Child Care Licensing Resources

There are many resources available to provide information about the licensing process and about licensed child care. This page contains the following sections:

Information for New Applicants

Do I Need a Child Care Licence?

The Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA) requires any premises that receives more than five children under the age of 13 years for temporary care and guidance in Ontario to be licensed by the Ministry of Education, except in exempt circumstances.

The Ministry of Education only responds to written inquiries about whether a child care licence is required. Telephone inquiries are not accepted. Inquiries must be sent by email to: information.met@ontario.ca.

Inquiries to determine if a program will require a licence should include detailed information about the prospective program, including:

  • Hours of operation;
  • Ages and number of children served;
  • Description of the program, equipment and facilities;
  • Schedule of activities;
  • List of other programs offered;
  • Whether transportation to or from the program is offered.

How Do I Apply for a Licensed Child Care Centre/Home Child Care Agency licence?

To apply for a prospective child care/home child care agency licence, you must enrol in the web-based Child Care Licensing System (CCLS) to submit an application and fee deposit. Once enrolled, prospective applicants can view a presentation that provides information about the application process.

A Ministry of Education Program Advisor will be assigned to your application once your application and the fee deposit have been submitted. The Program Advisor will review your application and contact you to discuss things further.

Please view the Child Care Licensing Orientation Module prior to applying as fee deposits are not refundable.

On average, it takes 4 months to open a new child care centre or home child care agency. However, this time will vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • Renovations;
  • Incorporating a corporation;
  • Obtaining a police records check;
  • Purchasing equipment;
  • Hiring a supervisor;
  • Recruiting staff;
  • Recruiting home visitors and home child care providers;
  • Developing policies and procedures; and
  • Obtaining all required approvals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tools and Resources to Help with Your Application

The following manuals and guideline provide guidance on how to meet and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements:

Licensing Kit (Sample Policies and Procedures)

  • The Licensing Kit is a tool to assist new applicants and existing licensees in the development of policies and procedures required under the CCEYA. This tool includes sample policies, procedures, templates, and tip sheets which applicants can choose to adopt or use as a guide to create their own.

CCEYA Licensing Standards Website

  • This public website provides information about the provincial licensing requirements for child care centres and home child care agencies/premises. It may be accessed by supervisors, licensees, early childhood educators, program staff, parents and anyone who is interested in learning more about licensed child care.

CCEYA Self-Test

  • Test your knowledge and understanding of provincial licensing requirements for child care centres and home child care agencies/premises by taking the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 Licensing Standards Self-Test.

CCLS Registration Guide for New Applicants

  • This Guide documents the step-by-step process to be used by NEW applicants when registering for CCLS. It is used only once.

CCLS Registration Video for Licensed Child Care Programs

  • This video demonstrates the step-by-step instructions to register for CCLS.

CCLS Reference Guide for Applicants/Licensees (PDF, 6.44 MB)

  • This guide documents the step-by-step instructions for applicants, licensees, agency and site designates to use CCLS.

How Does Learning Happen (HDLH)?

  • How does Learning Happen? Ontario's Pedagogy for the Early Years is a professional learning resource for those working in child care and child and family programs.

For assistance using the Child Care Licensing System please contact 1-855-457-5478 (toll-free) / 416-314-6230 (local) or childcare.helpdesk@ontario.ca.

Information for Existing Licensees

The following manuals and guideline provide guidance on how to meet and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements:

Licensing Kit (Sample Policies and Procedures)

  • The Licensing Kit is a tool to assist new applicants and existing licensees in the development of policies and procedures required under the CCEYA. This tool includes sample policies, procedures, templates, and tip sheets which applicants can choose to adopt or use as a guide to create their own.

CCLS Registration Guide for Licensed Child Care Programs

  • This guide documents the step-by-step process to be used by EXISTING licensees, agency and site designates when registering for CCLS. It is used only once.

CCLS Reference Guide for Applicants/Licensees (PDF, 6.44 MB)

  • This guide documents the step-by-step instructions for applicants, licensees, agency and site designates to use CCLS.

CCLS Reference Guide for 2018 Licensed Child Care Operations Survey (PDF, 608 KB)

  • This guide provides instructions and definitions used for answering the 2018 Licensed Child Care Operations Survey, as well as contact information for questions related to the survey. To help centres collect the necessary information before completing the survey in CCLS, the guide also includes the 2018 survey questions.

How Does Learning Happen (HDLH)?

  • How does Learning Happen? Ontario's Pedagogy for the Early Years is a professional learning resource for those working in child care and child and family programs.

Reporting a Serious Occurrence in CCLS

  • This video demonstrates the step-by-step process to follow when reporting a serious occurrence.
  • Transcript

For assistance using the Child Care Licensing System please contact 1-855-457-5478 (toll-free) / 416-314-6230 (local) or childcare.helpdesk@ontario.ca.

Fact Sheets

On May 9, 2016, the Ministry of Education filed new and revised regulations under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 with the Ontario registrar. The following fact sheets provide information about some of the new rules and varying effective dates, starting July 1, 2016:

Information for Consolidated Municipal Service Managers/District Social Services Administration Boards

The following manuals and guideline provide guidance on how to meet and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements:

CCLS Reference Guide for Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Services Administration Boards (CMSM/DSSAB) (PDF, 1.50 MB)

  • This Guide documents the step-by-step instructions for CMSM/DSSABs to use CCLS.

For assistance using the Child Care Licensing System please contact 1-855-457-5478 (toll-free) / 416-314-6230 (local) or childcare.helpdesk@ontario.ca.

Fact Sheets

On May 9, 2016, the Ministry of Education filed new and revised regulations under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 with the Ontario registrar. The following fact sheets provide information about some of the new rules and varying effective dates, starting July 1, 2016:

Licensing Kit (Sample Policies and Procedures)

The Licensing Kit will help child care applicants and licensees to meet required policies and procedures under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.

The following tools are provided below:

Sample Documents:

  • Sample policies, procedures and forms that licensees may adopt and implement in their programs. Sample policies and procedures must be customized to reflect programs before they may be implemented.

Sample Templates:

  • Fillable forms that licensees may adopt and complete to meet regulatory policy, procedure, documentation and record-keeping requirements in their programs.

Tip Sheets:

  • Tips and instructions for developing compliant policies and procedures.

Policy for Monitoring Compliance and Contraventions: Under ss. 6.1(7) of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have a written policy and procedures that set out how compliance and contraventions with the policies, procedures and individualized plans will be monitored on an ongoing basis, recorded and addressed.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Supervision of Volunteers and Students: Under s. 11.1 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have written policies and procedures regarding the supervision of volunteers and students.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Child Care Centre Floor and Site Plans: Under s. 14 of O. Reg. 137/15, where a new or existing child care centre will be built, altered or renovated, complete floor and/or site plans must be submitted to the Ministry of Education for director approval before construction or renovations may begin.

For Child Care Centres:

Playground Safety: Under ss. 24(5) of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to develop a playground safety policy that reflects the Canadian Standards Association standard and indicates the roles and responsibilities of employees regarding safety on playgrounds.

For Child Care Centres:

Provision of Equipment Policy: Under s. 27 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees of home child care agencies are required to have written policies and procedures for the provision of equipment in each home child care premises.

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Outdoor Play Supervision Plan: Under s. 30 of O. Reg. 137/15, home child care licensees are required to ensure that outdoor play is supervised in accordance with plans agreed upon by the home child care provider in that premises, a parent of each child receiving child care at the premises and a home child care visitor.

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Bodies of Water: Under s. 30.1 of O. Reg. 137/15, home child care agency licensees who allow children who are six years old or older to use or have access to a standing or recreational body of water at a home child care premises must have written policies and procedures regarding children's use of and access to the body of water.

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Sanitary Practices: Under s. 33 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have policies and procedures with respect to sanitary practices.

For All Child Care Programs:

Sleep Policies and Supervision: Under ss. 33.1(2) of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have written policies and procedures with respect to sleep, and ensure that direct visual checks of sleeping children are performed and documented.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

For All Child Care Programs:

Accident Report: Under ss. 36(4) of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to make an accident report when a child receiving child care is injured.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Daily Written Record: Under ss. 37(1) of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to maintain a daily written record that includes a summary of any incident affecting the health, safety or well-being of children, staff, and home child care providers.

For All Child Care Programs:

Serious Occurrences: Under s. 38 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have written policies and procedures with respect to serious occurrences, that address, at a minimum, how to identify, respond to and report a serious occurrence.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Anaphylactic Policy: Under s. 39 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have an anaphylactic policy and an individualized plan and emergency procedures for each child with an anaphylactic allergy.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Children with Medical Needs: Under s. 39.1 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to develop and implement individualized plans for each child with medical needs.

For All Child Care Programs:

Administration of Drugs or Medications: Under s. 40 of O. Reg. 137/15, where a licensee agrees to the administration of drugs or medications, they are required to have a written procedure for the administration of any drug or medication and the keeping of records with respect to the administration of drugs and medications.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Menus: Under s. 43 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees of child care centres are required to post planned menus and meet specific requirements related to food and drink. Under ss. 43(4) of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees of home child care agencies are required to plan menus with home child care providers and parents of children.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Food Allergy and Restriction List: Under ss. 43(3) of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees of child care centres are required to post a list with names of children who have allergies or food restrictions and their respective allergens or restrictions.

For Child Care Centres:

Parent Handbook: Under ss. 45(1) of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have a parent handbook.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Parent Issues and Concerns: Under s. 45.1 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees of child care centres and home child care agencies are required to develop and implement policies and procedures that set out how parents' issues and concerns will be addressed. For All Child Care Programs:

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Program Statement: Under s. 46 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have a program statement that is consistent with the Minister's policy statement on programming and pedagogy issued under subsection 55(3) of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.

For All Child Care Programs:

Program Statement Implementation Policy: Under ss. 49 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have policies and procedures that set out the prohibited practices, the expectations for implementing the program statement, and the measures the licensee will use to deal with contraventions.

For All Child Care Programs:

Individualized Support Plan: Under s. 52 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have an up-to-date individualized support plan in place for each child with special needs.

For All Child Care Programs:

Staff Training and Development: Under s. 58 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have written policies and procedures with respect to staff training and development for child care centre employees, and for home child care visitors and providers.

For All Child Care Programs:

Staff Screening Measures and Criminal Reference Checks: O. Reg. 137/15 sets out requirements for licensees to obtain offence declarations and attestations from individuals providing care in child care centres, home child care agencies and home premises. Under s. 65 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have written policies and procedures regarding criminal reference checks.

For All Child Care Programs:

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Fire Safety: Under s. 68 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees of child care centres and home child care agencies are required to have written fire safety procedures and evacuation procedures.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Emergency Management: Under s. 68.1 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees of child care centres are required to develop and implement policies and procedures regarding the management of emergencies.

For Child Care Centres:

Emergency Telephone Numbers: Under s. 69 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have an up-to-date list of telephone numbers that is accessible in the event of an emergency.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Emergency Contact Information: Under s. 70 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to have emergency contact information for all children in care that is up-to-date and readily accessible in the event of an emergency.

For All Child Care Programs:

Children's Records: Under ss. 72(1), licensees are required to have applications for enrolment and other up-to-date records with information about each child receiving child care.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Attendance Record: Under ss. 72(3) of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees are required to keep a daily attendance record of each child receiving care, which shows the times of arrival and departure, as well as the absence of children.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Register of Homes: Under s. 74 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees of home child care agencies must have an up-to-date register that lists the addresses of each home child care premises.

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Agreements: Under s. 75(1) of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees of home child care agencies must have an agreement with each home child care provider.

For Home Child Care Agencies:

Waiting Lists: Under s. 75.1 of O. Reg. 137/15, licensees of child care centres or home child care agencies that establish or maintain a waiting list are required to develop and implement policies and procedures regarding waiting lists.

For Child Care Centres:

For Home Child Care Agencies: