Concerns About Care

1. Talk to your caregiver.

  • Pick a good time to talk to your caregiver (or the operator or supervisor of the program).
  • Drop-off and pick-up times are busy and are usually not good times to talk.
  • You can schedule a time with your caregiver to talk about your concerns. That way, both you and the caregiver will be ready to talk.

2. If talking to your caregiver doesn’t solve the problem:

a) If you have licensed child care

  • If your concerns relate to provincial rules and standards, you can contact the nearest regional office of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

b) If you have informal child care

  • You can talk to a staff person at your local Ontario Early Years Centre or at one of the ministry’s regional offices.
  • The government doesn’t regulate informal child care arrangements. However, the ministry will look into complaints about caregivers who are taking care of more children than they are allowed by law.
  • If you are concerned that the caregiver is looking after too many children, contact the nearest regional office of the ministry.

When is “illegal” child care investigated?

Ministry staff investigate complaints from the public about a person who may be taking care of more than five unrelated children under the age of 10 without a licence. It is an offence under the Day Nurseries Act to provide care to more than five children without a licence. The ministry can prosecute people who provide child care without a licence. If convicted of the offence of providing child care without a licence, a person can be fined up to $2,000 per day.

It is also an offence to provide private-home day care at more than one location without a licence. Persons providing private home day care at more than one location without a licence can be prosecuted by the ministry and if convicted can be fined up to $2,000 per day.

Types of licences

The type of licence issued by the ministry depends on the outcome of the licensing inspection. More details about the terms below appear in the Glossary.

Regular licence

  • issued when the child care program is in compliance with licensing requirements at the time of the inspection; and
  • may be issued for a period of up to one year.

Provisional licence

  • issued when the child care program has not met all of the licensing requirements at the time of inspection and requires time to meet the licensing requirements; and
  • gives the program a short period of time to meet licensing requirements; and
  • does not mean that children are in an unsafe place or that the program is about to close.

Suspended licence

  • a Notice of Direction is issued when there is a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the children in the child care program and the licence is temporarily suspended; and
  • the program is closed until the operator complies with the Notice of Direction to remove the threat or, if there is an appeal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal, until the Tribunal reaches a decision.

Terms and Conditions of Licences

Terms and conditions may be attached to a licence when a child care program has to meet requirements in addition to licensing requirements under the Day Nurseries Act. The circumstances are related to each program and appear on the licence.

Who to contact if you have concerns

If you have concerns about a program or would like to discuss the details of a program’s licence, contact a program advisor at your local regional office of the Ministry of Education.