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What is the difference between licensed childcare and unlicensed or sometimes known as informal childcare?


How do I know if a licensed childcare centre is meeting the minimum standards required in the Day Nurseries Act?

Every licensed program is inspected annually by the Ministry of Education to ensure these minimum standards are being met. As of June 1, 2009 all licensed childcare programs will be required to post the results of their inspection beside their license which should be posted in a visible location within the program. Be sure to look for the inspection result and ask the Supervisor questions if there are areas that have not been met.

What are the requirements of the Day Nurseries Act?

The Ministry has developed a new interactive website for those interested in learning more about licensed childcare called the Day Nurseries Act for Child Care Supervisors of Ontario.

How many children can be cared for in an unlicensed program?

An unlicensed childcare provider may only provide care for 5 unrelated children under the age of 10. This means that the caregiver can care for 5 children plus her own children. These regulations are in place for quality and health and safety reasons.

What if a caregiver has more than 5 children in his/her care?

It is a finable offence under the Day Nurseries Act to provide care for more than five children without a license.

Ministry staff investigate complaints from the public about a person who may be taking care of more than five unrelated children under the age of 10 without a licence.

The Ministry can prosecute people who provide child care without a license. If convicted of the offence of providing child care without a license, a person can be fined up to $2,000 per day.

It is also an offence to provide private-home day care at more than one location without a license. Persons providing private home day care at more than one location without a licence can be prosecuted by the ministry and if convicted can be fined up to $2,000 per day.

What if two people provide care together in a home, can they then have 10 children?

No. As soon as you care for more than 5 children, no matter how many adults, you must apply for a license from the Ministry.

Who do I call if I have concerns?

If you have concerns about a program or would like to discuss the details of a program's license, contact a program Advisor at your local regional office of the Ministry of Education