Step 1: Think about what type of care your child needs
Consider the following questions about your child care needs:
Search for a licensed child care program
Once you have a clear idea of your needs and wants for child care, you can start looking at possible options.
To find child care providers, try these sources:
If you are looking for a First Nations provider, please contact your local band office administrator.
In addition, some Ontario Early Years Centres, Parenting and Family Literacy Centres or child care resource centres may have a list of child care providers for their area. Please keep in mind that these lists have not been approved by the Ontario Early Years Centres, family resource centres or the Ministry of Education. It's up to parents to research, choose and monitor their own child care arrangements.
Call child care providers to find out more about the programs they offer and to see if they meet your needs.
Try to find at least three child care options that would be good for your family. That way you can choose the program that best meets your needs.
Call each of the child care providers you are considering. Speak to the person in charge, such as the supervisor or a home visitor at a private-home day care agency. If they are not available, ask when would be a good time to call again.
When you call, have a list of questions ready to ask the child care provider. The answers to these questions can help you choose the places you want to visit.
After you get the answers to your questions, decide whether or not the licensed child care program meets your needs and whether or not it's a good fit for your family. Then make plans to visit each program you are considering.
After interviewing each option, decide which programs you want to visit. It's very important to visit the home or child care centre before you enrol your child. You may want to schedule your visit during the day when you can see the centre in action. You should schedule your visit with the centre ahead of time.
Whether you're visiting child care centres or home, you'll want to:
Find out as much as you can about what happens there day to day. Take notes. When you have finished your visits, you can look over your notes. Then you can make your decision.
Here are some points to look for.