Choosing quality child care and early learning programs

Choosing quality child care and early learning programs

The three main types of child care are licensed child care centres, licensed family homes and private, unlicensed homes.

The Ministry of Education’s licensing process and the City of Greater Sudbury’s Program Quality Support program help to ensure the quality of licensed centres and family homes. Both programs send visitors into these child care settings to help ensure their safety and quality.

In Greater Sudbury, home child care facilities that are not affiliated with Jubilee Heritage Family Resources are unlicensed. In unlicensed private homes, government oversight is not provided. There are some new rules about unlicensed child care the the Province introduced in 2014. The main regulation is that unlicensed child care programs can only care for a maximum of 5 children under 13 years old, including the provider’s own children under 6 years old, and that no more than two of them can be children under 2 years old. This handout explains the rules for Family Home (Licensed) and Unlicensed Child Care- http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/ChildcareAllowance.pdf

MAXIMUM OF 5
children under 13 years old, including the provider’s ownchildren under 6 years old
BUT
NO MORE THAN 2
children under 2 years oldMAXIMUM OF 5
children under 13 years old, including the provider’s ownchildren under 6 years old
BUT
NO MORE THAN 2
children under 2 years old

Whether you choose a licensed or unlicensed facility, you’ll want to visit, ask lots of questions, make sure the program is a good fit and be confident it will meet your needs and expectations. This website, called Finding Quality Child Care, a guide for parents in Canada has a really helpful video which "shows and tells" what quality child care looks like in a licensed child care centre.

Here’s another guide—this one from the Ministry of Education—that lists questions you might want to ask and what you’ll want to look for when visiting a licensed child care centre or home.

If you’re considering an unlicensed program, you’ll need to spend more time observing and asking questions. This longer checklist—titled Judging for Yourself —may help. 

If you have questions about child care quality, call Children’s Services at 3-1-1 and ask to speak to one the program quality coordinators.

Here’s other helpful advice that looks at returning to work after you’ve had an infant, children’s rights in a preschool setting, building partnerships with your child care provider and dealing with separation anxiety.

 

This content was prepared and reviewed by the City of Greater Sudbury and its partners. However, it should not take the place of advice from your health care provider or other professionals working with you and your child. 

Notice a broken link or an error or omission in this content? Email beststart@greatersudbury.ca to let us know.