Choosing a Child Care Program

Different types of child care options are available to choose from:

  • Licensed Child Care Centres
    Provides care in a child care facility. A qualified Early Childhood Educator supervises each age group of children.

  • Licensed Home Child Care
    Provides care for children in a provider's own home. It allows for flexible hours of care, including evening, early morning, weekend and overnight care.

    This is a good option for families who attend school or training, work shifts or who need part-time, weekend or overnight care.

  • Private Child Care

Factors to consider when making your decision about child care:

Child Care Centre Environment

  • Centre's operating license is posted
  • A bright and cheerful environment
  • Open door policy which invites you to visit any time
  • Children with special needs are fully involved in the program

Activities, Menu and Daily Programs

  • Variety of educational learning materials
  • Furnishings that are safe, clean and age-appropriate
  • Program plans and routines are posted
  • A healthy menu plan that follows Canada's Food Guide is posted

Staff Qualifications

  • Credentials of teaching and supervisory staff include a diploma in Early Childhood Education from an Ontario college or equivalent
  • Staff are members of the College of Early Childhood Educators
  • Staff regularly evaluate the program
  • Staff determine children's developmental strengths and needs
  • Staff have participated in our "Quality Child Care Niagara" training program

Policies and Regulations

  • Written policies are provided
  • Consistent practices are carried out for items such as hours of operation, emergency contacts, program costs, and behaviour management practices

Parent Involvement

  • Regular feedback such as parent surveys
  • Program participation
  • Speaking to other parents with children in the program

More information about choosing a child care program, including parent checklists is available.


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