The early years are an exciting time for you and your child. Research shows that the years from birth to six are the most important years in a child's life. As a parent, you want to be confident that your child is in a healthy, safe and happy environment that meets your child's needs as he/she grows and learns.
Child Care Programs are:
- Licensed by the Ministry of Education under the Ontario Day Nurseries Act
- Registered to protect the health, safety and well being of children
- Centre or Home based
Licensed Child Care Centres include child care, extended hour child care and school age programs with various hours to meet the needs of families. This checklist will assist you in choosing quality centre-based child care.
- Is the licence clearly posted?
- Does the child care centre have a philosophy/mission statement and services that support individual children?
- Discuss the centre's policies on child guidance, children's illness, sun safety, pick up of children, children's allergies, diapering and toilet learning.
- Is the classroom welcoming, clean, bright, well lit, spacious and well ventilated?
- Is the outdoor play equipment safe, in good repair, and does the program keep the children engaged in play?
- Do the staff help children settle into a rest time and are non sleeping children able to get up from their cots after one hour?
- Are the children reminded to wash their hands frequently?
- Are drinks of water available to the children at any time?
- Do staff and children sit together at meal times?
- Are children encouraged to try foods, but not forced to eat food they do not wish to eat?
Home-Based Child Care is provided in a caregiver's home. Caregivers are screened, approved and monitored by Home Visitors who work for the Home Child Care Agency.
This checklist will assist you in choosing home based quality care.
- Are there 5 or fewer children in care?
- Have you been given and checked references?
- Does the provider have a current first aid certificate?
- Is the home a smoke free environment?
- Does the provider have pets?
- Is the home bright, clean, well kept, and is there space for safe active play?
- Is the outdoor area fenced, play equipment safe and in good repair?
- Are gardening tools and chemicals locked and is the sandbox covered?
- Are safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs?
- Are indoor plants and cords out of reach and are outlets covered?
- Are smoke detectors and fire extinguishers working and accessible?
- Are sleeping/resting areas appropriate?
- Are parents made aware of feeding and toileting schedules?