All Licensees Webinar

Shannon
[00:00:04]

Hello and welcome to the ministry of Education's webinar on child care modernization and Phase 2 regulations. The purpose of this webinar is to provide clarity to licensees and our early years partners on new requirements under the Child Care and Early Years Act, the Education Act and relevant regulations.

My name is Shannon Fuller and I'm the Director of the Child Care Policy and Program Branch with the Early Years Division of the ministry of Education. With me today is Holly Moran, the Director of Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing Branch.

This is an exciting time for child care and early years programs in Ontario and Holly and I are honoured to have the opportunity to walk viewers through some of the key areas of the legislation and regulations.

As you know, for a number of years, the government has been working to transform child care in Ontario to better reflect the realities of our modern world. Our overarching goal is to build a child care and early years system that supports parents and gives children the best possible start in life.

The ministry has been consulting with the child care and early years sector since 2009 to help develop this modernization plan. Your feedback was instrumental in the development of the new Act and regulations.

As you know, the Child Care and Early Years Act replaced the Day Nurseries Act as the legislation which governs child care in Ontario. The Act came into effect on August 31, 2015, as did Ontario General Regulation 137 /15 which provides the licensing standards that home child care agencies and child care centres are required to follow. The ministry is implementing regulations in a phased approach to allow the sector time to transition.

Many regulations under the Day Nurseries Act were carried over under the new Act as part of Phase 1. In February 2016, proposed Phase 2 regulatory changes were posted online for 60 days for public feedback. This posting and the Phase 2 regulations focused on 8 key areas:

o Service system management and funding
o Licensing clarity
o Enforcement
o Tiered Licensing
o Licensing standards
o Licensing fees; and
o Before and After School Programs for children 6 to12 years old.

We had an incredible response from our sector on the proposed regulatory changes. The ministry listened to the concerns raised through the regulatory posting and developed regulations that are reflective of sector feedback.

It is important to note that Phase 2 regulatory changes, including a number of health and safety requirements that impact home child care agencies and child care centres, have a range of implementation dates. The reason the ministry imbedded this range within regulations was to provide the sector with the time needed to come into compliance. The ministry expects that licensees will be in compliance with the new requirements by the date in which each requirement is implemented.

During this webinar, as we walk through both the legislative and regulatory requirements that impact child care licensees and other early years partners we will note the effective dates of the requirements and will also post a list of these implementation dates in the frequently asked questions section of the Ministry website.

Now I am going to hand things over to Holly to talk about the new health and safety requirements in the child care regulations.

Holly
[00:03:51]

To begin, health and safety standards were a key area of focus in the most recent phase of regulatory changes. The intent was two-fold: to move existing policy requirements into regulations in order to ensure consistency and transparency; and to reflect current research and best practices to ensure the safety and well-being of children.

The first area I'd like to talk about is sleep safety.

We received a lot of feedback about one of the sleep safety provisions we proposed on the online regulatory registry. The proposal required that a staff person be present whenever there were 3 or more children aged 0-18 months in a separate sleep area or room. Many of you felt that this would be difficult to operationalize and that it would not in fact, result in better outcomes for children. In response to your feedback we did not proceed with this change.

However, we did move forward with other changes related to sleep. You will find that Ontario Regulation 137/15 now includes, for the first time, requirements regarding sleep supervision and sleep position for children up to 12 months old. These requirements come into effect on August 29, 2016.

With regards to sleep supervision, an employee of the centre must periodically perform a direct visual check of each sleeping child and there must be sufficient light in the sleeping area or room to conduct these direct visual checks. This same responsibility applies at the premises where an agency oversees the provision of home child care. In addition, electronic sleep monitoring devices must be checked on a regular basis to make sure they work and they must be actively monitored at all times. That said, monitors are not to replace the direct visual checks of sleeping children.

Licensees must have written policies and procedures around sleep supervision that capture these and additional, related new requirements. (TAKE 2)

Regarding sleep position, the new regulation requires licensees to ensure that children aged 0-12 months are placed for sleep in a manner consistent with recommendations set out in the most current version of the Joint Statement on Safe Sleep: Preventing Sudden Infant Deaths in Canada, a document endorsed by Health Canada. This means that children up to their first birthday must be placed on their backs for sleep. This has been Health Canada's recommendation since 1993, as a means to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Parents must be advised of this requirement, and it can only be waived if a note from a medical doctor is submitted to the licensee and kept in the child's record.

To allow for more flexibility in homes overseen by licensed home child care agencies, the regulation related to furnishing and equipment was amended to add an allowance for director approval for alternate arrangements, such as permitting the use of a mat for sleep. This amendment will come into effect on August 29, 2016. There is more about this and other regulatory changes specifically impacting home child care agencies in our home child care agency webinar. You can find that webinar on the same website where you found the link for this webinar.

I'm now going to hand things back to Shannon so that she can tell you about the new requirements regarding the posting of allergy information and requirements for children with medical conditions.

Shannon
[00:07:38]

As you know, food and play materials may contain allergens which is why the ministry now requires centres to post allergy lists in play areas or rooms where children may be present. This amended requirement comes into effect on August 29, 2016 and is in addition to the existing requirement for the posting of allergies in food preparation and serving areas.

To support the health, safety, and well-being of children with medical needs, beginning on September 1, 2017, every licensee will be required to develop an individualized plan for each child with medical needs in consultation with a parent of the child and with any regulated health professional who is involved in the child's health care and who, in the opinion of the parent, should be included in the consultation. Medical needs could include chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, seizure disorders such as
epilepsy, or acute conditions such as concussions.

The plan must include:
• steps to be followed to reduce the risk of the child being exposed to substances or situations that may exacerbate a medical condition or cause an allergic reaction or other medical emergency;
• a description of any medical devices used by the child and any instructions related to their use;
• a description of the procedures to be followed in the event of an allergic reaction or other medical emergency;
• a description of the supports that will be made available to the child; and
• any procedures to be followed during an evacuation or field trip.

The existing requirements related to children with anaphylaxis remain in place.

However, if a child has anaphylaxis and another medical condition, as of September 1, 2017, two plans will be needed, one to address each of the conditions present. These plans could be combined into a single document; however, the licensee must ensure that all required information for each plan is included in that document.

Moving along to immunization, there were no changes to the current requirements around immunization of adults in licensed child care or children as recommended by the local medical officer of health. However, the requirements related to immunization exemptions were amended to align with what is currently required in schools.

As of August 29th, 2016, when exemptions from immunization requirements are being sought, a standardized, ministry-issued form must be completed.

Depending on whether the exemption is for religious or conscience grounds or medical grounds, one of two ministry forms must be filled out. Forms completed on the basis of religious or conscience grounds will need be sworn or affirmed before a "commissioner for taking affidavits". This could be a justice of the peace, or a lawyer, for example. Both the parent of the child or the adult seeking the exemption and the commissioner would be required to sign the ministry form. Individuals can locate a commissioner for taking affidavits by consulting their local business directory or the Ministry of Attorney General's website .

As mentioned, the changes related to obtaining an exemption from immunization will come into effect on August 29, 2016 for new child care centre staff, new home child care providers and any newly enrolled children.

Licensees who already have exemptions on file for existing staff, home child care providers, and children already enrolled will have until September 1, 2017 to replace any exemptions already on file with the ministry form. You can find more information including links to the new standardized forms on the ministry website.

We have also made small adjustments to the existing regulation on First Aid Certification.

First, in response to feedback from the sector, the ministry re-evaluated the requirement that all employees of a child care centre must have valid certification in standard first aid, including infant and child CPR, and narrowed the requirement so that now it only applies to supervisors and employees at the child care centre who are counted towards meeting ministry ratio requirements. This requirement also includes all volunteer parents, such as duty parents at co-operative child care centres who are counted towards ratio requirements in the centre.

However, administrative staff, custodians and other staff who are not counted for the purposes of meeting ministry ratios do not have to meet the first aid certification requirements. Volunteers and students, who play an important role in supporting educators and staff in the daily operation of licensed child care programs, are not counted in ratios for child care centres and are not required to have standard first aid training. This is because volunteers and students are prohibited from having unsupervised access to children in licensed child care programs. m

In 2011, the ministry implemented a Child Care Supervision Policy for Volunteers and Students to help ensure staff members are always present with children to meet ratio requirements and respond in the case of an emergency. The ministry has also embedded this policy in regulation in order to strengthen oversight of this requirement.

The second amendment to the existing regulation is the allowance for a training program to be "otherwise approved by a director". This allowance is being removed from regulation to align with practices in other sectors and reflect current legislation around training in first aid. All training programs will now need to be approved by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board which maintains a list of approved providers on its website.

Third, there is a new provision which sets out that if the licensing manager is satisfied, a person who would not be able to obtain certification due to a disability, may be exempted from the first aid certification requirement in the regulation.

These changes come into effect on August 29, 2016.

Holly will now walk us through the new regulations regarding child care centres and emergency planning, as well as amendments to prohibited practices.

Holly
[00:15:18]

To minimize risks and to help prevent harm to children in care, it is important that licensees be prepared in the event of an emergency. The regulation defines an emergency as an urgent situation in which immediate action is required to ensure the safety of children and adults in the child care centre such as a fire, flood, intruder, or other major incident.

Beginning on September 1, 2017, licensees of child centres will need to develop policies and procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency. As you can see from the list on your screen these plans must:
• set out the roles and responsibilities of staff;
• require that additional support, including consideration of special medical needs, be provided in respect of any child or adult who needs it;
• identify the location of a safe and appropriate off-site meeting place, in case of evacuation;
• set out the procedures that will be followed to ensure children's safety and maintain appropriate levels of supervision;
• set out requirements regarding communication with parents;
• set out requirements regarding contacting appropriate local emergency response agencies; and
• address recovery from an emergency, meaning the plan to debrief staff, children and parents following an incident and key next steps.

If the licensee is already subject to requirements for emergency management plans or captured under any other legislated federal, provincial, or municipal requirements for emergency management plans, than the licensee will not be subject to the new requirements.

We are also introducing new provisions related to prohibited practices. It is now a prohibited practice to threaten children or expose children to derogatory language. Children cannot be deprived of basic needs, such as access to sleep, drinks or a toilet. Also, any action taken against a child that could result in bodily harm is a prohibited practice. This includes feeding children against their will.

These changes were made to address the health, safety, and well-being of children and to bring Ontario's standards in line with other North American jurisdictions and will come into effect on August 29th, 2016.

To further support the safety of children in care the ministry has added a new requirement regarding home child care and prohibiting access to bodies of water for children under six. For more information on this regulation, please see the ministry's website or watch the webinar for Licensed Home Child Care Agencies. Additional guidance and best practices related to swimming and water safety will be included in the ministry's licensing manuals.

Before I hand things back to Shannon, I also wanted to flag that the definition of "serious occurrence" has been narrowed to provide the sector with clarity on what constitutes a serious occurrence. That revised definition is now on your screen.

Reporting requirements have been clarified so that now the 24 hour window for reporting is linked to when the licensee or supervisor learns of the incident. Licensees must also conduct an annual analysis of all serious occurrences and maintain a record of actions taken in response to the analysis.

Finally, the August 2009 serious occurrence policy will no longer apply to licensed child care programs once the new regulations relating to serious occurrences come into effect on August 29, 2016.

Please refer to the Child Care Licensing Manual found on the Child Care Licensing Portal - for more information on requirements related to serious occurrences.

Shannon
[00:19:40]

With respect to the ministry's oversight and enforcement of contraventions of the Act and regulations, new administrative penalty amounts have been allocated for contraventions of provisions related to exceeding permitted number of children on site, serious occurrence reporting and the administration of medications. The table of regulated administrative penalties is posted in the Enforcement Fact Sheet available on the ministry's website and is also outlined in Ontario Regulation 137/15.

Anyone who is issued an administrative penalty has up to 30 days to pay the penalty amount and up to 15 days to request a review of the notice of administrative penalty by a senior designated employee of the ministry. It is important to note that the ministry will take a progressive approach to enforcement, by providing clarity to providers, staff and licensees on the rules of the new legislation and regulations where appropriate. This clarity may be provided by ministry Program Advisors or Investigators.

In addition to expanding the list of contraventions that may be issued an administrative penalty, the ministry has also broadened the list of offences under the Act. The ministry has added new offences related to prohibited practices and the requirement for children to be supervised at all times. Those found committing an offence may be prosecuted by the ministry. Again, the intent of broadening the ministry's enforcement tools is to protect the health and safety of children and to ensure that the ministry can respond appropriately to the most egregious offenders. For more details on the new offences and administrative penalties, please see Ontario Regulation 137/15.

And now it's time for Holly to share details on the province's modernized approach to licensing.

Holly
[00:21:45]

I am pleased to tell you about an exciting change we've made to to expand the maximum term of a license from one to two years. This change will allow the ministry to take a new progressive approach to licensing and enhance the responsiveness and effectiveness of our licensing practices. We are calling this initiative tiered licensing.

Although the term of the license is the only related change that has been made to the regulations, as I know this is an initiative of great interest, I want to take a bit of time here to share this new approach.

Let me start off by explaining why we are moving forward with this new approach.
For years, we have heard that our inspection checklist, which has 300 requirements, is too cumbersome. It includes many administrative items and leaves little room during inspections for the important conversations you want to have with your program advisor about pedagogy and program approaches.

Our new tiered licensing approach will allow us to focus our licensing resources on working with those centres that are struggling to achieve and maintain compliance. It will also free up more time during inspections for program conversations for centres that are consistently compliant.

When we proposed the tiered licensing approach on the regulatory registry, we received positive feedback from across Ontario's child care sector. You told us that you wanted to spend less time on administrative requirements and more time having dedicated conversations with your program advisor about children's learning.

So here is how tiered licensing is going to work:

Beginning on August 29, 2016, centres that have been licensed for three years or more will be assigned to Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 at their next licence renewal based on their compliance history.

Each centre's tier will be determined by the Child Care Licensing System, and will be visible to licensees in CCLS.

How we determine each centre's tier will be based on licensing data from three years prior to the licence expiry date and will take into consideration:
• non-compliances - including the number of non-compliances and their risk level;
• whether provisional licences have been issued; and
• whether enforcement actions (for example, licence suspensions, compliance orders, and administrative penalties) have been issued.

The slide on your screen outlines the detailed eligibility criteria for each tier. This information is available in the Tiered Licensing Policy Memorandum sent on May 9th and posted on the Ministry of Education website.

A centre's tier level will determine the type of inspection the ministry will conduct, as well as the duration of the licence that may be issued.

Tier 1 centres will have an abbreviated renewal inspection and based on the results, may be issued a licence for up to the maximum of two years.

Ministry staff will conduct an interim monitoring inspection during the licensed period to review compliance with licensing requirements and provide support for program quality.

Tier 2 centres will have an abbreviated inspection and may continue to receive a licence with a term of one year or less.

Tier 3 centres will continue to have a full renewal inspection and may continue to receive a licence with a term of one year or less.

The ministry will also conduct additional compliance monitoring during the licensed period for Tier 3 centres to provide additional support for achieving and maintaining compliance.

You might be asking yourself, what's an abbreviated inspection?

Well, an abbreviated inspection is a shortened checklist of licensing requirements. It includes:
• requirements that have been rated by ministry staff and by a sample of child care licensees, supervisors and Consolidated Municipal Service Managers from across the province as being of the highest risk to children's health, safety and well-being;
• requirements that predict overall compliance based on an established statistical methodology; and
• requirements that have been newly introduced as a result of regulatory changes under the Child Care and Early Years Act.

The abbreviated checklist will also include a unique random sample of requirements that do not fall into the categories I just mentioned.

Where a non-compliance is observed using the abbreviated inspection checklist, the checklist will automatically expand to include additional related requirements.

In the winter of 2015, the ministry trialed the abbreviated inspection process in 57 centres across the province to identify what works well and what needs to be improved before implementation. We were pleased to find that:
• The new abbreviated inspection tool is statistically valid when compared against the full checklist;
• where the centre demonstrated high compliance on the day of the inspection, there was more time for program observations and conversations; and
• Our new I&IT system worked well and could seamlessly accommodate expansions to abbreviated inspections where non-compliances were observed.

These results are very encouraging and we look forward to working together with you as we implement tiered licensing province-wide in August 2016.


As part of the Phase 2 changes, to further strengthen and clarify their partnership, service system managers must now update their service plans every five years and make them publicly available. In addition, these plans must reflect the provincial interest which includes strong and sustainable partnerships. Service system managers will have until January 2019 to establish new plans and the ministry will be issuing a policy to support this work.

We have also updated our funding regulation to reflect the province's modernized funding formula and framework.
And, as you may be aware, as part of Phase 2 we have increased child care licensing fees for the first time in over 20 years.

These new child care licensing fees will go into effect July 1, 2016---which means you will be required to pay the new fees as of this date. Fees will range from $200 to $450 for a new licence and from $100 to $230 for renewals based on licensed capacity.

Now, moving on to ratios and age groupings, which I know is of great interest for many.


Shannon
[00:29:00]

As most of you have probably heard, there is a new optional approach to age groupings and ratios which will come into effect September 1, 2017.

Under the new approach, licensees will have the option of continuing to operate under the current ratio requirements set out in Schedule 1 or applying to adopt the new option, which will be referred to as Schedule 2 as of September 1, 2017.

The new optional approach to age groupings and ratios will be implemented in licensed child care centres through a pilot with interested licensees who will be approved based on set criteria.

A comprehensive research and evaluation framework will be designed to measure the impact of the new approach and contribute to the broader knowledge-base on different age grouping and ratio models. The ministry will continue to work with the sector to advance this important work. Additional information regarding the process and timelines for licensees to apply for Schedule 2 will be communicated in the coming months.

You will see the new Schedule 2 in the table on your screen.

Under Schedule 2, there is now a new combined infant/toddler group for children aged 0-24 months with a maximum group size of 12 children.

The staff to child ratio for this age group is 1:3 for children under 12 months and 1:4 for children 12 months to younger than 24 months. The proportion of qualified staff required for the infant/toddler group is 2 out of 3, unless otherwise approved by the Ministry.

The preschool group is also different under Schedule 2, and includes children 24 months to younger than 5 years with a maximum group size 24. The ratio for the preschool group is 1 to 8, however an additional staff person is required when there are 4 or more children younger than 30 months. Qualified staff requirements are also 2 out of every 3 staff, unless otherwise approved by the ministry.

Although there are new staffing requirements that increase the proportion of qualified staff under Schedule 2, centres licensed prior to September 1, 2017 may continue to operate with existing staff. The new qualification requirements would only kick in once staff have left and the position is refilled.

The key benefit with this schedule is that it enables licensees to increase access to spaces for younger infants. Centres will have flexibility to enrol children from a wider range of ages allowing these centres to remain responsive to local need. For example, a centre would have the flexibility to open spaces for children under 12 months that are not available under Schedule 1. This also has the added benefit of reducing the number of transitions for these children.

It is important to note that centres will only be licensed for either Schedule 1 (the existing approach) or Schedule 2 (the new optional approach) - not both at the same time. More information on when licensees can begin to submit requests for revisions will be communicated in the coming months.

To support implementation of Schedule 2, there will be additional changes to align with other areas of the regulation. For example:

For the new infant/toddler age grouping under Schedule 2, reduced ratios will not be permitted for children under 12 months.

Mixed-age groupings may be approved in programs licensed under Schedule 2.

For the new infant/toddler group, if no more than 20 per cent of the children are 10 months or older but younger than 12 months, then a 1:4 ratio applies.

For preschool, kindergarten, primary/junior and junior school age programs, mixed age requirements pertaining to Schedule 1 also apply to Schedule 2.

In addition, effective September 1, 2017 a new family age grouping option will be available for child care licensees. The family age grouping will permit the placement of up to 15 children from different ages (0-12 years of age) together in the same play activity room.

This will be available to centres licensed under Schedules 1 or 2 or as the only age grouping in a centre. This licensed age group is a dedicated program and is not intended to be used as a temporary group.

More information on this option is available in the Family Age Group fact sheet on the ministry website.

Also, to provide licensees with greater flexibility, as of August 29, 2016, approval may be granted by the ministry to licensees who wish to have mixed age groupings in more than one room in a centre.

Space requirements will remain the same. Programs are required to have at least 2.8 square metres of unobstructed floor space for each child in a licensed infant, infant/toddler or preschool group based on the licensed capacity.

However, there are some exceptions to support licensees who wish to convert to an infant/toddler group under Schedule 2. Licensees can use their existing space provided there is no less than 2.33 square metres per child. This exception will remain in place unless the space is renovated for any reason other than creating a separate sleep area, or if the program is relocated. Further, a space requirement of no less than 2.33 square metres per child will also be permitted for school board projects in certain cases.

In terms of sleep arrangements, all centres are required to have cribs or cradles for children younger than 12 months, and cribs or cots available for children who are 12 to 24 months, with decisions about sleep arrangements made in discussion with parents of the child and reflected in written instructions from the parent.

A separate sleep area is required for children in the infant/toddler group if cribs or cradles are required. However, this does not necessarily mean a separate room; rather this could be a designated area for cribs or cradles that is separated from the rest of the play activity room, allowing for the varied sleep schedules of children in the group.

We understand that this is a lot of new information on our new option for age grouping and ratios. To further support your understanding the ministry has developed a comprehensive fact sheet on age groupings, ratios and staff qualifications which can be found on the website and as mentioned more information on Schedule 2 and the application process will be provided in the coming months.
Moving on, there are a number of other changes that impact licensed child care centres.
For instance, for full day programs, reduced ratios are now permitted up to 90 minutes after the centre opens and for one hour before the centre closes and will continue to be permitted during rest periods. For programs that operate less than six hours, reduced ratios are permitted for up to half an hour after the centre opens and half an hour before the centre closes.

There are no reduced ratios permitted during outdoor time for any age group, which is consistent with current policy.

We have also created more flexibility for the qualifications required for individuals working in programs serving children 9-12 years old. Now these staff may have:
o a degree or diploma in child and youth care
o a degree or diploma in recreation and leisure services; or
o be members in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers.

This allows those with a wider range of qualifications to provide environments and experiences that are responsive to the abilities and interests of older children.


Holly
[00:38:19]

Before we close, I want to mention a few other changes that have been made to regulations in the areas of playgrounds, special needs resource teachers, the implementation of policies, outdoor time, addressing parent concerns and offence declarations.

First, the ministry now has regulated requirements that new playgrounds and any new renovations, repairs and replacements for fixed structures in a playground, must meet the most recent Canadian Standards Association's standards for children's play spaces and equipment. The provision will replace the current playground safety policy on August 29, 2016. A playground safety policy must also be developed, regular inspections must be completed, a plan developed to address any issues found, and a repair maintenance log must be maintained.

Also, the ministry has removed the requirement for a licensee of an integrated program to employ a resource teacher. This change was made to align with the updated definition of children with special needs in the Child Care and Early Years Act and current approach to Special Needs Resourcing. This change does not apply to the few existing segregated centres under schedule 3 of regulation 137/15.

Additionally, as of August 29, 2016, licensees are required to implement, review, and monitor all legislated policies, procedures, and individualized plans. This helps to ensure a more streamlined and consistent approach to overall operations. Licensees will be required to keep a record with the date of each review conducted and ensure that each record is signed by each person who conducted or participated in the review.

In regards to outdoor time, as of January 1, 2017, licensees will be required to include at least thirty minutes of outdoor time each day for before and after school programs that run for less than six hours, weather permitting, unless otherwise approved by a director. Licensees will have the flexibility to determine when to incorporate the thirty minutes into the day. Licensees are encouraged to ensure there is a sufficient amount of time provided for children to engage in play and reduce transitions.

As of January 1, 2017, licensees will be required to have policies and procedures to address parent issues and concerns. A copy of these policies and procedures must be included in the parent handbook. This new requirement is intended to support open discussion between licensees and parents and address parents' issues and concerns through a timely and transparent process. These policies and procedures should be used to address complaints brought forward by parents that are not captured in the definition of a serious occurrence or are not required to be reported to the ministry.

Phase 2 regulations also now require background screening for all individuals who provide child care or other services to a child at the child care centre who are not employees or volunteers. This includes, for example, special needs consultants employed by a third party, and speech and language pathologists hired by parents. Licensees will have the option of either obtaining an offence declaration from the individual or an attestation from the individual's employer that confirms the individual has not been convicted of any offences that would prohibit them from providing child care. This provision is coming into effect on January 1, 2017.

We have also increased flexibility around the timing of offence declarations so that one may be obtained from an individual any time throughout the year as long as it is no later than 15 days after the anniversary date of the previous offence declaration or vulnerable sector check.

Shannon (Take 49)
[00:42:38]

Now that we have walked you through the new licensing standards and requirements, we wanted to move on to some very exciting changes related to authorized recreational and skill building programs as well as expanded school board requirements for before and after school programs for children aged 6 - 12.

As many of you are likely aware, the Child Care and Early Years Act provides regulation making authority to enable "authorized recreational and skill building programs" to offer care to children 6 years and older provided that the programs meets criteria set out in regulation. Through this provision the ministry aims to better meet the varied child care needs and circumstances of local communities.

(Take 50) The ministry is taking staged approach in order to reduce disruptions to service and allow time for service system managers and service providers to transition to the new rules.

In the first stage, effective September 1, 2016, providers will be authorized to offer up to 3 hours of recreation programming if the provider is:
• a municipality
• a school board
• a First Nation, or the Metis Nation of Ontario
• An Ontario After School Program funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS);
• an agency or attraction of MTCS;
• a member of a provincial sport or multi-sport organization recognized by MTCS
• operated by the YMCA or Boys and Girls Club Canada
• or a program authorized by a local service system manager or First Nation.

The second stage, effective on September 1, 2017, will require authorized recreation and skill building programs to meet the criteria set out under the Child Care and Early Years Act for authorized recreational and skill building programs, including those only serving children aged 6 and up.

As aligned with this approach, the current transition regulation that carries over a long standing policy allowing recreation providers that are recognized under Regulation 797 of the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation Act to offer up to 3 hours of care to children of any age without a licence will expire in January 2017.

Further information will follow on how to contact local service system managers for recreation programs that wish to be authorized. For more information on these changes please see the fact sheet on the changes to recreation and skill building programs available on the ministry's website.

We have also made changes under the Education Act related to the provision of before and after school programs for 6-12 year olds. Beginning in September 2017, school boards will be required to ensure the provision of before and after school programs for students aged 6-12 where there is sufficient demand. Before and after school programs can be board operated or delivered by a licensed child care centre. An authorized recreational provider can offer after school programming for children aged 6-12. The ministry will work with its education partners, service system managers, and service providers to support the introduction of this new initiative.

We have almost reached the conclusion of this webinar on the second phase of regulations introduced under the Child Care and Early Years Act. As always, the ministry is incredibly thankful for your commitment to providing high quality child care and early years programs.

As we noted, there are a range different dates on which these new requirements will come into effect. These timelines which we have noted today can be found in the regulations and will also be posted on the ministry website. The ministry expects that licensees will be in compliance with the new requirements by the date in which each requirement is implemented.

As we walked you through the new regulations, we tried to address all of the questions we received from the sector after Phase 2 regulations were announced.

In addition, the ministry has created a range of resources to help provide clarity on the new requirements. Links to those resources, including Frequently Asked Questions, can be found on the Ministry of Education website.

Holly
[00:47:33]

If you are a licensee with a specific question about licensing requirements for your program, please contact your Program Advisor.

Thank you once again for participating in the province's work to modernize child care and the early years and for tuning into this webinar.

Back to page