Child care has been in the news this month, and not always for the best of reasons.
In Ontario, the Ombudsman's office has a new investigation underway into how the province responds to public concerns about unlicensed daycare providers, following the death of a toddler at an unlicensed centre in Vaughan.
And on Monday police in Kitchener announced the arrest of a former home daycare operator, who was charged in the poisoning of two children.
Here are some numbers on early childhood care and education in Canada.
Number of children, 0-4 years old on July 1, 2012: 1,928,762.
Number of children, 0-5 years with mothers in the labour force, 2009: 1,268,200.
Mother's labour force participation rate when her youngest child is 0-2 years: 69 per cent.
Per cent of children 0-5 years for whom there was a regulated centre-based child-care space in 2010: 21.8 per cent (up from 14.9 per cent in 2001).
Province with the highest share of regulated spaces: P.E.I., 41.6 per cent.
Province with the lowest share of regulated spaces: Saskatchewan, 10.5 per cent.
Per cent of children under six from poorest quartile of families who do not participate in out-of-home daycare: 65 per cent.
Per cent of children under six from the most affluent families who do not participate in out-of-home daycare: 30 per cent, according to a 2011 study by the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation.
Child-care funding and costs
Amount of provincial/territorial funding for regulated child care in 2009-2010: $3.5 billion (up from $1.9 billion in 2001).
Amount per child: $752 ($1,969 in Quebec).
Share of child-care spaces that were for-profit in 2010: 28 per cent. (For-profit spaces fell from 30 to 20 per cent during 1992 to 2004, then rose steadily.)
Number of provinces providing no funding or fee subsidies to for-profit child-care centres: 1 (Saskatchewan).
Number of provinces that have set maximum parent fees: 3 (Manitoba, P.E.I. and Quebec).
Average full-time monthly fees for a two-year-old, 2010, in Quebec: $154 (the lowest for any province or territory).
Average full-time monthly fees for a two-year-old, 2010 in B.C.: $850 (the highest for any province or territory).
Amount the federal government pays to families for each child under 6 years old, per month: $100.
Early childhood education
Public expenditure on early childhood education services, as a share of GDP: 0.25 per cent. (That's the lowest share among comparable European and English-speaking countries, according to the OECD.)
Increase in annual public spending required on early childhood education for Canada to be at the OECD average: $3-4 billion.
Average share of a province's or territory's budget spent on early childhood education: 1.53 per cent. (Quebec, 4.67 per cent, the highest share.)
Estimates of the benefits to the economy for every dollar spent on early childhood education: from $1.49 to $2.78.
Number of years since the Royal Commission on the Status of Women first recommended a national child-care program: 43.
Median income for full-time, qualified child-care program staff with a post-secondary qualification, 2006: $27,000.
-reprinted from CBC News