Finding reliable information about available child care is a challenge for Ontario families. We recognize that:
- demand for child care, particularly for children under four years of age, is higher than the number of licensed child care spots available
- parents in Ontario struggle to access affordable child care
- some families may not know about the financial supports available to help them pay for licensed child care
We believe that Ontarians should be able to choose from a range of high-quality child care programs that work best for their family at a reasonable cost.
We want to give Ontario’s children the best possible start in life. Although we’ve removed wait list fees, expanded before and after school programming for 6-12 year olds, and committed to helping 100,000 more children, aged 0-4, access affordable, quality licensed child care over the next five years, what new solutions or tools could we put in place to help parents find child care information more easily?
Who we're trying to help
We want to help parents and families:
- understand the benefits of child care programs
- find information about child care services, including:
- how they can apply for fee subsidies
- what is available in their local communities so they can make informed decisions that meet their child/children’s needs
- inspection and violation information on child care providers
What we’re doing/have done
More money in the child care system
Over the next five years, we’ve committed:
- to help 100,000 more children, aged 0-4, access licensed child care
- to spending $1.6 billion dollars to support the creation of 45,000 new spaces in schools, and communities
Telephone help desk
We have two help desks that parents and child care operators can call if they have questions about licensed or unlicensed child (opens in a new window) care in Ontario. You can, for example:
- find a list of child care locations and operators near you
- learn how to become a licensed child care provider
- report a complaint about a child care provider
- ask any other questions you might have
We have a number of online tools, including a:
- a tool (opens in a new window) that helps families find licensed child care program and service locations and learn more about a program’s licensing history and recent inspections
- a tool to find out whether a child care provider in your community has a record of child care violations (opens in a new window)
We have also information online about:
- what parent and child care providers need to know (opens in a new window) about the current child care rules
- questions to ask a child care provider (opens in a new window)
Talking to families
In Fall 2016 and Winter 2017, we went out across Ontario to get feedback on the child care and early years system (opens in a new window). We spoke to families, child care providers and other key partners to learn more about the challenges of finding child care and ways to transform the child care system.
This feedback was used to create our 7 point plan to modernize the child care system (opens in a new window).
We’ve updated legislation
On August 31, 2015, the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (opens in a new window), came into force.
This legislation supports the health, safety and well-being of the province’s children and sets the rules child care operates must follow, such as:
- staffing and group sizes
- any health and medical issues (for example, allergies)
Visit the Ministry of Education website (opens in a new window) to learn more about child care in Ontario.