According to a study, Child Care Deserts by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an estimated 776,000 non-school-aged children (44%) live in child care deserts in Canada.
Defined as postal code areas with three or more children per licensed space, a “child care desert” means that a child care spot often cannot be found close to home, leaving families without child care or commuting to child care, then to work. The first of its kind in Canada, the study includes an interactive map which shows that access to child care varies depending on where families live.
“The CCPA’s study shows that nearly half of young children live in areas where child care is difficult or impossible to access,” said Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director of Child Care Now, “That these deserts exist and that access to child care is so uneven across the country is because there is so little public management of the supply of child care.”
Ballantyne said the report provides further evidence that the current laissez-faire approach to child care doesn’t work and that the federal government must intervene to ensure universal availability and equal access.