Ottawa, Canada - New findings released today by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada reveal Québecers are less likely than other Canadians to prefer that a family member care for children under six. This is especially true for Québecers in common-law relationships.
Part one of the national childcare poll showed 70% of Québecers believe it is best for children under six to be cared for by a parent at home, compared to a national average of 76%.
When a parent is not available, 51% of Canadians believe a relative is the next best option. However, only 34% of Québecers agree that a relative is the best option when a parent cannot be home, a significant difference.
Part two of the national childcare poll released today, shows that when looking at a subset of cohabiting respondents, the difference is even greater. When a parent is not available, just 27% of common-law respondents in Québec choose a relative as caregiver. This contrasts with 46% of common-law respondents in the rest of Canada.
The findings raise questions as to why common-law couples are different from married couples in regards to child care preferences.
The report also raises the question of whether Québec’s heavy subsidizing of institutional daycare is responsible for shifting ideals.
Québecers today support out-of-home child care more than any other province.
Surprisingly, the poll also shows that Québecers are not satisfied with their province’s method of funding child care. In Québec, funding goes directly to daycare centres.
Yet, when asked how the government should spend money to look after children, the most popular response in Québec (45%) is that governments should provide cash payments directly to parents. In the rest of Canada, 25% of respondents choose this option.
Québecers are the most decisive in answering this funding question. Only five percent responded “don’t know,” compared with seven to nine percent in the other provinces.
“Despite the government monopoly of child care in Québec, 70% of Québecers still say the best place for a child under six is at home with a parent. That speaks volumes,” said Derek Miedema, the report’s author.
“The Québec example shows us that government shouldn’t be getting in the way of the choices that parents want to make for their children. If child care is to be supported, that should happen in a way that doesn’t give preferential treatment to one form of care.”
Daycare Desires, Part II released today can be found online here.
Daycare Desires, Part I released May 2013 can be found online here.
(Questions and margins of error can be found online here.)
For additional information or comment, please contact Andrea Mrozek, Executive Director, at 613-565-3832 ext. 7502.