Making A Quality Choice

Finding and keeping quality child care is an important decision, let us help you and your family make the most educated choice.

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What is Quality Child Care?

Caregivers are the key to quality child care. They need to…

  • Understand how children grow and learn. You can look for training certificates.
  • Be affectionate and responsive, and open and informative. Look to see if they kneel and speak at eye level? Do they smile and speak kindly?
  • Provide a stable and stimulating environment. You can ask about daily routines and processes.
  • Seek out community resources and support. You can ask about resources they are aware of.
  • Be willing to develop common goals. You can ask what they would like to work on with your child.

Quality child care settings:

  • Are clean, safe and secure
  • Have a caring, learning environment
  • Look after a small number of children with each adult
  • Have space for quiet and active, times, indoor and outdoor play
  • Have a balance of interesting activities. You can look for free play as well as structured programming like arts and crafts
  • A variety of easily available toys and equipment
  • Nutritional meals and snacks.

What is License Not Required Family Child Care? (LNR)

Anyone caring for only 1 or 2 children other than their own (by blood or marriage).  These child care providers do not need to be licensed with their regional health authority.

What is Registered License Not Required Family Child Care?  (Register LNR)

Anyone caring for only 1 or 2 children other than their own (by blood or marriage) who becomes registered with a Child Care Resource and Referral agency CCRR.

What is Licensed Family Child Care?  (LF)

Anyone caring for up to 7 children including your own in your home.  You are able to care for various ages within the Licensing guidelines.  These childcare providers must be licensed with their regional health authority or they are providing an illegal service. Check resources for more information!

What is Licensed Group Care? (LG)

Anyone caring for groups of children up to 25 in one group. There are a number of types of group care: 3 to 5 yr old (30 months to kindergarten), Infant Toddler (birth to 36 months), School Age (kindergarten to 12 yrs) and Preschool (30 months to 5 years).

How do you find quality care?

1. Identify your needs.

  • Consider your child’s age and number of children you have. 
  • Are you eligible for government subsidy?
  • What fee can you afford?
  • Do you prefer centre or home based, regulated or unregulated care
  • What hours do you need?
  • In what location-near your child’s school, your home , your work

2. Find a list of providers:

  • Local child care offices (CCRR)
  • Talk to neighbors and friends who use child care. 

3. Do telephone interviews. 

Jot down the questions you want to ask. Look at the responses. Priorities. 

4. Visit the potential child care providers. 

  • Look around
  • Listen
  • Consider, "Would you feel good about your child spending time here?"
  • At the centers, consider, "Is this a quality child care setting?"

Give yourself plenty of time and find care that suits you and your child

The relationship between you and the child care provider is extremely important. 

  • It needs to be one of mutual respect, trust and cooperation.
  • The interview is the time to ask plenty of questions. 
  • Don’t forget to discuss hours, fees, discipline, sickness, vacations, the involvement of parents. 
  • Check References before you make a final decision. Look at parent hand books and contracts. Can you agree to the terms?

Being an effective child care parent

  • A parent’s responsibility does not end with finding child care
  • The three-way relationship between the parent, caregiver and child requires an ongoing commitment.
  • Communication is vital
  • Take time to hear about your child’s day.
  • Agree on mutual expectations
  • Voice concerns and priorities
  • Express appreciation
  • Live up to the agreement

Quality Child Care supports the child’s development of :

  • Social
  • Emotional
  • Intellectual
  • Physical well being

Looking for quality child care is a process. Take the time to follow through and begin early.

Stay Aware Let’s All Work Towards Quality Child Care

Acknowledgments to the Canadian Child Care Federation 

Request Child Care

Childcare Resources For Families

Types of Child Care

Downloadable Resources

Information of Interest to You in Your Search for Child Care