TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - In response to recent tragedies in unlicensed home child care settings, The Home Child Care Association of Ontario (HCCAO) is calling on the provincial government to require all child care providers in Ontario to meet current minimum licensing standards. Although the causes of these tragedies have not been released, The Association further calls for a commitment from the provincial government to increase the number of licensed child care spaces available to meet the needs of families across the province. The Home Child Care Association of Ontario is aware that the vast majority of children in Ontario are in unregulated, unlicensed child care. Bill 143 represents a very important step forward to increasing the basic safety standards for these children. The HCCAO considers passage of Bill 143 as essential to the modernization process and to achieving the Government of Ontario's commitment to increasing the quality of early learning and care programs and services.
The HCCAO represents more than 70 Licensed Home Child Care Agencies, providing licensed, home-based early learning and child care to more than 60 000 children in over 3000 homes across Ontario. Under existing legislation, Licensed Home Child Care Agencies and the individuals they contract with to provide home-based child care programs must follow all of the regulations contained within the province's Day Nurseries Act (DNA). These provisions cover such areas as health and safety, program quality, nutrition, and police reference checks.
In Ontario, many individuals care for children in their home without being affiliated with a licensed home child care agency. These individuals provide "unlicensed" care and are not required to meet legislative standards, with the exception of the provision dealing with the number of children in their care.
Under the Day Nurseries Act, unlicensed child care providers may care for a maximum of five children in addition to their own children. Licensed home child care providers are restricted to providing care to no more than five children, including their own children under the age of 6, and are also subject to the following restrictions: no more than two children may be under 2 years of age and no more than three children may be under 3 years.
The HCCAO membership is committed to the well-being of children and has a strong interest in contributing to the dialogue about how child care programs for children are organized, delivered and regulated throughout the province. The HCCAO believes:
- Licensing and legislative standards should apply to all home-based child care.
- All children should have equal access to quality care.
- Quality home-based care is achieved through the establishment of a minimum set of legislated standards that include: expectations regarding age-appropriate programming, developmentally appropriate supervision practices, minimum safety and health standards, regular inspections and mechanisms for enforcement, fair remuneration for caregivers, access to professional development and training, education and social support.
Promoting, developing and supporting Home-Based Child Care Services for families through Licensed Agencies
Image with caption: "Home Childcare Association of Ontario (CNW Group/Home Childcare Association of Ontario)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140227_C8007_PHOTO_EN_37332.jpg
SOURCE: Home Childcare Association of Ontario
For further information:
Marni Flaherty, President of the HCCAO 905 906 0030