Confusion in Child Care Rules
There is so many different pieces of information around it is hard to tell what is law and what is a policy.
Finding childcare is a struggle for parents these days. Meeting the rules is hard for providers. Policies, procedures, rules, laws, and numbers, where oh where, does a responsible provider start. Child care rules under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA) is where I started.
Child Care in a Full-Day Kindergarten World
Home-based Child Care: from the CCEYA Website
How many children can a home child care provider care for?
A licensed home child care provider can care for a maximum of 6 children under the age of 13. An unlicensed child care provider can care for a maximum of 5 children under the age of 13.
Does a provider have to count their own children?
Yes. Both licensed home child care providers and unlicensed providers must count their own children under the age of 6.
Are there age restrictions for the children a home child care provider can care for?
Yes. Both licensed and unlicensed child care providers must: Count their own children under the age of 6. Care for a maximum of only 2 children under the age of 2 (including their own children).
Is it true that a home child care provider can only care for 3 children under the age of 3?
No. Both licensed home child care providers and unlicensed providers must: Count their own children under the age of 6. Care for a maximum of only 2 children under the age of 2 (including their own children).
Can a home child care provider care for more children if another adult is present?
No. The maximum number of children applies regardless of the number of adults in the home.
Do the rules apply any time of day, or can a home child care provider care for more children outside of regular school hours?
The rules apply at any time of day.
If a home child care provider has a child in Full-Day Kindergarten, do they count toward the maximum number of children they can care for?
If a provider’s own 4 or 5 year old child is attending publicly-funded Full-Day Kindergarten or grade one, they only need to count them during summer vacation. The provider’s own child does not need to be included in their count during the school year (including March break and PA days), as long as: Care is only being provided between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. The provider cares for a maximum of one child younger than 2 years old; and. The provider has not been convicted of an offence under the DNA or CCEYA.
If an unlicensed home child care provider is caring for five children and their child aged 6 or older is home sick from school, would they be over the maximum number of children?
No. Licensed and unlicensed home child care providers must only include their own children under the age of 6 in their total count.
What other new requirements will take effect?
An unlicensed provider must inform parents that they are unlicensed in writing (either hard-copy or electronic). A provider must keep proof of their disclosure for two years. The disclosure must say: “This child care program is not licensed by the Government of Ontario.”
All providers, both licensed and unlicensed, are required to provide receipts for payment of services upon request. With specific exceptions, all providers, both licensed and unlicensed, are required to allow parental access to the premises and their child. An unlicensed provider cannot operate in more than one location.
CICPO - Independent Childcare in Ontario
These are the laws from the CCEYA. The confusion comes from when there are policies that come into play. Does you daycare insurance cover 6 children in your licensed? Does the licensing agency honour the 6th child in CCEYA law, or is their policy to only allow 5 kids in care.
Region of Waterloo Licensed Home Child Care Program
So how do you know if your provider is a good provider? This is so very hard to tell. I always teach, my first time parents to look for a provider that has the following: a police background check and family and children service check, a drivers abstract, references, documentation, a shared philosophy, insurance, and receipts. These are just a starting point, there are so many different needs families have, ask lots of questions, and go with your gut feelings. There is also a link on the Ontario Ministry of Education website, where you can search for licensed and unlicensed child care violations.
The Childcare Crisis in Canada
Here is my advice quality is not a license, unlicensed private or independent issues. Quality is quality, following the rules and guidelines for home childcare, a skill set for caring for young children, a responsibility to their community, families, children and peers. It is the whole package, not a narrow belief.
I am an contracted home childcare provider: I follow the rules, I have my police and F&C's check, I a graduate of the Early Childhood program from Conestoga College in 2012, a RECE, I can help link parents to resources, I do monthly home checks, I have my daycare insurance, I am passionate in partnerships with parents, I speak fluent toddler, I have a nature based program, and we love to explore the nature park. I have a public Policy and Enrollment files.
Lesley Cressman, RECE,
Contracted Home Childcare Provider