Licensed Child Care
Meeting the regulations for licensed child care is an important basis for quality but is considered to be a minimum in all provinces/territories.
High quality centres:
- Go above and beyond minimum standards by, for example, increasing the number of staff or hiring staff with more than required early childhood training.
- Incorporate essential elements into the program such as community involvement or inclusion of children with special needs.
- Develop their own approach to requirements such as a well-defined pedagogical approach.
In Ontario, child care centres, nursery schools, before/after school programs and regulated home child care must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014. The CCEYA legislation and regulations address a wide range of standards to ensure quality and safety.
Every licensed child care program is required to post its license in a place where it can be easily seen by parents, staff and educators. Licensed programs are monitored by Ministry of Education’s, Program Advisors, at least once annually.
It is illegal to operate a nursery school or child care centre without a license.
Licensed Home Child Care
- Licensed home child care is provided to children under age 13 in a child care provider’s private residence;
- Approved providers and their homes are monitored by licensed programs which operate under the CCEYA regulations;
- Home Child Care Coordinators (or Home Visitors) visit approved homes regularly;
- Small group size with a maximum of six children;
- Child care fee subsidies may be available.
Unlicensed Home Child Care
Unlicensed home child care can only care for five or fewer children less than 13 years old; this does include the caregiver’s own children. No more than 2 children under the age of 2 may be in care.
Children With Unique Needs
The Ministry of Education encourages “inclusion of children with special needs into community child care services”.
Children with special needs up to the age of 18 who are in a licensed child care program (either home child care or a child care centre) may be eligible for a subsidy.
A green decal makes it easier for parents to recognize licensed child care in Ontario. All child care programs licensed by the Ministry of Education must post this decal in a location that is readily accessible and can be viewed by parents.