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Alberta Child Care Survey 2016

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Public Interest Alberta
Publication Date: 
2 Dec 2016


In an effort to learn more about the challenges in the child care sector, Public Interest Alberta coordinated a survey of child care centres, day homes, and after-school care programs.

Background information

The survey, which ran between August 29 and October 7, 2016, invited over 1,100 child care providers across the province to participate. We were pleased to receive responses from over 300 providers. The survey was conducted by Ryan MacIntyre, a member of Public Interest Alberta’s Child Care and Early Learning Task Force.

Overview of the Participants

  • 90 respondents were from Calgary (28%), 92 respondents were from Edmonton (29%), and 136 (43%) of those surveyed were from smaller cities, towns, and rural areas of the province
  • Among those surveyed: 26% were day home operators, 61% were daycare operators, 16% operated pre-schools, 38% operated school-age care programs, and 1% reported that they offered all of the above
  • Amongst those surveyed: 3% were for-profit, publicly traded corporations, 55% were forprofit privately-held businesses, 40% were non-profit organizations, and 2% were municipally-run
  • 78% were accredited, 17% were not accredited, and 4% are in the process of becoming accredited

Main findings

  • Costs are high, even for many low-income families receiving government subsidies
  • Access to child care is insufficient for care of infants and children with special needs
  • Child care operators with waiting lists have an average of 59 children waiting for a space
  • Child care operators have a high proportion of staff with minimal training
  • A high number of child care operators are able to offer limited or no professional development opportunities to their staff
  • Non-profit operators have more highly-trained staff and offer more professional development opportunities than for-profit providers