Child Care Choices

Parents can choose from several options of licensed child care. Here are the benefits of each:

Child with bottle

    Licensed Home-Based Child Care:

  • Children of the same family may be placed together.
  • Child care agency provides assistance, support and monitoring.
  • Caregiver has to meet certain standards of care.
  • Small group size.
  • Child care fee subsidy may be available.
  • Learn More

Girl with pink rose

    Licensed Centre-Based Child Care:

  • Children are with other children their age.
  • Staff members include professionals with training in early childhood education.
  • The centre has to meet certain standards of care.
  • Activities are designed for children at different stages of development.
  • A child care fee subsidy may be available.
  • Learn More

Child drawing

    School Age Care:

  • School-age children get different programs from pre-school children.
  • Children can choose their own activities.
  • Activities are geared to older children.
  • Staff have experience working with school-age children and are always present to guide and encourage them.
  • Learn More

Informal Care:

Parents may choose informal child care arrangements for their children. In Ontario, regardless of the number of adults providing care at the location, caregivers may look after five or fewer children under 10 years of age without a day nursery licence. Informal care arrangements are made between the parents and the caregiver. The Ontario government does not regulate these caregivers. This means the person caring for your child does not have to meet provincial health, safety and caregiver training standards.

Other supports and resources available for families with young children


  • Parenting and Family Literacy Centres
    There are currently 155 centres located in schools across the province. These centres provide support and resources for families with children up to six years of age.
  • Ontario Early Years Centres
    Children up to the age of six and their parents and caregivers can take part in programs and activities together.
  • Ministry of Children and Youth Services
    The Ministry of Children and Youth Services provides parents with information about infant hearing programs, speech and language programs, infant development and more.
  • Supports for children with special needs
    The Ministry of Education provides resources and funding for special needs so that children with special needs enrolled in licensed child care programs may get the extra help they need.

Learn More: