New regulations under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, were filed with the Ontario registrar. The Ministry of Education developed these regulations after extensive consultation with stakeholders and the public.
Key aspects of the regulations include:
- The introduction of a new, optional, pilot approach to ratios and age groupings. Licensees will have a choice to either operate under the current requirements, or apply to participate in the pilot. Ontario will work with partners and stakeholders to develop the pilot approach and evaluate and measure its impact.
- The expansion of before- and after-school care for 6-12 year olds, as well as the provision of authorized recreation programs for up to three hours per day for the same age group.
- New rules about sleep monitoring, playground safety and transition times for service system management plans and authorized recreation providers
To support a transition, these rules will take effect on a range of dates beginning on July 1, 2016.
- n August, 2015, the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 was proclaimed to strengthen oversight of the province’s unlicensed child care sector and increase access to licensed child care options.
- Since 2003–04, the government has doubled child care funding to more than $1 billion annually.
- Ontario is investing $269 million over three years to support a wage increase for early childhood educators and other child care professionals in licensed child care settings.
- Since 2003, the number of licensed child care spaces in Ontario has grown to nearly 351,000 – an increase of 87 per cent.
- In April 2015, the province announced $120 million over three years in new funding dedicated to building safe, high-quality, licensed child care spaces in schools across the province.
- So far, $90 million has been allocated, resulting in almost 3,200 new licensed child care spaces coming soon to communities across Ontario. Picture courtesy: childcareontario.org – CINEWS