The Licensing Process for Centre-Based Care
In Ontario, all child care centres must be licensed by the Ministry of Education under provincial legislation called the Day Nurseries Act. Licenses always specify the ages and the maximum number of children which a child care centre may serve. According to the Day Nurseries Act, care provided for more than five children, who are not of common parentage, must be licensed by the Ministry.
The Day Nurseries Act sets out the minimum standards a centre must maintain in areas such as physical environment, fire and safety procedures, hygiene and cleanliness practices, nutritious meal planning, policies dealing with child illness, staff to child ratios, and maximum group sizes. Licensing requirements provide a foundation upon which high quality child care can be built. Although a license is not itself a guarantee of high quality child care, it does ensure that basic requirements were met when the licensing inspection took place.
The license of a child care centre must be displayed where all parents and visitors can see it. Dates of issue and expiry are shown on the license. A regular license is on white paper. A provisional license is yellow and indicates that the program has been directed to correct some condition to meet requirements. It does not mean that the children are unsafe or that the centre/agency is about to close. Check with the supervisor to clarify the status of the license.