What is Home-based Child Care?
Operating a Home-based Child Care Business Independent of a Licensed Agency
In the province of Ontario, at any given time, you may provide care in your home for up to 5 children under 10 years of age, in addition to your own children.
For example . . .
- If you provide care for 1 infant and 2 preschool children during the day, you may also provide after-school care for 2 school-aged children in addition to your own.
- If you provide care for 1 infant, 2 toddlers and 2 preschool children during the day, you are at the maximum number of children and cannot care for any additional children after school.
If you wish to care for more than five children plus your own at any given time in your home, you will require a license under the Day Nurseries Act.
Operating a Home Child Care Business with a Licensed Home Child Care Agency
A licensed home-based child care agency offers the caregiver the opportunity to work as an independent sub-contractor for an organization licensed by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. The agency is responsible for ensuring that the rules and regulations of the Day Nurseries Act are followed. The agency provides a support network for the home-based caregiver and acts as a liaison between the caregiver and the parent.
Caregivers working with a a licensed agency may care for five or fewer children under ten years of age. In addition, there are limits on the number of children in specific age groups who can be cared for in the caregiver's home. Specifically:
- two children under the age of two or
- three children under the age of three
- to a maximum of five children under the age of ten (including the caregiver's own children who are under the age of six)
Information about how to place children ten years of age or older can be obtained from the licensed agency.
Caregivers with a licensed agency can also provide care privately. It is important for parents to be aware of whether the caregiver is presently providing care through the agency. Caregivers who do not have a child currently placed by the agency are not monitored.
Those contemplating providing or using a home-based child care service will be interested in reviewing the following sections:
Comprehensive information about operating a home-based child care service can be obtained from: