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Child Care and Children's Programs

Suggestions when choosing a child-care centre

Do not be afraid to ask questions.

  1. Ask to see the centre's license and make sure that it is up-to-date.
  2. Ask about the qualifications of the staff and the staff/child ratio. Do a count yourself to make sure. Observe the interactions between the children and the staff. Are they warm and nurturing? Is there a relaxed and flexible atmosphere?
  3. Talk to the staff about their methods of behaviour management. Are you comfortable with them?
  4. Check to see whether there is a variety of toys and equipment. Are they safe, well-maintained and appropriate for the age of the children using them?
  5. Look at the weekly menu to ensure that the meals are wholesome and nutritious. Is the kitchen clean and hygienic?
  6. What are the hours of operation?

Some centres employ all qualified staff. However, the “Child Care and Early Years Act” states there must be a ratio of:

  • One staff to three children under 18 months of age (group size 10).
  • One staff to five children between 18 and 30 months of age (group size 15).
  • One staff to eight children between 31 months and five years of age (group size 16).
  • One staff to 13 children more than five years of age and less than six years (group size 26).
  • One staff to 15 children between six years of age and 12 years (group size 30).
  • One staff to 20 children between 9 years or older but younger than 13 years (group size 20).

Note: One trained staff person must be employed for each group of children.