Canadian Survey on Early Learning and Child Care (CSELCC)

Detailed information for 2023





Record number:


The Canadian Survey on Early Learning and Child Care gathers information from parents and guardians on early learning and child care arrangements for children aged 0 to 5.

Data release - Scheduled for Fall 2023


The survey asks parents and guardians about the arrangements they use for their child, including the associated costs, the difficulties they may have faced when looking for care, and what their preferences for child care are. This survey also collects information on parents' and guardian's labour market participation to better understand the interaction between work and the use of early learning and child care arrangements. Results from this survey will be used to help improve the Canada-wide early learning and child care system and provide Canadians with a strong baseline of data to measure progress and changes to the system.


  • Child care
  • Children and youth

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population is children across the 10 provinces of Canada who are less than 6 years old (as of June 10, 2023). Children living on reserves are excluded from the target population.

Instrument design

The content for the Canadian Survey on Early Learning and Child Care electronic questionnaire was drafted in consultation with Statistics Canada's Health Analysis Division, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), as well as several external subject matter experts.

The questionnaire underwent cognitive testing in the form of in-depth interviews in both of Canada's official languages, conducted by Statistics Canada's Questionnaire Design Resource Centre. The goal of the qualitative study was to test the survey content.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

Sampling unit
This is a targeted respondent survey. The sampling unit is the person knowledgeable about the child care arrangements for a child who lives in their household and is less than 6 years of age.

Stratification method
The frame for the Canadian Survey on Early Learning and Child Care was stratified by province and by the age of the child (in years). A simple random sample was selected independently within each age group in each province.

Sampling and sub-sampling
Sufficient sample was allocated to each age group within each of the provinces so that the survey could produce estimates for each age group at the provincial and national level. An initial sample of 62,000 targeted respondents was selected and sent to collection. The selection of a sample unit is done in one stage. First, a list of children under 6 years old whose parent or guardian is a Canada Child Benefit (CCB) recipient is stratified by province and age of the child (as of June 10, 2023). Within each stratum, the list is sorted by city, mailing address, and birth date, and a systematic sample of children is drawn within each stratum. Finally, the CCB recipient corresponding to each selected child is added ot the sample file.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2023-01-23 to 2023-06-10

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents either through an electronic questionnaire or through computer assisted telephone interviewing.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

The metadata will be provided upon release.


The metadata will be provided upon release.


The metadata will be provided upon release.

Quality evaluation

The metadata will be provided upon release.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology type does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Survey errors come from a variety of different sources. One dimension of survey error is sampling error. Sampling error is defined as the error that arises because an estimate is based on a sample rather than the entire population. Sampling error can be expressed through a confidence interval (CI) or coefficient of variation (CV).

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