Excerpted from Introduction
We know the integral role that the early years and child care system plays in supporting families and giving every child the best possible start in life. That is why the provincial government is committed to building a system that is high quality, inclusive and affordable.
To enable a better understanding of Ontario’s early years and child care system, this report provides an annual snapshot and year-over-year trends in the sector. In addition, the report supports Ontario's commitments to publishing the progress under the federal-provincial early learning and child care agreements. Most of the data presented in this report was collected between March 2021 and March 2022.
In 2021–22, Ontario’s early years and child care system continues to recover from the COVID‑19 pandemic and has seen a positive recovery. The number of licensed child care spaces grew by 8,459 to 472,997 spaces, with an increase from all age groups including 4.5% for infants, 4.0% for toddlers, 3.8% for preschool, 0.7% for kindergarten, 0.3% for school age and an increase from 842 to 924 spaces for the family age group. footnote 1
- The number of licensed child care centres increased by 0.7% from 5,506 to 5,545 centres.
- Of the total number of licensed child care centres, 2,996 centres were located in publicly funded schools, 9 more centres compared to last year.
- The number of home child care agencies increased by 4.3% from 139 to 145. There were 8,731 approved homes affiliated with these agencies, representing a 2.0% increase.
When compared to March 2020 before the COVID‑19 pandemic:
- The child care sector has seen an increase of 10,195 spaces in centres, an increase from almost all age groups including 7.8% for infants, 6.2% for toddlers, 4.2% for preschool, and 0.9% for kindergarten. The only exception is the school age spaces which slightly decreased by about 0.3%.
- The number of home child care agencies increased by 10.7% from 131 to 145 since 2020, with a 5.2% increase in the number of approved homes.