Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 99, Issue 6, pp 451–455 | Cite as

Child Care in Quebec

Access to a Universal Program
  • Dafna Kohen
  • V. Susan Dahinten
  • Saeeda Khan
  • Clyde Hertzman



Five cycles of data from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (1994/5–2002/3) were used to examine patterns of child care use in Quebec and the rest of Canada to explore the impact of Quebec’s implementation of universal child care.


Rates of overall use as well as use of regulated (child care centre, family child care) and non-regulated care (sitter, nanny, relative, family child care) were examined for preschoolers aged 0–5 years in Quebec as compared to the other provinces and by family household income. Chi-square tests were used to examine significance of differences.


Since the implementation of Quebec’s child care program, Quebec demonstrated substantial increases in child care use, particularly in the use of regulated care (from 10% prior to program compared to 30% by 2002) whereas the use of unregulated care did not demonstrate a significant increase in Quebec as compared to the other provinces (1994 to 2002). Furthermore, the use of regulated care by low-income families was greater in Quebec than elsewhere in Canada, although the greatest increase in use of regulated care was for children from high-income families.


Findings suggest that since the introduction of Quebec’s universal child care program, there was an increase in the use of regulated child care for families of preschoolaged children in the province, although by 2002 Quebec had not achieved the coverage of universal child care programs attained by many European countries.


Child care universal access Quebec provinces 



Nous avons examiné les tendances d’utilisation des services de garde au Québec et dans le reste du Canada à partir des cinq cycles de données de l’Enquête longitudinale nationale sur les enfants et les jeunes du Canada (1994–1995 à 2002–2003) afin d’étudier l’impact de la mise en œuvre des garderies universelles au Québec.


Nous avons examiné les taux d’utilisation globaux et les taux d’utilisation des services de garde réglementés (centre de la petite enfance, garderie en milieu familial) et non réglementés (gardienne, bonne d’enfants, parenté, garderie en milieu familial) pour les enfants d’âge préscolaire (0 à 5 ans) au Québec, comparativement aux autres provinces et selon le revenu familial du ménage. Des tests du khi-carré ont servi à analyser l’importance des écarts.


Depuis la mise en œuvre du programme de garderies québécois, le Québec affiche des augmentations importantes dans l’utilisation des services de garde, particulièrement les services réglementés (qui sont passés de 10 % avant le programme à 30 % en 2002), tandis que l’utilisation des services non réglementés n’a pas augmenté de façon significative au Québec par rapport aux autres provinces entre 1994 et 2002. Par ailleurs, l’utilisation de services réglementés par les familles à faible revenu a été plus importante au Québec qu’ailleurs au Canada, bien que la plus forte augmentation ait concerné les familles à revenu élevé.


Nos résultats donnent à penser que depuis le lancement du programme de garderies universelles au Québec, l’utilisation des services de garde réglementés par les familles ayant des enfants d’âge préscolaire a augmenté dans la province. Signalons cependant qu’en 2002, le programme québécois n’avait pas encore une portée aussi grande que celle de nombreux pays européens.

Mots clés

garde d’enfants universel accès Québec provinces 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dafna Kohen
    • 1
    • 4
  • V. Susan Dahinten
    • 2
  • Saeeda Khan
    • 1
  • Clyde Hertzman
    • 3
  1. 1.Health Information and Research Division, Statistics CanadaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.School of NursingUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Human Early Learning PartnershipUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouver, sBCCanada
  4. 4.Dept. of Epidemiology and Community MedicineUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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