Research Proposal

Canadian Daycare & Activity Choices


To discover what daycare options parents choose in Canada, along with the activity choices for children who are not in full-time daycare and the spending for activities to get a better understanding of who the participants would be for day activities.

Early Findings

Childcare Numbers

  • According to the most recent numbers from Statistics Canada, daycare was the choice for 717,317 parents (51.9%), a relative as a caregiver was the choice for 353,730 (25.6%), non-relative childcare was the choice for 69,437 (5%), family childcare homes were chosen by 281,569 (20.4%), and 43,372 (3.1%) used before and after school programs.
  • Over 60% said the key reason for their chose was the location, and 40.1% made the choice because it was affordable.
  • Approximately 60% of Canadian children under age 6,or about 1.4 million, are in some type of formal or informal care. This is up from 54% of children aged 6 months to 5 years who were reported to be in non-parental care in a 2002-2003 StatCan survey.
  • Children living in Quebec (80%) and Prince Edward Island (almost 70%) were more likely to be in non-parental care than those in other provinces, the report said.
  • Ontario children were among those less likely to be in non-parental care at 53%, according to the report. However, families in this province may be relying on full-day kindergarten.
  • Of the Canadian families, 12% said they had difficulty finding child care in their community, 11% had difficulty finding affordable care, eight percent had difficulty finding care that fit their schedule, and eight percent had difficulty finding the quality of care that they desired.
  • The report found that nearly a quarter of infants, those under one year old, are in child care.
  • Results from the survey suggested that almost 2 in 10 children aged 0 to 5 (17%) had a parent/guardian who had decided to stay at home, 11% had a parent at home on maternity or parental leave and 6% had a parent who was unemployed. Approximately 6% of children were not participating in child care because they were in kindergarten.


  • Canadian parents spent an average of $1,120 to enroll their children in extracurricular, community and sports activities during the last school year, according to a new Ipsos poll commissioned by Global News.
  • For some, the cost of a busy after-school schedule was even higher, with nearly one in 10 parents shelling out over $2,000.
  • Nearly a third of respondents who were Gen X parents (between the ages of 35 and 54) said they had taken on debt in order to pay for things like dues, fees and equipment. The share of Millennials (between the ages of 18 and 34) who said the same was smaller, at 26 percent, possibly because these younger parents have kids who aren’t old enough yet to independently attend such activities. Only 12 percent of Baby Boomer parents said they resorted to debt to bankroll their children’s extracurriculars.
  • Looking at the upcoming school year, nearly 45 percent of parents said they will enroll their kids in at least one activity. A quarter of respondents will sign them up for two activities, while a third is planning on filling their schedule with three or more extracurriculars.
  • In a survey of parent on their March break spending, it was discovered that parents with a household income of $100K or more expect to spend $890 on average during March break, while parents who earn less plan on spending about half of this amount. What’s interesting is how those with a significantly lower income of under $40K per year plan on spending nearly as much, on average, as those with larger household incomes: those earning $60K to under $100K: $487, those earning $40K to under $60K: $489, those earning under $40K: $429 .
  • The majority of parents said their March break spending decisions were based on: family decisions (61%), and nearly half (46%) take what the kids want into account. Comparatively, only a minority (32%) say their decisions are influenced by how much money they’ve saved, suggesting that financial considerations are secondary.
  • Other considerations included what their partner wanted (28%), traditions (23%), inability to afford the expense (20%), social media (8%), advertising (7%), and peer pressure (4%). We can make the assumption that these beliefs and patterns would transfer into choosing a day activity.
  • Parents of 5-9 year olds (50%) are more likely to let their children help decide. Conversely, those with very young kids aged less than five are much more likely to be influenced by what their spouse wants (37%) than those with older kids aged 5-0 (24%), 10-13 (26%) or 14-17 (21%). Those with kids under five are also the most likely to say social media plays a role: one in ten (12%) say social media sites influence their March break decisions, compared to those with kids aged 5-9 (7%), 10-13 (6%) or 14-17 (5%).


We found some proprietary research from one of our data partners which may be helpful:

Topic details: Day Care in Canada — Industry Market Research Report, $825.00 for the full report, $61.51 for individual sections.
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Prepared By
Lisa M.
944 assignments | 5.0