As a parent, you want to be confident that your child gets the best possible start in life, in a healthy, safe and happy environment. You also want child care and early years programs that meet your child’s needs as he or she grows and learns. The County of Huron supports the Ministry of Educations vision that:
- Every child has a sense of belonging when he or she is connected to others and contributes to their world.
- Every child is developing a sense of self, health, and well-being.
- Every child is an active and engaged learner who explores the world with body, mind, and senses.
- Every child is a capable communicator who expresses himself or herself in many ways.
Child Care Options
Licensed Home Child Care Agencies
Home child care agencies are licensed by the Ministry of Education and meet provincial standards. These agencies then contract caring and knowledgeable providers who offer child care for children 0 – 12 years in their own home.
Licensed Centre-Based Child Care
Licensed child care centres care for infants, toddlers, pre-school, and school-aged children. They include nursery schools, full-day care and before-and after-school programs. Ministry of Education staff inspects child care centres at least once a year to make sure the programs meet specific provincial standards for the health, safety and meeting the developmental needs of the children.
Things to look for when searching for child care:
Early Learning Professionals
- Does the Early Childhood Educator or Home Child Care Provider create a sense of belonging by interacting positively and consistently with the children?
- Does Early Childhood Educator or Home Child Care Provider listen and respond with interest when the children speak to them?
- Is the Early Childhood Educator or Home Child Care Provider playing with the children at the child’s level?
- Does the Early Childhood Educator or Home Child Care Provider encourage independence and problem solving?
- What training and experience does Early Childhood Educator or Home Child Care Provider have?
- Does the Early Childhood Educator or Home Child Care Provider have current First Aid and CPR?
Environment and Program
- Are the children who are in attendance happy and engaged in activity?
- What will a typical day look like for my child?
- What types of activities are offered throughout the day?
- Are there daily literacy activities offered?
- Where will my child nap?
- Is the indoor and outdoor environment set up with a variety of age appropriate activities for children to access?
- Is both the indoor and outdoor environment clean and safe?
- Are there any pets and if so what precautions are in place to keep the children safe?
- Is the environment comfortable, bright and warm?
- Is there children’s work displayed anywhere?
- What is the policy/philosophy on discipline?
- Can this program accommodate any health or special needs my child has?
- What items do I need to send with my child daily?
- Are healthy and nutritious meals and snacks provided? You can ask to see the menus.
- What policy is in place if children are sick or need medication?
- What is the payment policy and policy on sick days and holidays?
- What are the program’s hours of operation?
Unlicensed Child Care
Unlicensed child care is a private arrangement made between the parents and a caregiver who is not contracted with a licensed home child care agency. It is often an independent provider who operates a business in their home.
Unlicensed child care providers can care for:
- a maximum of five children including their own children under the age of six; and
- a maximum of two children under the age of two
How are unlicensed child care providers monitored?
Unlicensed child care providers are not inspected by the government unless there has been a complaint. They are required to identify themselves as unlicensed in writing to parents.
Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education is committed to continuing to develop a strong, high quality and accessible child care system. Quality child care programs make children feel safe, supported and cared for. All parents want their child to be in an environment where they can grow and thrive.
Please visit www.ontario.ca/childcare for more information on choosing quality child care in Ontario.