MB Research on Child Care Confirms Need for New Plan

As the provincial government prepares its 2017-2018 budget, the Manitoba Child Care Association wants the child care plan to reflect public, parent, and business leader opinions.  All agree the shortage of spaces is a serious issue.   As of December 31, 2016 there are 14,658 children on the online child care registry waiting list.  That is an increase of 2,588 waiting for a space  since December 31, 2015.

Parents report a 14 – 15 month wait on average for a licensed child care space.  41% have delayed a return to work, 30% have turned down a job, and 24% have turned down an educational opportunity because they lacked child care.

Along with an expansion of affordable and reliable licensed spaces, the child care plan must include capital and operating funding,  accessible and affordable province wide training for  Early Childhood Educators and a retention strategy; strong administration and governance.

What the Manitoba Public Said About Child Care

Child care is a very high priority for Manitobans, according to a MCCA/Probe Research poll, September 2016.  Three in four surveyed agree a universal child care system, where every child who needs a space gets one, ought to be a priority  of the new Progressive Conservative government.      The shortage of licensed child care creates significant anxiety for families, worried they will not have a reliable space when they need it.  A majority of Manitobans (58%) agree they are willing to pay a little more in taxes for a universal child care system.

Other findings from the public survey on child care include:

  • more than 80% of Manitobans agree the lack of child care is a serious issue
  • 75% agree early childhood educators should be paid more
  • 75% think child care is too expensive for many parents
  • 64% agree child care should be part of the education system
  • Only 11% think it’s easy to find child care in Manitoba
  • Winnipeg residents and those with a child in child care prefer child care centres; rural residents and middle aged men prefer home based child care

To evaluate public opinion on child care, MCCA hired Probe Research to design and conduct the province wide Omnibus poll via telephone interviews between September 13 and September 26, 2016 among a random and representative sampling of 1,000 adults residing in Manitoba.  The results are within +/-3.1 percentage points of what they would have been if the entire adult population of Manitoba had been interviewed.

MCCA has provided poll results to  federal and provincial government leaders and policy makers to ensure they are aware of the need to develop a quality, affordable, reliable child care system that Manitoba families can count 0n.

Click here to print the poster:

161024 MCCA Omni Infographic

Read the full report:

161012 Public Omni Report Final


What Manitoba Parents Said About Child Care:

Nearly 3,100 parents who use child care participated in a Probe Research poll conducted for the Manitoba Child Care Association September 15 – October 1, 2016.    Overwhelmingly, parents reported that the stress and anxiety of trying to find quality child care as the biggest problem.     Two thirds (62%) of parents reported having to wait for a space, ranging between 14 – 15 months.  A universal child care system would ensure every child who needs a licensed space gets one.

The online survey sought to determine parent satisfaction with child care, the prevalence of wait times, gaps in service, experience and satisfaction with unlicensed home-based child care, key preferences and views on possible policy changes.  It is the most in-depth opinion research undertaken in Manitoba on the issue of child care.

A sample of findings include:

  • wait times hinder parents ability to work or attend school, with 41% delaying a return to work, 30% turning down a job, and 24% turning down an educational opportunity because they lacked child care
  • 83% of parents agreed licensing is important to ensure quality
  • 49% said child care fees are a strain on their household budget or not affordable
  • 77% of parents prefer a school with onsite child care and 77% agreed child care centres should be built as part of new housing developments
  • 57% of parents who have used unlicensed home child care prefer it be licensed
  • 18% of parents said they would start a home based child care business with enough incentive

There are approximately 34,000 licensed child care spaces in Manitoba, of which 91% of spaces are located in child care centres and 9% are located in licensed home child care.  There is very little data regarding the number of unlicensed child care homes in Manitoba.

MCCA Parents Infographic December


Read the full report:

Parent Survey Final Report

What Manitoba Business Leaders Said About Child Care

Probe Research’s 15th annual Manitoba Business Leaders Index 2016 included questions about child care availability, impact of child care on employee absenteeism, and government policies to encourage workplace child care.    There are almost 15,000 children on the province’s waiting list for licensed child care and 83%  of Manitobans also say the lack of child care is a very serious (37%) or somewhat serious (46%) issue.

76% of Manitoba business leaders agree the child care shortage is a serious issue.

Additional child care related findings from the CEO’s and business leaders’ survey include:

  • 35% of business leaders feel the lack of child care is a very serious issue and 41% feel it is a somewhat serious issue;
  • Two-thirds of business leaders (63%) said government should have no role helping companies open on-site workplace day care;
  • One in four business leaders (24%) agreed government should aid companies to create child care for employees;
  • Among respondents who favor some government role in child care, only one-quarter (24%) would likely take advantage of financial incentives were they offered.
  • One quarter of business leaders reported the shortage of child care staff and the challenge of hiring them are barriers to creating on-site child care

Almost half of business leaders (49%) report they have experienced difficulty finding skilled employees while Manitoba parents said child care wait times hinder their ability to work or attend school, with 41% delaying a return to work, 30% turning down a job, and 24% turning down an educational opportunity because they lacked child care.

There is plenty of evidence from the public, from parents, and the business community to support a continued expansion of quality, reliable, accessible, and affordable child care services in Manitoba.

The Manitoba Business Leaders Index included a stratified sampling of CEO’s, presidents, business owners and designated senior corporate officers from 200 small, mid-sized and large commercial establishments as defined by Statistics Canada and the Manitoba Bureau of Statistics.  The survey results are considered accurate within plus or minus 6.9 per cent of what they would be had the entire population of Manitoba business leaders been surveyed.

Perceived Availability

MCCA MBLI Final graphs


Categories: News

Posted by Jodie Kehl at 6:08 pm