A dozen Myths regarding Home Daycare Rules in Ontario

12 myths re bill 10There is confusion about the new rules the Ontario government passed regarding childcare in Ontario. Questions abound concerning how Bill 10 will affect parents looking for childcare, as well as how the rules will affect providers. In this website, my goal is to provide you clear, accurate information about the new rules for “unlicensed daycare”.

Let’s take a look at a dozen myths or untruths that I have heard about the new rules for daycare in Ontario, and then see what the facts really are.

Myth #1: You can only have a maximum of 3 children under the age of 3 years.

Truth: Under the Day Nursery Act (DNA), providers who were affiliated with a licensed agency had restrictions of maximum of 2 under 2 years, and 3 under 3 years. With the new CCEYA, the restriction of 2 under 2 years including your own children has been extended to all providers, but the maximum of 3 under 3 years has been removed (although some Agencies may still require their providers to adhere to this).  

Myth #2: You don't need to count your 4 or 5 year old who is in JK or SK during the school year even if you have 2 children in your care who are under 2 years.

Truth: If a provider has not given birth or taken on new daycare children since December 4th, 2014, they do not have to count their own children in their numbers until January 1st, 2016. After that, a provider's 3 to 5 year olds in JK/SK and Grade 1 will need to be counted during the school year unless there are less than 2 children under 2 years of age. Even if there is only one or none under 2 years, the 3 to 5 year olds must be counted during the summer. They must also be counted in the maximums if and when you are providing care between 7 pm and 6 am and on weekends. Also, a provider’s own children under 6 years of age must be counted any time they are on the premises if they attend a private school, or are home schooled.  A provider's children under 6 years must always be counted if he/she has a conviction under the DNA or CCEYA.  

Myth #3: Providers never have to count their own 5 year olds in their numbers if they are in Grade 1.

Truth: Refer to the comments for Myth #2. It is the age of the child and other requirements that must be met for the exemption. It is based on the age, not the grade. A 5 year old attending a publicly funded grade 1 will not be counted, as long as the provider has no convictions under the DNA or CCEYA, they have less than 2 under 2 years, it is between 6am and 7pm, and it is during the school year. If some of these conditions are not met, the 5 year old will need to be counted, even though they are in Grade 1.  

Myth #4: You have to count your own children up to the age of 10 years.

Truth: Daycare children up to 10 years of age must be counted, but a provider's own children do not need to be counted as of their 6th birthday (with some exceptions once they enter publicly funded JK. See Myths #2 & 3).  

Myth #5: Daycare children who are 10, 11 or 12 years of age must be counted in your maximum of 5 children as of August 31st, 2015.

Truth: As of August 31st, 2017, daycare clients who are 10, 11, or 12 years of age must be counted in your maximum of 5 children. The government has allowed a two year extension on the implementation of this rule to allow for a smoother transition for before and after school care of these older children. Those who are 10 or older on August 31st, 2015 will never have to be counted in your daycare numbers.  

Myth #6: I don’t have to say I’m NOT licensed.  As long as I don’t say I AM licensed, I’m ok.

Truth: ICP’s must give a written disclosure to parents of children in care, that they do not hold a license.  It must state "This childcare program is not licensed by the Government of Ontario." You are required to keep a copy of it for at least two years. (I will be keeping mine for two years after the child leaves my care, in case I am ever visited by the Ministry of Education).  

Myth #7: Independent Childcare Providers must have Standard First Aid/CPR training as of August 31, 2015.

Truth: Although it is a requirement for all staff of a licensed daycare Center to have current First Aid/CPR training (including custodians, cooks etc.), the Bill does not require ICPs to have this certification. Many parents will inquire whether you have First Aid/CPR training, and it is highly recommended even though it is not mandatory by law.  

Myth #8: Independent Childcare Providers must have a valid police clearance check and vulnerable sector screening before August 31, 2015.

Truth: As with First Aid training mentioned in Myth #7, police clearance checks are only legally required for providers who are with an Agency, or working in a licensed childcare setting. However, many parents looking for childcare will ask to see proof that you do not have a criminal record, and it is a very good idea to have this available to show them.  

Myth #9: Independent Childcare Providers must have their ECE degree and be registered with the College of Early Childhood Educators by August 31st, 2015.

Truth: ICPs are NOT required to have their ECE. There is no mandatory training or qualifications to operate a home daycare in Ontario. The government does state: “Anyone who possesses an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) qualification, and is working within the scope of practice (planning, delivering and assessing inclusive play-based programs for children), must register with the College of ECEs.”  

Myth #10: None of your own children count in your maximum of 5 before January 1st, 2015.

Truth: If you gave birth to a child, or took on new daycare children, after December 4, 2014, you must count your own children in your maximum of 5 (and maximum of 2 under 2 years) as of August 31st, 2015. The exemption for not counting your own children in your numbers, or for being allowed to have more than 2 under 2 years, are only for children who were in care prior to December 4, 2014.  

Myth #11: You can only operate a home daycare between the hours of 6am and 7pm.

Truth: ICPs may still be open 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The 6 am and 7 pm restriction is regarding not having to count your 4 or 5 year old in your maximum of 5 children.  

Myth #12: You can only have a maximum of 5 children registered in your daycare at any time, even if they come on different days or times.

 Truth: The maximum of 5 children is for how many you have on your premises at any given time. This includes daycare children (currently up to the age of 10), your own children (up to the age of 6 – see Myths 2 & 3 for exceptions), and other children who may be visiting.  You could have contracts for 15 occasional part-time children, as long as you ensure there are never more than five present at any time. I encourage you to have a clear schedule and accurate records if your home daycare juggles multiple part-timers and varied schedules. You may want to have a sign in and sign out book, but at very least, have a calendar or records that you can quickly produce and show to the inspectors if the Ministry Of Education ever shows up at your door to question you.   P.S. The rules for providers who are with an Agency, or for Licensed Centers, are not within the scope of my expertise. As you may have noticed, you will not find that information here. To verify the above information, or to obtain additional information, I encourage you to read the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 and the Regulations. I'm curious. Did you know about Bill 10 and the new rules in Ontario? Did you know the truth about these specific details, or have you found it confusing to get the information you need? Which ones surprised you? Please comment below. Let me know if you are a parent or a provider and your thoughts about the new regulations the Ontario Government passed.facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *