Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions and answers have been compiled to help you with day to day questions about licensed home child care. If your question is not here and you cannot find the answer on this website please contact us.

 Parents | Regulations and Numbers | Caregivers

For parents looking for home child care

How do I go about finding a home child care provider for my child? 

The Find Home Child Care section lists all of the licensed agencies in Ontario who are members of the Home Child Care Association of Ontario. When you contact the agency in your area they will assist you with choosing an appropriate provider for your child.For general information on choosing a home child care provider, visit the Ontario Government's webpage on Home Child Care.

How do I know if the lady down the street is part of a licensed agency? 

If you have found someone on your own but you want to make sure they are associated with a licensed agency, ask if you can contact the agency for a reference.

Do all people looking after children in their homes have to be licensed? 

No, many people care for children without being a part of the licensed system. If you choose to use an independent caregiver you will need to monitor the care yourself. There will not be any monitoring by an outside agency. The only law that covers independent people caring for children in their own home pertains to the number of children cared for. A person may not care for more than 5 children (unrelated to her) at any one time. 

How many children can a provider care for? 

There should never be more than 6 children (under the age of 5) in the provider’s care at any one time. If you should find more than this, please register a complaint with the home child care agency or the Ministry of Education, Early Years Division.

Regulations & number of children

Are there rules or regulations that people caring for children in their own homes have to follow?

Yes. People who are part of a licensed agency have to follow the regulations of the Child Care and Early Years Act. These regulations cover care of the child, behaviour management, nutrition, health, sanitary practices and the handling of serious occurrences. For details of these regulations, please talk to your local home child care agency.

Are there specific numbers and ages of children that a provider can care for?

Yes. A provider with a licensed agency may only care for up to six children. Many providers care for school children as well. If you are concerned about the number and ages of children in your provider’s home please contact the agency right away.

Do any of the rules require a provider to have a fenced yard?

No. It is great if someone has a fenced yard but providers often live in apartments or townhouse complexes. Providers must supervise the children at all times.

Do providers with an agency have to have a Criminal Reference Check?

Yes, providers and other adults in the home must have a Criminal Reference Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening prior to caring for children.

For people who would like to care for children

How do I go about becoming "licenced"? 

 In Ontario, the agency is licensed - NOT the provider. Agencies are always looking for people who would like to care for children in their own homes. See the Find Home Child Care section of this website for an agency in your area.

When will I get children?

This is a question to ask the agency. The number of children who need child care changes all the time. In many cases you may also care for children privately.

Are there many rules to follow to be a part of an agency?

Not really. The regulations are all to do with safety and well being of children and you probably are already doing most of them.

Will I get any training or support if I join an agency? 

Yes, this is the rewarding part of being a part of an agency. You will have regular home visits from an agency staff member. You will also be invited to attend workshops and evening meetings where you will meet other providers in your area.


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