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Licensed child care

Staff of the Ministry of Education makes unannounced inspections of all licensed child care programs to:

  • make sure that provincial standards are being met
  • investigate complaints
  • issue licences and renew licences
  • monitor operators who are having difficulty meeting licensing standards.

What is unlicensed child care?

In Ontario, caregivers who look after five or fewer unrelated children under the age of 10 do not have to be licensed.Unlicensed child care are private arrangements made between the parents and the caregiver. Another name for unlicensed child care is informal child care.

Here are some examples:

  • a babysitter or relative who comes to the child’s home at the required times
  • a nanny who lives with the family
  • a friend or relative who cares for the child in their own home

Some advantages:

  • family atmosphere in a home-like setting
  • caregiver may know you and your child
  • schedules may be more flexible
  • can be more affordable than licensed child care

Some disadvantages:

  • caregiver may not have any formal training
  • isolation of caregiver
  • other children may not be the same age or the same stage of development
  • reliability may be a problem