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The new Ontario Child Care and Early Years Act: What providers and parents need to know

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Ontario Ministry of Education
government document
Publication Date: 
1 Jun 2015

What is the Child Care and Early Years Act?

Together, we have been working hard to ensure child care in Ontario reflects
the realities of our modern world. Our overarching goal is to build a child care
and early years system that better supports parents and gives children the best
possible start in life. Extensive consultation with parents and early years partners
was key to developing this modernization plan.

To support our ambitious goals, the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014
(CCEYA) will come into effect on August 31, 2015. This legislation will replace
the outdated Day Nurseries Act (DNA) and establish new rules governing child
care in Ontario.

Many of the new provisions will strengthen compliance and health and safety
in child care settings, and help parents make informed choices about their
options. Many of the provisions that existed under the regulations under the
Day Nurseries Act are unchanged and will be carried forward under the CCEYA.

Who does the Act apply to?
The Act will apply to:
• Unlicensed child care
• Home child care providers contracted by a licensed agency
• Licensed home child care agencies; and
• Licensed child care centres.

Who is exempt from the Act?
The following are some examples:
• Nannies or babysitters that provide care to children in the children's home
• Care by relatives
• Camps that only care for children aged 4 and over
• Programs with a primary purpose of academic or skill-based recreation
• Private schools that only care for children aged 4 and over.

When do the new rules come in effect?
The new rules will come into effect on August 31, 2015. However, the following
two rules for unlicensed providers will not apply until January 1, 2016:
1. Providers must count their own children under the age of 6*
2. Providers can only care for a maximum of 2 children under the age of 2*.

The following rule will not apply until August 31, 2017:
• Providers must include 10, 11, and 12 year olds in the total count of children
they care for.

* However, these exceptions only apply to children who were already being cared
for by the provider on December 4, 2014. For example, if a provider was caring
for three 1-year-old children on December 4, 2014, they can continue to care for
those children until January 1, 2016.