Changes to Ontario Childcare Regulation in 2021: What You Need to Know

As of March 8th, 2021, new changes have come into effect for Ontario’s Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA). There are some important changes that every childcare provider should be aware of, and we’ve summarized some key points for your convenience. Let’s take a closer look at what this means for the policies in general, what changes centres can expect to see, and how HiMama is here to help! 

1. Important changes to record-keeping and written reports

  • Centres can now keep records in digital-only formats! This is HUGE  – many centres currently maintain both hard copies and electronic copies for licensing, which means double the work, significant printing costs (an average of $1800 a centre!), needing to fuss about binder storage and organization, and more. This important change now allows centres to have an exclusively digital format of documentation for the vast majority of daily records and communications with families.  The only exceptions where hard copies are also required are reports of serious occurrences, fire procedures, menus, allergy information,  etc. 
  • Centres now have clearer regulations on attendance tracking per classroom, as well as daily reports of incident reporting.

    If you’re looking to move away from tons of paperwork, this regulatory change is perfect timing, and we’re here to help! HiMama is the most popular childcare app in Ontario, bringing all that dreaded paperwork into one easy-to-use digital app that families, teachers, and directors all love. HiMama is made in Canada, proudly based in Ontario, and works perfectly with Ontario’s ELECT and How Does Learning Happen frameworks :).

2. Flexible options for families and providers

  • Centres can now operate under current age groupings or opt for alternative age groupings.  To opt for alternative age groupings, centres need to first get relicensed and notify parents of the changes to ratios. 
  • The “3-hour” rule has now been removed for specified authorized recreation programs, allow for more before and aftercare. 
  • Clearer direction on which recreation programs require child care licenses.

3. Updated qualifications for staffing 

  • Non-ECE diplomas and certifications can now be considered “qualified staff.” 
  • Non-ECEs can occupy ECE positions in short-term supply situations. 
  • Multi-site approvals so staff can move from one location to another as needed.
  • Supervisors can be hired with 2 years of experience from any type of childhood program.

4. Requirements for inclusion of children with special needs

  • Clearer policies regarding special needs resourcing.

5. Supporting Indigenous-led and culturally responsive programming

  • A new focus on promoting better alignment with indigenous history and culture. 
  • More frequent and regular forums with Indigenous partners.

We’re here to help you navigate all of these policy updates! 

This move towards digital recordkeeping is a game-changer for many Ontario centres, and we’d love to help. Centres all across Ontario are already using HiMama to improve the quality of their program by going digital. Using a digital childcare app is not only cost-effective, it frees your staff to focus on the children, not the paperwork – and with these new regulatory changes in Ontario, there are even more compelling reasons to go digital

Book a free consultation to see how HiMama can improve your communications, administration, and more!

Ria Reive

Ria Reive in the Community Ambassador at HiMama. Prior to starting at HiMama, Ria was an Early Childhood Educator and worked 6 years in the classroom. She taught all ages but mainly preschoolers. Ria lives in Toronto with her husband. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her niece and nephew and being on the water.

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