A parent handbook must be available to any parent considering whether to enrol their child in the child care centre and/or any parent of a child who receives child care in the child care centre.
Anytime a revision is made to the parent handbook, parents with children receiving care must be notified.
The parent handbook must include the following information:
Every licensee that establishes or maintains a waiting list must include a copy of related policies and procedures in the parent handbook.
Every child care centre must have a program statement that is consistent with the Minister of Education’s policy statement. The Minister’s policy statement names How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years as the document to be used for the purpose of guiding programming and pedagogy in licensed child care programs.
A Minister’s policy statement is a statement made by the Minister under the authority of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 relating to the operation of child care and early years programs and services and related matters. The Minister’s policy statement on programming and pedagogy is intended to strengthen programs and ensure high quality experiences that lead to positive outcomes for children in relation to learning, development, health and well-being.
How Does Learning Happen? promotes a shared understanding of children as competent, capable and rich in potential. It sets out broad goals for children and expectations for programs organized around the four foundations of belonging, well-being, engagement and expression. How Does Learning Happen? also describes pedagogical approaches to guide educators and administrators in considering how best to support children’s learning and development.
The areas outlined in How Does Learning Happen? provide a starting point in developing a program statement. The ideas and approaches in HDLH are broad and can complement and be used together with varied philosophies on which programs are based.
The licensee’s program statement must include goals to guide programming and pedagogy and the approaches that will be implemented in the program to:
The requirements listed above are interrelated and overlapping. They can be considered holistically rather than as separate items. They are not intended to be used as a checklist but rather support development of the program statement and ongoing reflection and discussion in relation to all areas of the program.
For example, when setting up the environment, consider how your policies and practices protect children’s health, safety and well-being; the ways the organization of the space and time allows children to make choices and fosters exploration, play and inquiry; and supports children’s positive interactions and self-regulation; how parents are included; the ways the cultures, languages, social context of the community is integrated into the program; how you will document the impact of the environment on children, families and staff; and how your documentation will be used to plan and reflect on your programs considering children’s interest and development.
The Ministry of Education has developed resources to support you in this journey.
See Think, Feel, Act: Lessons from Research about Young Children for research briefs and videos on topics such as pedagogical documentation, learning environments, brain development, pedagogical leadership, inclusion, parent engagement, and self-regulation.
Section 45 of Ontario Regulation 137/15 - General
Infants and toddlers must be separated from other children during active indoor and outdoor play periods.
When a program runs for six hours or more:
When a program operates only before and after school:
Section 47 of Ontario Regulation 137/15 - General
CONNECTIONS TO HOW DOES LEARNING HAPPEN?
Consider ways to support children’s sense of belonging, well-being, engagement and expression throughout daily routines:
Written policies and procedures must be established with respect to the expectations for how child care providers and other staff or volunteers are to implement the approaches specified in the program statement and must include measures to deal with a contravention of the policies and procedures and any occurrence of prohibited practices (i.e. use of corporal punishment, harsh or degrading measures, deprivation of basic needs, and confinement).
A written process is to be established for monitoring the approaches set out in the program statement, as well as any occurrences of prohibited practices, on an ongoing basis.
Section 49 and 51 of Ontario Regulation 137/15 – General
CONNECTIONS TO HOW DOES LEARNING HAPPEN?
• Consider how policies, procedures, and practices reflect and support the goals for children and expectations for programs described in How Does Learning Happen? What areas may need some rethinking? Why?
• How do my policies and practices support children’s interactions, communication, and self-regulation rather than focusing on adults managing children’s behaviour?