Children's Services - Who to Contact
Children's Services will:
- Ensure our primary focus is the delivery of quality child care services that nurture the individual needs of the children.
- Recognize the right of all parents to make informed, supported decisions, by offering information about and access to a wide range of flexible service models and resources.
- Treat each family with respect and dignity recognizing the diversity of our community.
- Demonstrate commitment and leadership in the broader community through such things as training, professional development, participation on boards and committees.
Overview of the Subsidized Child Care System
Child care plays a key role in helping to promote healthy child development and helping children to reach their full potential. It is an essential support for many parents, helping them to participate in the workforce or pursue education or training.
The subsidized child care system is administered by Children’s Services staff providing child care fee subsidies to eligible parents. Eligibility is based primarily on the family’s income and the eligible hours of care as determined based on their employment or education schedule. Parents/guardians apply directly to Children’s Services for the child care fee subsidy (see Part V).
All child care programs wishing to provide subsidized care must enter into a purchase of service agreement with the City. These may include licensed child care programs, licensed home child care providers and recreation service providers.
Overview of the Quality Assurance Program (QAP)
A quality child care system has significantly greater capacity to meet the needs of children more effectively. The QAP is intended to support professional development opportunities that build the capacity of licensed child care operators, supervisors, program staff/caregivers, home child care providers and non-profit volunteer board members to support the provision of high quality programs for children 0 – 12. High quality child care programs are child-centred and provide environments and experiences to engage children in active, creative and meaningful exploration and learning.
Overview of the Special Needs Resourcing Program (SNR)
The City promotes an inclusive child care model by supporting a range of service options for families. SNR provides services and supports to licensed child care, recreation and home child care programs to promote the inclusion of all children, including those with special needs.
SNR Agencies are funded by the City to provide individual and specialized support that enables children with special needs to be fully included in child care programs. They are to work collaboratively with licensed child care programs to continually improve the overall quality of care for all children by supporting programs to implement effective practices.
Services and supports purchased through SNR funding are for children with special needs up to 18 years of age primarily in licensed child care centres and regulated private-home day care and for children with special needs ages 6 – 18 years in approved recreation programs.
Overview of the General Operating Fund
The purpose of the General Operating funding is to support the costs of operating licensed child care programs in order to reduce wait times and fees for services, stabilize service levels, and where funds allow, improve access to high quality affordable early learning and child care services for children and their families. Stabilizing child care fees, retaining qualified stable staffing and supporting quality programming were key considerations in the developing of the City’s General Operating Funding Formula.
Further information on child care regulations can be obtained through Ministry of Education at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca.