Enforcing child care rules

In Ontario, child care providers must follow the rules set out in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA) and its regulations. The act helps ensure the health and safety of children and child care providers in child care settings.

The CCEYA gives the Ministry of Education enforcement tools to encourage compliance in the unlicensed and licensed child care sectors, for example:

  • compliance orders
  • protection orders
  • administrative penalties
  • prosecution

Whenever appropriate, we will take a progressive approach to enforcement, starting first by providing clarity to providers, staff and licensees on the rules of the legislation. Program advisors or enforcement investigators can provide this clarity.

If further actions are required, depending on the nature of the contravention and the specific circumstances, we might issue:

  • a protection order
  • a compliance order
  • administrative penalties

Protection order

An investigator can issue a protection order when there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of children.

Child care providers who are issued a protection order must immediately stop providing child care until such threat is resolved.

Compliance order

An investigator can issue a compliance order any time a child care program or child care provider is not in compliance with the rules in the CCEYA or its regulations.

A compliance order identifies which requirement has not been met and orders that the non-compliance be corrected.

Administrative penalties

Administrative penalties may be issued in a number of different circumstances where someone is not following the rules in the act or regulations, including exceeding the permitted number of children on site and obstructing an inspector. Administrative penalties under the legislation range from $500 to $2000. Some penalties will accumulate for every day the non-compliance continues, up to a maximum of $100,000.

Find a list of the maximum penalties (in dollars) for all contraventions. The maximum administrative penalties are also in the Ontario General Regulation 137/15.

The purpose of the penalty must be to encourage compliance and prevent a person from deriving any economic benefit from contravening the act or regulations.

Under the act, the amount of the administrative penalty must be reduced if it is:

  • excessive under the circumstances
  • punitive in nature

An administrative penalty is also sometimes referred to as an administrative monetary penalty. All administrative penalties are centrally issued by the manager of the Corporate Enforcement Unit after careful consideration of the circumstances.

Responsibility for payment

Licensees

Licensees (the person or corporate entity to whom the child care licence is issued) must meet all licensing requirements in the regulations. This means that administrative penalties are issued to the licensee.

It is the responsibility of the licensee to either:

  • pay the administrative penalty within 30 days
  • submit a request for review within 15 days

Individuals (licensed and unlicensed)

We can issue administrative penalties for some requirements that apply to individuals. These include:

  • the duties and prohibitions that apply to unlicensed providers
  • individuals working in licensed settings
  • home child care providers

List of administrative penalties with dollar value

Administrative penalties in table 1 can accumulate daily. Penalties in table 2 do not accumulate.

Table 1: accumulative penalties

Item Contravened provisions Description of contravention Amount of administrative penalty, in dollars
1. act, s. 6 (1), read with s. 6 (3) subparagraph 1 i Prohibition – provision of home child care, total number of children 2000 × number of children that exceed the number specified in the act
2. act, s. 6 (1), read with s. 6 (3) subparagraph 1 iv Prohibition – provision of home child care, number of children younger than two 2000 × number of children that exceed the number specified in the act
3. act, s. 6 (1), read with s. 6 (3) subparagraph 1 iii Prohibition – provision of home child care, advising home child care agency 1,000
4. act, s. 6 (1), read with s. 6 (3) subparagraph 2 i Prohibition – provision of unlicensed child care, total number of children 2000 × number of children that exceed the number specified in the act
5. act, s. 6 (1), read with s. 6 (3) subparagraph 2 iii Prohibition – provision of unlicensed child care, number of children younger than two 2000 × number of children that exceed the number specified in the act
6. act, s. 7 Prohibition – operation of home child care agency 2,000
7. act, s. 8 Prohibition – operation of multiple unlicensed premises 2,000
8. act, s. 9 Prohibition – past conduct, child care providers, etc. 2,000
9. act, s. 10 Prohibition – preventing parental access to the child and premises 1,000
10. act, s. 11 Prohibition – use of terms re-licensing 750
11. act, s. 12 Duty to disclose if not licensed 750
12. act, s. 14 Duties re posting, returning and copying licences 750
13. act, s. 15 Duty to provide receipt for payment 500
14. act, s. 31 (4) Obligation to produce and assist 2,000
15. act, s. 35 Obligation to provide police record checks 2,000
16. act, s. 76 Prohibition – obstruction of inspector 4,000
17. regulation, s. 8 Ratios and maximum group sizes, child care centre 2000 × number of children that exceed the number specified in s. 8
18. regulation, s. 8.1 Licensed family age groups 2000 × number of children that exceed the number specified in s. 8.1
19. regulation, s. 9 Home child care group sizes 2000 × number of children that exceed the number specified in s. 9
20. regulation, s. 11 Supervision by adult at all times 2,000

Table 2: non-accumulative penalties

Item Contravened provisions Description of contravention Amount of administrative penalty, in dollars
0.1 regulation, s. 11.1 (1) Supervision of volunteers and students at all times 1,000
0.2 regulation, s. 15 (2) Designated spaces and items inaccessible to children 1,000
0.3 regulation, s. 30.1 (1) and (2) (a) Bodies of water 1,000
0.4 regulation, s. 31 Hazards 1,000
1. regulation, clause 38 (1) (b) Reporting of serious occurrence 2,000
2. regulation, subclause 40 (1) (b) (ii) and clause 40 (1) (d) Administration of drugs or medications 2,000
3. regulation, s. 48 (1) Prohibited practices, licensee 2,000
3.1 regulation, s. 60, 61.1 and 63 Duty to obtain record check 1,000
4. regulation, s. 72 (1), (2), (3) Records re children 750
5. regulation, s. 74 Records re home child care providers 750
6. regulation, s. 75 Copies of agreements 750

Penalties for home child care providers who care for more children than permitted

Licensed home child care providers

If a home child care provider is found caring for more than six children, the provider may be issued a notice of administrative penalty for $2,000 for each child exceeding the permitted number for every successive day the non-compliance continues.

Home child care agencies

In addition, the home child care agency may be issued an administrative penalty if there are more than six children being cared for on a premises where the agency:

  • oversees the provision of child care
  • appears to have played a role in the non-compliance

Unlicensed child care providers

An unlicensed child care provider may be issued a notice of administrative penalty for $2,000 for each child exceeding the permitted number for every successive day the non-compliance continues if we find that they are caring for:

  • more than five children
  • more than three children under the age of two

How to appeal an administrative penalty

You have up to 15 days to submit a request for review of your administrative penalty.

A senior designated employee will conduct the review and consider the:

  • materials and documents presented in the notice
  • request for review

The senior designated employee may rescind, reduce or affirm the penalty amount.

Your notice of administrative penalty will have instructions about how to submit a request for review.

Related

Updated: August 06, 2021
Published: June 16, 2021