• Norfolk: 519-426-6170 or 519-582-3579 | Haldimand: 905-318-6623

Child care is more than day time care for children.

Child care is more than day time care for children. It is quality early learning that shapes our children’s futures. Together with our community, the HNSS Children’s Services Team works to ensure that quality, affordable child care is available to all residents of Haldimand and Norfolk Counties.

Choosing appropriate child care can seem overwhelming. Whether you choose in-home or centre-based care, you need to be sure that your child is receiving quality, professional care that is best suited to his or her developmental needs.

Below are some resources to assist you in choosing quality care for your family.

Most important in determining the type of care your child needs is to know your own child – his or her temperament, likes and dislikes, health, interests and behaviour. Your own values and emotional needs should also help to determine the kind of care you choose for your child.

Before deciding on child care, you should be aware of the options available and consider cost, location and reputation.

There are two types of child care in Ontario: licensed (or formal) care and unlicensed (or informal) care.

Licensed Child Care

Licensed child care programs have to meet and maintain specific provincial standards. The Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) establishes minimum standards including physical space, staff qualifications, child to staff ratio, health and safety, nutrition, and basic programming which must be met. Once a program is licensed, they are subject to inspections and are monitored on an on-going basis to ensure a healthy and safe environment for children is provided. Licenses must be renewed at least once every year.

Licensed child care can be provided in a home based setting, in a centre based setting, or in a school based setting as an extended day program.

  • Licensed home-based child care is monitored by home child care agencies licensed by the Ministry of Education. Providers are allowed to care for up to six children, including their own, under 6 years of age. Home child care agencies train and support home child care providers. The agencies are required to visit and inspect each home once every three months.  Not all home based child care is associated with a licensed agency.  Haldimand-Norfolk R.E.A.C.H. is the licensed child care agency in Haldimand and Norfolk Counties. For more information about accessing licensed, home-based child care or becoming a home-based caregiver, contact the Licensed Home Child Care Coordinator at 519-429-2875 or 1-866-463-2759 ext. 235 or 222.
  • Licensed centre-based care is provided in a variety of physical settings such as schools, churches, public and commercial buildings. In Haldimand and Norfolk, it is provided by non-profit community boards of directors and private sector operators.
  • School-based programs are offered for before and after care as an extended day programs for full day kindergarten students as well as for children up to 13 years of age.

If your child is attending a licensed child care program, you may qualify for assistance with the cost of your child care. For more information about whether we can help you with your child care costs, see Child Care Fee Subsidy.

To register for a licensed program or to see a list of licensed centres in Haldimand and Norfolk visit the Haldimand Norfolk Onelist website.

Unlicensed Child Care

In Ontario, unlicensed, informal care is not regulated by the government. Unlicensed caregivers are not inspected by the Ministry of Education, and are not required to meet provincial standards.  Unlicensed caregivers are not allowed to care for more than 5 children, including their own, under the age of 6. Unlicensed care may be provided by relatives, friends, neighbours or nannies and is not eligible for child care Fee Subsidy.