Licensed Home-based Child Care
Home based child care within the formal child care system is offered through licensed home child care agencies. These agencies recruit and supervise caregivers who use their homes to provide child care for up to five children. Licensed agencies are inspected at least once a year by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to ensure that the agency meets the requirements set out in the Day Nurseries Act.
View a list of Licensed home child care agencies in the City of Hamilton.
Keep in mind that a listing on this website is not a recommendation or a guarantee of quality in any program. You are urged to review How to Choose Child Care for additional information which will assist you in choosing a child care arrangement which meets your child's needs and your expectations.
Licensed home child care agencies employ home visitors to supervise the caregivers (often called providers) and to ensure that the policies and procedures of the agency are followed and the requirements of the Day Nurseries Act are met. Home visitors have training in Early Childhood Education, child development and family studies. They support the home child care provider by providing advice about program/activity planning; home safety; routines and child guidance; and nutrition. The agency will often lend furnishings, toys and equipment to the caregivers to assist them in providing age-appropriate materials for the children in their care. Training for providers is also a feature of most licensed agencies.
Caregivers who are approved by a licensed agency must follow regulations of the Day Nurseries Act. Specifically, they may provide care for five or fewer children under ten years of age. For information on child care for children over ten years of age, contact the licensed home child care agency.
In addition, there are limits on the number of children in specific age groups which can be cared for in the provider's home:
- two children under the age of two or
- three children under the age of three
- to maximum of five children under the age of ten (including the caregiver's own children who are under the age of six)
Parents will want to obtain information from the home child care agency about their policies concerning:
- program philosophy
- recruiting and training for caregivers
- backup when the caregiver is ill or on vacation
- registration fees, cost of care and payment procedure
- fee payment when your child is absent due to illness or vacation
- administration of medicine
- communication with parents (progress reports, newsletters, interviews)
Information obtained from the caregiver will also assist parents to make an informed choice based on the following:
- training and experience of the caregiver
- number and ages of children in the home
- days and hours of service
- flexibility of care offered (if part-time or shift care is required)
- drop in visits encouraged
- written program and menu plan
- sanitary, emergency and safety practices
- arrangements for escorting to school (for kindergarten and school-aged children)
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