Parts of Windsor-Essex are a “child care desert” according to a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The report says Windsor has the seventh lowest coverage out of 28, with 67 per cent of children living in an area parched for available child care.

Across the country, the study suggests 776,000 Canadian children live in areas devoid of available daycare spaces.  Forty four per cent of all school-aged children are living in "child care deserts."

The authors say the report attempts to map, for the first time in Canada, a complete list of licensed child care spaces across the country against the number of children in a given postal code. In doing so, a number of “child care deserts” are identified as postal codes where there are at least three children in potential competition for each licensed space.

The statistics are mapped out for each region.

The report says some parts of Windsor-Essex are doing well. The highest rate of coverage in the region is Tecumseh at 99 per cent. It shows there are 779 spaces available for children under the age of three, compared to 785 kids.

Other good areas include Windsor South Central at 76 per cent coverage, Windsor South at 68 per cent and LaSalle East at 50 per cent.

East Riverside comes in at the lowest level with three per cent.

Through the provincial child care expansion initiative, the city has received $8 million in funding over the last two years. Windsor's Executive Director of Housing and Children's Services, Debbie Cercone, says that has helped significantly increase the number of spaces.

“We will have expanded by over 450 spaces,” says Cercone. But she says she also recognizes more work needs to be done.

Cercone tells CTV News the city is working on a study to look at coverage, while also working closely with child care operators to pay for capital to expand services.

The report also shows Kingsville has 18 per cent coverage and Leamington has nine per cent.

Amherstburg is at 36 per cent coverage and Essex is 37 per cent.

Morna Ballantyne is the Executive Director of Child Care Now. She says the government needs to make child care a priority.

Ballantyne wants to see a publicly managed child care system, with better planning, so that supply matches demand.