About the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA)

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 CCEYA sets out the standards, rules and regulations that must be met to ensure the safety and well-being of children. The act applies to:

  • licensed child care centres
  • licensed home child care agencies
  • unlicensed child care providers
  • home child care providers that are overseen by a licensed agency
  • providers of in-home services that are overseen by a licensed agency
  • authorized recreational and skill building programs

This act does not apply to:

  • camps that only care for children four years old and older
  • nannies or babysitters that provide care to children from one family in the children's home
  • relatives that provide care for children
  • programs with a primary purpose of academic study or skill-based recreation
  • private schools that only care for children four years old and older

Find out more information about the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.

The CCEYA came into effect on August 31, 2015 and replaced the Day Nurseries Act.

Requirements for licensed child care settings

All licensed child care settings must:

  • meet all provincial requirements set out under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA), such as:
    • maintaining staff to child ratios
    • ensuring compliance with health and safety standards and building code
    • nutrition (for example, provision of meals, posting of menus and allergies)
    • health and medical supervision (for example, immunization, serious occurrence reporting, anaphylaxis policies, administration of medication)
    • programming for children (for example, parent handbook, program statement, rest and play periods, individual support plans)
    • staff qualifications and screening (for example, supervision, program staff, first aid, registered early childhood educator qualifications, vulnerable sector check)
    • emergency preparedness (for example, emergency contact information, fire safety procedures)
    • administration (for example, insurance, children's records and attendance)
  • have a program statement that aligns with How does learning happen? the Ministry of Education's framework that supports pedagogy and program development

Learn about:

Rules related to COVID‑19

Child care and early years programs must also follow the COVID‑19 health and safety measures.

Learn about the enhanced health and safety requirements.

Rules related to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System

The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System (CWELCC) will provide funding to participating licensed child care programs to reduce fees for parents of children under the age of six. Advise your local service system manager by September 1, 2022 if you wish to enrol in the CWELCC.

Licensed child care providers must advise parents and staff if they intend to enrol in the CWELCC. Parents of children who are eligible for CWELCC child care can withdraw their children without penalty, if they:

  • advise the licensee within 30 days of being notified by the licensee of the decision to participate in CWELCC
  • give one month’s notice

You must update your parent handbook to include information about:

Child care providers must comply with the terms and conditions of their agreement with their local service system and must keep a copy so that it is available to their program advisor upon request.

Fees

As a licensee, there are different types of fees that you can charge.

A base fee includes:

  • parent fees for anything a licensee is required to provide under the regulation (for example, supervision, play materials, bedding, development of individualized plans, and food where it is mandatory for parents and required by regulation for children under 44 months.)
  • mandatory fees a parent must pay in order to receive care (for example, a registration fee or deposits)

For licensees who enrol in the CWELCC, service system managers will provide funding to reduce base fees for eligible children.

Non-base fees are for optional items or optional services, such as transportation (where it is an optional service), field trips, late fees or NSF fees in accordance with the terms of the agreement between the parent and licensee.

Freeze on fee increases

For children under the age of six, you must freeze parent fees at the amount charged on March 27, 2022. This includes all fees, such as daily or monthly child care fees, registration or administration fees, transportation fees and other optional fees.

Licensed child care programs can increase fees only if it was communicated to parents before March 27, 2022.

Fee reductions for participating programs

Licensed child care programs that choose to participate in the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system will receive funding to reduce parent fees through a phased approach.

The first fee reduction will take effect as soon as your program enrols with your service system manager and will be retroactive to April 1, 2022. You must reduce your base fees by 25% and issue refunds to parents for any overpayments. You will receive funding to provide these refunds from your service system manger.

If you received your licence after April 1, 2022, you must issue refunds for all overpayments since the day the licence was issued.

If you don’t participate in CWELCC

The fee freeze will be lifted for licensed child care programs who choose not to participate in the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system.

A licensed child care program can raise fees if you notify your service system manager and parents that you have chosen not to participate.

Programs that choose not to participate:

Test your knowledge on the CCEYA

Take the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 self-test to test your knowledge and understanding of Ontario's licensing requirements for child care centres.

Take the self-test for supervisors and licensees.

Take the self-test for child care staff and public.

Access the child care licensing system

All licensing activity, like submitting a serious occurrence or requesting a revision to your licence, must be done in the Child Care Licensing System.

To access the Child Care Licensing System (CCLS), login using your One-key ID.

Learn how to navigate the CCLS and perform key functions.

Resources

The following resources provide guidance on operating a licensed child care program and may be helpful to new applicants, existing licensees, service system managers and First Nations:

Additional resources, such as sample policies, are available in the “Tools and Resources” section of the Child Care Licensing System.

Forms

Here are some of the forms you might need when operating a child care program.

Exemptions for immunizations

Staff and parents can apply for medical exemptions for immunizations. Download the statement of medical exemption.

Staff and parents can apply for religious or conscience exemptions for immunizations. Download the statement of conscience or religious belief.

Declare an offence

Child care licensees can use this form to meet provincial requirements for offence declarations. Download the sample offence declaration form.

Child care licensees can use this form to meet provincial requirements for offence declarations for people who provide care and are:

  • employed or contracted by an outside organization, for example a special needs resource consultation or bus driver
  • employed or contracted by an individual, for example a speech and language pathologist contracted with a parent

Download a sample offence declaration for other persons providing child care or services to a child in a child care centre.

Attestation

Child care licensees can use this form to meet provincial requirements for attestations for people who provide care and are:

  • employed or contracted by an outside organization, for example a special needs resource consultation or bus driver
  • employed or contracted by an individual, for example a psychiatrist contracted with a parent

Download a sample attestation for other persons providing child care or services to a child in a child care centre.