needs. Particularly for single parents, but also for dual-parent families, placing young children in child care is the only way in which they can work to sustain their livelihoods. Without these spaces, many parents would be forced to resign from their jobs in order to care for their young children.
Measurement and Limitations
The ratio of child care spaces is measured by the number of licensed child care spaces available per 100 children aged 0 to 12. In other words, this indicator measures the supply of child care spaces for children aged 0 to 12 years old in relation to the total number of children aged 0 to 12.
The number of child care spaces has been counted roughly every 18 months. 2007 data were collected in December, 2009 data was collected in May, and 2010 data was again collected in December.
This indicator measures the supply of licensed child care spaces in Winnipeg, not the demand for child care spaces. Since only a portion of parents with children aged 0 to 12 express a demand for child care, it is not possible to infer from this data the total demand for child care spaces.
Additionally, this indicator does not include unlicensed or informal child care spaces. For example, home providers caring for up to four children do not require a licence; therefore, not all residential child care spaces are accounted for. Some programs operated by schools are also exempt from licensing.
Data for child care spaces were obtained from Manitoba Families.
This data is updated annually as it becomes available.
Beaujot, R. & Ravanera, Z.R.. (2009). Family models for earning and caring: Implications for child care and for family policy. Canadian Studies in Population, 36(1-2), 145-166.
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. (2004). How do educational outcomes vary with socioeconomic status? Key findings from the Manitoba Child Health Atlas 2004. Retrieved from http://mchp-appserv.cpe.umanitoba.ca/reference/ch.atlas.pdf
Peisner-Feinberg, E., Burchinal, M., Clifford, R., Culkin, M., Howes, C., Kagan, S., & Yazejian, N. (2001). The relation of preschool child care quality to children’s cognitive and social developmental trajectories through second grade. Child Development, 72, 1534-1553.