HOME BASED CHILDCARE
This package has been designed to assist you in organizing yourself and your home. As you
start your new business, as with anything, if you are well organized and knowledgeable, you
will enjoy greater success, as well as respect from the parents using your services.
The Ontario Early Years Centre Child Care Registry cannot guarantee the number of
children in your care. The Registry is merely another way for you to advertise your home
based childcare business. The Ontario Early Years Centre will not inspect, license or
supervise the home daycares. We can provide information on nutrition, health, safety,
first aid, child development, behaviour management, daycare activities and other pertinent
topics to the parents and caregivers, to assist and encourage good childcare. Please ask us
for resources you would find helpful.
A child care program is one that should be selected by the parent. As a Home Based
Childcare Provider, the onus is on you to design a stimulating, safe, nurturing environment
for the children in your care. Parents are best able to evaluate and choose childcare for
their own children because they know their family needs. The responsibility for selecting
and employing a childcare provider rests with the parent. We encourage parents to
carefully interview and check references before leaving their child in someone’s care.
Taking the time and energy to screen child care providers is an important part of selecting
a loving, quality environment for their child. You should be prepared for an in-depth
This package of information has been put together to help you design good care for
children and learn more about the various aspects of childcare as a business. It is to be
used in conjunction with, “A Child Care Guide for Home Caregivers”, a resource book that
you can borrow from The Ontario Early Years Centre’s Toy and Resource Lending Program.
INTERVIEWING & SELECTION INFORMATION
The following are guidelines only. This information will help you sort out the parameters of
the service you wish to offer. When agreeing to provide care for a child, remember; be
realistic as well as careful.
Identify your needs:
What are my needs?
What are my families’ needs?
What hours will I provide care?
What will my fee schedule be?
Will I use all or part of my home?
What kind of child care program do I want to have?
What are the child(ren)’s needs? (Do they need structure, routines, or other children to
Will I provide care for children with special needs? (ie. emotional, physical or intellectual).
GUIDELINES FOR QUALITY CHILDCARE SERVICES
What is “Good” childcare?
This is a very subjective question. It depends on your values and needs. There are several
approaches to Home Based Childcare. Many providers give care, which closely resembles
the care given in the child’s home. The day’s events usually consist of such normal
activities as playing, eating and napping. Other providers plan a more structured program,
somewhat like a nursery school or daycare centre. There is no better or right way, either
style can be a positive experience. It is up to the parent to decide what suits the child.
Because family daycare is given in the home, it can take on a more intimate quality. A
parent, in fact, is choosing more than just a provider.
The parent is also accepting the home atmosphere, other family members and the
neighborhood environment. That does not mean the provider and parents need to have
identical values and parenting styles. Differences can be complimentary. Other factors
such as group size, physical setting or discipline can assist parents and providers with
making a workable childcare match.
Good Daycare includes the following:
A caregiver who is interested in the well-being of children. Someone who provides warm,
loving care and guidance for children. It is someone who works with the child and family to
make sure each child grows and learns.
A setting that keeps your child safe, secure and healthy.
Activities that help children grow mentally, physically, socially and emotionally
A childcare provider who will keep the parent informed and maintain family involvement in
the child’s daily program.
It is important to have a written agreement between parent and caregiver. An agreement
is a way to make sure that both parties agree on what they expect from each other. They
can also prevent problems because responsibilities are discussed before the childcare
begins, not when issues arise later. Caregivers are encouraged to use a signed agreement.
To keep things simple but clear, the agreement should contain the following items:
1. The name of both parties involved
2. Time and place of employment (date employment begins and hours of care –
vacations & days off should be stated)
3. A statement of termination notice. What is the notice required when either party
would like to terminate the agreement?
4. Fee, rate of pay and schedule (i.e. every week or month) will there be a charge for
late pick-up? Are holding fees expected if the child does not attend when
scheduled, or for statutory holidays?
5. What will the caregiver provide (i.e. meals, snacks) What will the parent provide
6. What are the medication, illness and absentee policies? What happens if the child
is sick or needs to receive medicine? Does the caregiver charge if the child does
not attend home daycare?
7. Who will pick up the child from the providers’ home? If the parent is separated
from his/her spouse, does the other spouse have permission to contact the child at
the daycare home?
There are many other things that could be included, according to your needs. A contract
should be agreed upon by both parties; parents and provider, signed by both and dated.
Each party should keep a copy.
What is your fee schedule?
Rate - a) How (cash, cheque)
b) When (weekly, monthly)
Do you charge a late fee if parents are late picking children up or paying?
Will you issue a receipt? (It is to your advantage to give a receipt for income tax purposes)
Do you require payment if the child does not come on a scheduled day?
How much notice do you require if the child cannot attend?
How many children do you care for regularly? (It is illegal for one person to care for more
than five children under the age of ten years at any one time)
What other adults will be present during the day?
Who will care for the children if you are unable to, because of illness, vacation or
It is important to set rules with children so they know what they can and can’t touch, and
what they can and can’t do. What arrangements have you made for safety in your home?
A Safety Checklist is included in this package and can be used as a convenient tool to
assess and monitor the safety in your Home Daycare. (Add safety checklist items specific
to your home)
This can be a paper that is prepared in advance with specific headings for the parent and
caregiver to complete. Put down things that you would find helpful in knowing such as:
what the child has eaten through the day and how much, toileting routines, length of nap
and time, the child’s mood upon waking; activities, outdoor play and outings through the
day; and any provider comments or concerns, parent comments or special instructions.
The same information may be collected through a “Daily Log” book, that is a simple
notebook, completed in the same manner, and is passed back and forth from parent to
Any good working relationship requires communication to keep things operating smoothly.
Inquiries at drop off and pick up time can keep parents informed of their child’s day.
Regularly scheduled discussions, without the children under foot, will allow more in depth
conversation about all aspects of the child’s development and the details of the business
arrangements. Encourage parents to discuss any concerns or problems with you as soon as
From time to time, parents may wish to drop into your Home Daycare unannounced. During
the initial interview with parents, discuss your policy surrounding unannounced visits. This
can reassure parents that the children are receiving quality care. The child may become
upset when a parent tries to leave after a surprise visit. You may request that parents are
welcome to make an un-scheduled visit but if the child becomes over anxious, you would
prefer that the child leave with the parent.
Posted by every telephone
the number for:
Police Department Poison Control Fire Department
Doctor Ambulance Daycare Parents
Hospital Emergency Backup
In working order:
fire extinguisher radio with batteries flashlights
emergency evacuation plan
fire severe weather serious accident
medicines guns and ammunition razors, scissors, knives
freezers cleaning supplies Toxic substances
matches, lighters Gates window screens
screen doors Alcohol Patio doors
Up and Out of Reach:
perfumes, aftershave nail polish and remover poisonous plants
make up window blind cords crib mobiles
purses, diaper bags, tote bags portable heaters
electrical outlets diaper pails Sharp furniture corners
water tables wood stoves garbage containers
adult & child handrails Uncluttered well lit
Hot Water Tank:
water temperature below 49C nothing sitting on top not accessible to children
toys for loose or broken parts Car seats crib slides, latches &
toys & equipment disinfected
weekly riding toys
all equipment paint for chips climbers
gate locks Fences shelves secure
floors for small objects pins, needles, glass, plastic bags
shed/garbage locked pails empty after use
mats and rugs secured
What is it? Physical, emotional and sexual maltreatment of a child.
Physical - actively hurting or failing to take proper care of a child
Emotional - depriving a child of affection, acceptance, habitually humiliating a child,
verbal abuse – child constantly hears “You’re no good”.
Sexual - ranges from touching a child (genitals) to actual sexual relations with a child
– very often a relative or a friend.
How do you detect it?
- child malnourished, dirty, inappropriately clothed, frequently overtired
- bruises, cuts, burns on body
- sudden reluctance to go somewhere or be with someone
- inappropriate displays of affection or explicit sexual acts
- abused infants exhibit what is described as “frozen watchfulness”
- sudden use of sexual terms or new names of parts of the body
- regressive behaviour (thumb sucking, bed wetting)
- sleep problems, insomnia, and nightmares
- extreme clinginess or other signs of fearfulness
- depression or withdrawal
- a sudden change in personality
- problems in school
How can you prevent it? - Educate your child
1. Differences between good and bad touching
2. Your body belongs to you
You have the right to say who touches you and how
If someone touches you in a way that you don’t like, it’s OK to say NO
If a person doesn’t stop, you say, “I’m going to tell” then tell no matter what!
Don’t agree to keep a secret
Believe that someone you trust will listen and believe you
Don’t believe threats
3. Children must have permission to speak up and know they will be believed and
supported by the adults in their lives.
4. Monitor your child’s day
- be interested in what they did
- talk with them and listen
5. Ask questions
- What did you do today?
- Did anything special happen?
- Did you take a nap?
- What did you have for lunch?
If your child tells you about something they didn’t like or that made them feel bad
Ask: “What does __________ do”?
“What did he/she say?”
“How did you feel when ________?’
“What upset you?”
SAMPLE CAREGIVER’S INFORMATION GUIDE
Parent’s Name: Mother: __________________________ Father:_________________________
Phone: Home: ____________________________ Business: ____________________________
Place of Employment: Mother: ____________________ Father: _________________________
Who to contact in case of emergency (if parents can’t be reached)
_________________________________________ Phone: ____________________________
Doctor: ___________________________________ Phone: _____________________________
Child’s Health Card Number: _____________________________________________________
Medical Concerns: ______________________________________________________________
Allergic Reaction Symptoms: _____________________________________________________
Other Relevant Information: ______________________________________________________
Immunization Record: ___________________________________________________________
Has the child had: Chicken Pox _______ German Measles _______
Measles _______ Mumps _______
Whooping Cough _______ Other _______
Is your child prone to: Ear Aches _______ Sore Throats _______
Head Aches _______ Stomach upsets _______
Colds _______ Other _______
Authorized person who may pick child up, and relationship to child: ______________________
Hours of care agreed upon: _______________________________________________________
Fee agreed upon: _______________________ Date of proposed review ___________________
_________________________ _________________________ __________________
Caregiver Signature Parent Signature Date
SAMPLE DAILY SUMMARY
Date 8:00 a.m. Arrival time – provider greets
Parent Info children & parents, does a visual
Evening? health check
Mood? encourages children to undress
Provider Info free play time
Breakfast 9:00 a.m. Creative activities – may include
paints, playdough, pasting etc.
A.M. Nap crafts should be offered 2-3 times
9:30 a.m. Clean up – a reminder is given
A.M. Snack ahead of time
-children & provider work together
Activities 9:40 a.m. Circle Time – stories, singing,
fingerplays can be a more
structured circle time
Lunch 9:55 a.m. Diapering/toileting – children
wash hands when done
10:00 a.m. Snack – children assist with
P.M. Nap snack set up and clean up
10:15 a.m. Outdoor time – children are
P.M. Snack encouraged to self dress
11:30 a.m. Inside – children encouraged to
Activities 12:00 p.m. Wash hands and face for lunch
12:10 p.m. Lunch – brush teeth-
Diaper Changes diapering/toileting
– hand washing
12:45 p.m. Story time
Comments or 1:00 p.m. Nap or quiet time
Concerns 3:00 p.m. Diapering/toileting
– wash hands
3:10 p.m. Snack
3:15 p.m. Outdoor time
4:15 p.m. Inside – free play with toys until
What Should I Expect To Charge For Child Care In Chatham-Kent??
Average daily fees for Home Based Child Care
Infant: $24-25/day average rate: $25
Toddler: $24-25/day average rate: $25
Preschool: $24-25/day average rate: $25
School-age: $24-25/day average rate: $25
One question that is asked often is "How many children may I provide for in my
Lee Dunster explains the regulations very well in her book
"Family Day Care: A Caregiver's Guide" -pg.35
"The number of children that you may care for is determined by the
Province of Ontario’s Day Nurseries Act and by local by-laws. Under
the Day Nurseries Act, you may provide care to five children ten years
of age and under per household, no matter how many adults are involved
in providing the care.
This does not prevent you from providing care for more than five day
care children if some of them are part-time. However, no more than
five day care children may be on the premises or in your care at the
same time. Once a child reaches his/her eleventh birthday, he/she is no
longer included in the total of five day care children.
Your children, regardless of their age, are not counted in the total of
five children if you are working privately. However, if you are working
with a private home day care agency, your own children under the age
of six may be counted in the total of children.
Also, when working with a day care agency, there should be no more
than two children under the age of two years and no more than three
children under the age of three in your care at any time."
For more information go to Day Nurseries Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. D.2 If you have questions, please
call the Resource Coordinator @ (519) 358-1451 ext. 203
Caregiver Education and Support Group
The Caregiver Education and Support Group is an event that we
hold every other month at the Ontario Early Years Hub. It is an
opportunity for Home Child Care Providers to get together and
network with other Home Child Care Providers from their
community as well as take part in professional development.
Canadian Child Care Federation
Child & Family Canada
Canadian Health Network
I Am Your Child foundation
Child Care Canada
Daycare Provider's Homepage
Child Care Resource
Child Care Parent Provider Information Network