According to the study conducted by Statistics Canada it said that there is a significant increase in all forms of child care. This study was conducted over a period of eight-year. About 54% of the children aged six months to five years were in child care in 2002-2003. There was an increase especially in three forms of child care daycare centres, child care outside the home by a non relative and care by a relative inside or outside the home. And a small rise in child care in their own home with non-relative, such as a nanny, and in other forms of care such as nursery schools or preschools.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government pledged direct payments to parents for child care and tax credits to create new spaces. On the other hand child-care advocates accused the government of failing to balance the needs of families for quality child-care options and income support. The Opposition Liberals also said that child care will be a top priority for them in the current session. Statscan in its report said that there is a decrease in the care outside the home by a non-relative over the eight-year period. But there is a rise in the use of care by relatives and a rise in the use of day-care centres.
The patterns of care differed by region as well as by the child's background and family characteristics. Statscan said that more than half of the children in care in Quebec, and more than one-quarter in Manitoba, were in a daycare centre in 2002-2003. Care outside the home by a relative was the most common form of child care used by families with two working parents in 2002-2003. For single working parent families, daycare was the most common option. The study also found that there was a decline in child-care rates for children aged six to 11 months between 2000-2001 and 2002-2003 to 29%. The decrease may be due to the revised Employment Insurance Act which increased the combined maternity, parental and sickness leave for new parents.