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