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

Raising the Bar is a voluntary, peer-driven, annual community accreditation program designed to help families ensure their children are receiving high quality early learning and child care programs. Raising the Bar promotes healthy child care environments for our children by building on the strengths of our child care community. The quality of child care provided is measured using Bronze, Silver and Gold bars within three domains – Quality Assurance, Best Practices and Professional Development.

Quality Assurance

The standards of the Quality Assurance category reflect mechanisms and activities to monitor the quality of service on an ongoing basis. For some of the activities, frequency is dictated by legislation. Other activities are conducted on an annual basis. Six indicators have been identified to reflect required standards within the Quality Assurance category. They are as follows:

  • Regulatory Standards
  • Health and Safety Monitoring
  • Parent/Guardian Surveys
  • Staff Surveys
  • Environmental Assessments
  • Action Plans
  • Best Practices

The standards of the Best Practices category include leadership and supervision strategies that combine to provide a framework and infrastructure for a healthy child care environment. Nine indicators have been identified to reflect required standards within the Best Practices category. They are as follows:

  • Governance
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Job Descriptions
  • Healthy Child Development
  • Parent/Guardian Supports
  • Parent/Guardian Handbook
  • Mentoring
  • Staff Meetings
  • Professional Development

Supervisors and staff of early learning and child care programs who participate in Raising the Bar make a commitment to ongoing professional development and regularly support the broader field of early childhood education. Two indicators have been identified to reflect required standards within the Professional Development category. They are Staff Qualifications and Professional Involvement.

Raising the Bar on Quality Child Care was launched in Haldimand and Norfolk in April 2007. To date, over 90% of all licensed child care centres in Haldimand and Norfolk are participating in Raising the Bar. Based on feedback received from the Child Care Supervisors Network, it was decided that all centres would move through the Bars together. The first submission to the peer review committee took place in March 2009. Parents can look for the Raising the Bar participation certificate at their child’s centre after June 2009.

For more information about Raising the Bar, contact Kathy Wardell, Community Educator, Ontario Early Years Centre, at 519-429-2875 or kwardell@hnreach.on.ca.