What to Expect from Licensed Child Care

Child Care Centres

Children in licensed child care centres are usually grouped according to their age.

Age Grouping

Ratio of Staff to Children

Maximum # of Children in Group

Infants (younger than 18 months)

1 to 3


Toddlers (18 months to 29 months)

1 to 5


Preschool (30 months to 5 years)

1 to 8


Kindergarten (44 months to 67 months)

1 to 13


Primary/junior school age (68 months to 12 years)

1 to 15


Junior school age (9 to 12 years)

1 to 20


Up to 20% of children in one age group can be combined with another age group. This occurs to allow children from one age group to transition into the next older age group and to allow for family groupings.

Licensed Home Child Care Programs

Licensed home child care programs can have a maximum of six children under 13 years old, including the provider’s own children under the age of six but no more than two children under two (2) years old.


When developing programming, licensed child care centres are guided by How Does Learning Happen: Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years. (PDF, 2.05 MB)

Home child care programs incorporate the same learning activities and stimulation as licensed child care centres in a home-like environment.

Family/Educator Relationships

Ongoing communication between you and your child’s educator(s) is crucial to ensuring a successful child care arrangement. After a period of adjustment, your child should be able to make the transition from home to child care relatively easily.

Once you have found a quality program for your child, continue to communicate with the educator to ensure that the program continues to meet the needs of your child and family.

Quality child care centres/home child care programs will conduct regular, ongoing evaluations and will ensure parents’ involvement throughout the process.

Your communication and willingness to share information about your child and family will help to build a positive relationship with your child care staff or provider, which will benefit your child.  If you have a concern or questions about your child’s care, speak to the educator as soon as possible about it. If things aren’t getting better, ask to talk to the supervisor or manager of the program. If you are still concerned, call Children Services at 705-674-4455 ext. 4279.