Information on Child Care and the Early Years

Ontario is committed to building a high-quality, inclusive and affordable early years and child care system. Here are resources with information about how we are supporting positive learning environments for children.

COVID-19: Reopening child care and early years programs

Beginning September 1, 2020, child care centres across Ontario, including centres in First Nations communities, as well as all before- and after-school programs, will be permitted to operate at full capacity.

EarlyON Child and Family Centres and First Nations on reserve Child and Family Programs will be permitted to reopen with in-person programming where participants pre-register.

All child care and early years programs will be required to operate under enhanced health and safety protocols. Operational guidance for the fall will be provided for all settings, including:

Ensuring children's health and safety is as important as supporting children's learning, development and emotional well-being. This new resource entitled “How Does Learning Happen? – pedagogical approaches for reopening child care” (PDF, 5.88 MB) shares ideas, reflective questions and lessons learned from the emergency child care provided during the COVID-19 pandemic, as child care and early years programs reopen across the province.

Please also visit Ontario's COVID-19 website regularly for information and resources to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Learn about the plan to provide funding support for the early years and child care sector during recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Spotlight on Success

Sharing best practices and new initiatives in the early years and child care sector across Ontario.

The Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA)

Image of a child and child care specialist On August 31, 2015, the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA) came into effect. This new legislation replaces the Day Nurseries Act.

“The New Child Care and Early Years Act: What Providers and Parents Need to Know”

The first phase of regulations under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 came into effect on August 31st, 2015 carrying over many of the existing regulations under the previous legislation (i.e., the Day Nurseries Act)

On May 9, 2016, the Ministry of Education filed the second phase of regulations under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 and Education Act. The new rules took effect at varying dates, starting July 1, 2016.

A third phase of regulations under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 was filed on March 1, 2018, with varying effective dates.

A fourth phase of regulations under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 and the Education Act was filed on August 2, 2019, with amendments coming into effect either upon filing or on September 1, 2019.

If you are looking for information about applying for a child care licence, visit the Child Care Licensing Resources page.

Child Care licensees now have access to the E-Module: Putting How Does Learning Happen? into Practice: Program Expectations for Licensed Child Care. This E-Module will assist early years professionals to understand connections between How Does Learning Happen? and the program requirements under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.

Centres of Excellence for Early Years and Child Care

In 2018, the Ministry of Education established new Centres of Excellence for Early Years and Child Care to connect practitioners, education institutions, and service providers through innovative networks across the province. Learn more about the Centres of Excellence.

EarlyON Child and Family Centres

Beginning in January 2018, Ontario's four existing child and family programs will be united under the EarlyON brand. EarlyON Child and Family Centres provide opportunities for children from birth to 6 years of age to participate in play and inquiry-based programs, and support parents and caregivers in their roles.

Read our Public Plan to Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres.

Growing Together: Ontario's Early Years and Child Care Workforce Strategy

Growing Together: Ontario's Early Years and Child Care Workforce Strategy is our plan to build a stronger, more robust workforce by recruiting and retaining more educators in the early years and child care sector. (PDF, 2,71 MB)

Affordability and Workforce Studies

Early Years Accommodations in Schools

Ontario has chosen schools as priority locations for early years programs. To support early years programming in schools, the Ministry of Education set up a working group to provide advice on early years accommodation costs. The ministry and the working group have created a reference guide for school boards, CMSMs and DSSABS, and early years service providers. The guide contains information and guiding principles to help promote transparency, accessibility and efficiency when considering costs for early years service providers operating in schools.

Annual Reports

Previous Reports and Research