Exploring the types of child care

Looking for a child care service? It’s never too early to get familiar with the subject. There is quite a lot to it; after all you’ll be leaving your child under someone else’s responsibility. What are the types of child care? What are the benefits of each type? By whom are they licensed? How often are they inspected?

If you want to know more about it, here is a source we recommend: https://www.ontario.ca/page/types-child-care

You can also find the content of the article below.

Types of child care

Learn about the types of child care in Ontario.

On this page 

  • Licensed home child care
  • Licensed child care centre
  • Kindergarten before- and after-school care
  • Unlicensed care

Licensed home child care

Individual home caregivers are not licensed by the Ministry of Education, but are contracted by home child care agencies that are licensed by the Ministry.

These caregivers may care for infants, toddlers and pre-school aged children. They may also offer before and after school care for children.


Home child care allows for:

  • government-regulated and inspected home that meet specific standards
  • siblings to be placed together
  • small group size
  • child care agencies to provide caregivers professional development opportunities, support and monitoring
  • child care fee subsidies may be available
  • standards that must be met by caregivers

Home visitors

Home visitors work for private-home daycare agencies. They screen and monitor home caregivers affiliated with a licensed agency. As of August 31, 2015, a home visitor must be:

  • a member in good standing of the College of Early Childhood Educators, with at least 2 years of experience working with children under 13 years old
  • or otherwise be approved by a director

They check that a home is safe before children are enrolled and conduct routine inspections to ensure caregivers are following provincial rules, as well the agency’s policies and procedures.

Home visitors can also help families find a home caregiver that is affiliated with a licensed agency and meets their needs.

Home visitors can help caregivers by:

  • developing programs for children at different stages of development
  • providing advice about nutritious meal planning
  • helping choose toys and equipment that are safe and suitable


At least once per year, the Ministry of Education inspects private-home daycare agencies, and some home child care locations, to ensure they meet the licensing standards.

Licensed child care centre

Licensed child care centres care for infants and toddlers, as well as pre-school and school-aged children.

They include nursery schools, full-day and extended hours care, and before-and-after-school programs.

Child care centres operate in a variety of locations including workplaces, community centres, schools and places of worship.

There are 5,069 licensed child care centres across the province with 317,868 spaces.


  • Government-regulated and inspected
  • Children are with other children their age
  • Staff members include professionals with training in early childhood education
  • The centre has to meet certain standards of care
  • Activities are designed for children at different stages of development
  • A child care fee subsidy may be available


At least once a year, the Ministry of Education inspects child care centres to ensure they meet specific provincial health, safety and developmental standards.

Kindergarten before- and after-school care

Where there is sufficient demand, schools that offer full-day kindergarten also offer before-and-after-school programs. These play-based programs complement the regular school day with a mix of exploration, guided independent activities, quiet times and outdoor play.

School boards may offer before-and-after-school programs directly, or through licensed third-party providers that offer programs in a school setting. The majority of these programs are licensed, except for some operated by school boards.

Unlicensed care

In Ontario, unlicensed, informal care is not regulated by the government. These unlicensed caregivers are not inspected by the Ministry of Education, and are not required to meet provincial standards. However, the Ministry of Education does investigate all complaints from the public about child care providers who may be operating illegally.

Maximum number of children in care

As of August 31, 2015, under the new rules under the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA), 2014, unlicensed caregivers are not allowed to care for more than 5 children, including their own children under the age of 6.

This limit on the number of children applies regardless of how many adults are present at the home and unlicensed providers may not operate at multiple premises.

How to Raise Happy Children

When the children are happy, the parents are happy too. Spending time with your kids has a big influence on their happiness, but the 21th century lifestyle keeps parents busy. Life is a little bit more stressful and because of economic turbulence there is a need for both of the parents to have a job. All this leaves the parents with fewer occasions to spend time with their children.

Fortunately, there is a solution to every problem. This article will provide you with some advice on how to help children feel good and establish you as a great parent:


How to Raise Happy Children

Children – God’s unique gift to mankind. They can be angels or devils at the same time and bringing them up is joyful as much as stressful. With changing times, late marriages & having children after 30 years of age have a lot of positives and negatives on parenting.

Gone are the good old days when parents had a lot of time to spend with their children. The need for more than one parent working to survive the economic turbulence is the order of the day. Lifestyle has been changing so much that you get to meet family only at dinner time. The daunting task of parenting is to be dealt with keeping the welfare of the child in heart.

There is a solution to every problem. Time is what the children need most from you. Somehow in our hectic routines if we manage to spend quality time with them doing the things they like, they are content. Giving your child healthy food, keeping them occupied with books, toys and games, engaging them in extra curricular activities is what we would normally do. But beyond all that, a couple of hour’s everyday dedicated to them makes all the difference.

Here are many ways to make them feel good and establish you as a great parent:

1. Find inventive ways to make them interested in a routine. Show them fun ways to do a new chore, that way, they’ll try o be creative by making their other chores fun.

2. Keep your chores towards the end of the day, that ensures your quality time with them. Just don’t let it interfere with any necessary work you need to do.

3. Hear them out – they are as needy as they can be. Sometimes when you give them an order, let them say something first, because it may be really important to them.

4. Allow them to do their chores and help them out a bit

5. Children feel great when you give them responsibility of things, the earlier you start it becomes a habit

6. If your child is throwing a temper tantrum, be patient and leave them room – they automatically realize and come to you with a better mood – remember they have frustrations too!

7. Ask their help, advice, opinions on things like help decide your outfit, buying gifts, helping you cook etc. Give them chances to volunteer at recycling communities, a music program, anything of their interest.

8. Do not shout at them when they make a mistake, understand why they did it and gently explain the consequences of their action

9. Don’t nag them when they don’t eat, they will eventually come to you when they are hungry. Make eating fun, by telling them to think of bad tasting but healthy food, as candy or some other treat.

10. Don’t spank your child unnecessarily, for it would raise an aggressive adult. If you do get angry, then just let it pass. They’re eventually going to grow up, and anger with children would be the least of your worries.

Why Kids Tattle – and What to Do

Yes, kids tattle, though most don’t do it on purpose and the consequences are harmless. However, what’s been done once and never pointed as something to avoid can evolve into a bad habit. As a parent, you wouldn’t want that to happen. It is important to notice if a kid starts tattling and teach him to let go of this practice.

We browsed the web and found a useful article, which explains the anatomy of a tattle and how to prevent it for good. Here is the original source:

For a more fluent reading, we have included the content of the article below.

Why Kids Tattle – and What to Do

By Cheryl Lock

Don’t be worried if your child starts tattling – learn the real reasons behind it to prevent her from becoming a full-blown tattletale.

Four- and 5-year-olds are learning so many things at such a fast pace that they can have a hard time keeping track of everything that’s expected of them. When they do get something right, they expect everyone else to abide by the same rules. And when these perceived rules are “broken” by others, this can lead to tattling. It’s important to prevent tattling from becoming a habit or to stop it immediately, as it can cause unwanted issues with friends and teachers. Before you take steps to prevent it, though, you’ll need to understand the root causes. “There are a lot of reasons why little kids might tattle,” says Lawrence Balter, Ph.D., a child psychologist and parenting expert. “And while it’s usually [physically] harmless, tattling can be [emotionally] hurtful to the victim.” Here, we’ve outlined the common reasons why your child might tattle — and how you can help nix the behavior in the bud.

The Anatomy of a Tattle

It’s about rules. Young kids tend to be very literal, as their cognitive development cannot recognize abstract reasoning yet, Dr. Balter says. This means that when they do catch on to how to follow rules, usually at around age 7, they expect those rules to be inflexible, and it feels personal to them when other kids abide by their own, or different, set of rules.

It’s about attention or status. Often, a tattler is only looking to be noticed. If he’s feeling left out or abandoned, he may tell on someone to build up his own status or to make other kids look bad so he can be favored.

It’s about revenge. Most tattles are generally harmless, but occasionally a tattle can have a sinister root. “Sometimes it’s not only about raising status, but the child wants to hurt the other person,” Dr. Balter says. “A good way to get back at a kid who has hurt your feelings is to say something negative about [him], to get [him] in trouble.”

It’s about power. Some tattlers always want to be in charge. A tattler seeking power may likely have a strong-willed Type A personality and may want to put someone else in line.

How to Prevent Tattling

Once you understand some of the causes of tattling, you can work on preventing the behavior in your own child.

Point Out Tattling. If you and your child catch another kid tattling, use the opportunity as a teaching moment. “Bring the action to her attention, and ask what she thinks about what the kid is doing. Does she understand that what the child is doing is tattling, and why it’s wrong?” Dr. Balter says. Take time to talk about what the other child could have done instead of tattling (ignore it, walk away, and so on).

Explain Fairness and Justice. “Kids are so literal, and sometimes their tattling is about making the other kid look bad to get that sense of justice,” Dr. Balter explains. When talking to your child, say something like, “Sometimes people don’t follow the rules the way they should. I know it’s upsetting to you because you are trying to do the right thing.” Tell your child that she can’t change the way other children behave, but that the most important thing is always keep her own actions fair and just.

Explain Your Expectations. Explain that, although tattling on small actions is bad, it’s important to speak up if something appears dangerous. You wouldn’t want your child complaining every time Suzie steals a crayon from her, but you would need your child to mention if Suzie is pulling the dog’s tail, a harmful action. The difference between tattling because something is significant or dangerous and tattling on something that’s not is very subtle, and it can be difficult to expect a child to understand it. In Social Rules for Kids, author and speech-language pathologist Susan Diamond, M.A., suggests one way to guide kids on what to say when something could be dangerous: Explain to your child that she could say “‘I tell the teacher when…I feel threatened, scared, nervous, or hurt by a student or group of students.'” For the opposite approach, kids should practice saying, “‘I do not tell the teacher when…a student is not right, calls me a name, calls someone else a name, taps a pencil.'” Then help kids focus on what they should do instead, like “relax, focus on my work, ignore, [and so on],” Diamond advises.

What to Do If Your Kid Already Tattles

This might seem counterintuitive, but do not make a big deal about tattling. “When your child tattles, this gives you a chance to investigate what his motivation is,” Dr. Balter says. Don’t chastise him; instead, point out (gently) that if he keeps calling attention to his friends’ behavior in a negative way and getting them in trouble, they won’t want to play with him. You can try other tactics prior to a playdate. “If you know your kid tends to feel intruded upon and tattles mostly because he doesn’t like others playing with certain toys, designate beforehand what everyone will play with and what you’ll put away,” Dr. Balter says. “That’s one easy way to stop kids from running up to you and tattling.” One more thing to keep in mind: For kids around 3 to 4 years old, tattling can be a sign of exhaustion. “When kids are cranky and tired, anything goes,” Dr. Balter explains. Taking a short break for a nap, TV, or lunch could help keep the bad behavior at bay.

Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation.

Nutrients that boost your child’s brain development

Toddlers are in constant growth, not only their bodies, but their brains are developing too, thinking about new words, ideas and solutions. All this requires fuel. Where to find it?

The nutrients that will boost your toddler’s brain are listed in this article:

We have added the content of this article below.

Nutrients that boost your child’s brain development

By Allison Tannis

What is your toddler’s favourite food? Probably not beans or spinach. Yet, each day their little bodies grow, and their brains figure out how to create words, solve puzzles and mobilize their bodies to into more precarious locations. Encouraging our kids to eat healthy is important to that growth and development. Knowing where to start helps, so here are four nutrients your toddler needs.


If a toddler’s body doesn’t have enough iron, it can affect the way the brain develops and functions. To be more specific, iron is needed for the creation of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves. The myelin sheath sort of insulates nerves so they can conduct messages faster and more efficiently from your toddler’s head to their little pudgy toes. Scientists have found toddlers who lack sufficient iron in their diet have lower attention, memory and cognitive skills. In one Greek study, researchers found supplementing iron deficient three- and four-year-olds improved their attention and cognition.

Where to find it: Snack foods like dried apricots, beans, seeds, almonds and edamame beans and in toddler-approved dinner foods, including tofu cubes, roasted chicken legs and cooked spinach (try hiding spinach in pasta sauce or under the cheese on pizza).


Salmon is called ‘pink chicken’ in our family as that was the only way our parents could get their pickiest grandchild to eat it. Salmon is a great source of protein to help a toddler’s muscles recover after all of their attempts to climb, run and jump higher and faster. Most importantly, salmon is packed with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid. Fish oil is vital to the development of a toddler’s brain and eyes. Children have extremely low intakes of DHA (19mg/day), far lower than the recommended minimum intake of 90mg of DHA by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Of note, many omega-3 experts recommend guidelines be closer to 350 mg per day for children.

Where to find it: In salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovies and sardines.

Vitamin A

This nutrient also helps toddlers’ nerve development. Vitamin A is needed by the nervous system to grow and create its intricate pattern of nerves that send messages from your toddlers’ little fingers to his brain.

Where to find it: In green and orange vegetables, including carrots, kale, sweet potatoes and red-leafed lettuce.


In order to grow, the body creates new cells and it needs zinc to do that. Zinc deficiency limits a child’s growth and reduces their ability to fight off infections. In addition, zinc affects how a toddler’s brain works. A study in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that children who are deficient in zinc have lower cognitive (thinking) and motor (moving) function.

Where to find it: Pumpkin seeds, lentils, shellfish and nuts (only if there is no allergy concern). Another great source of zinc is wheat germ – you can sprinkle it into oatmeal, hide in a smoothie or use in recipes instead of breadcrumbs.

Tips and Tricks

  • Set an example: Kids eat what Mom eats. That’s right, Mom – if you want your toddler to eat a healthy diet, you’ll need to clean up your own eating habits. In a recent study published in Health and Education Research, it was reported that a better way to improve a child’s diet is a positive parental role model, not trying to control their diet.
  • Make the most of snack time: Use small, brightly coloured storage containers to make healthy, hand-held, on-the-go, finger-food snacks for your toddlers. Fill them with berries, cut up veggies, nuts and dried fruits, or puffed kamut. For best results, keep the healthy foods you offer in small, bite-sized pieces; studies show it can reduce hostility in kids and increases their likelihood of eating it.
  • Make food look fun: Create silly faces on a plate using healthy foods (fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables) and dips (almond butter or hummus).

The meals at Step By Step Daycare!

Step By Step Daycare is serving three meals a day with a light snack in between the meals.

The focus of Step By Step Daycare curriculum


Step By Step Daycare has a curriculum focusing on the following:

  • obtaining more confidence in children
  • encouraging self-expression in children
  • encouraging creativity in children

Step By Step Daycare is 2 minutes away from HWY-407 and 5 minutes form HWY-404

Step by Step Children’s Academy Daycare is 2 minutes away by exiting HWY 7 and HWY 407 on Bayview Ave. Just head north on Bayview Ave.

Also, Step by Step Children’s Academy Daycare is 5 minutes away by exiting HWY 404 on 16th Ave. Just head West toward Bayview Ave, and then turn left on Bayview.

How to prepare your child for daycare

We are just 3 weeks before school starts as a new academic season. If you have children this period could be a stressful one because as parents you wonder how to prepare the children for childcare. Moreover, what if your child had never visited any childcare before?

As a Registered Early Child Care Educator, RECE for short, I have encountered many parents who have no idea what to do in this situation. Let’s deconstruct this area inch by inch so you can have a peace of mind. By consulting what our Ontario Government is advising we conclude:

Before starting care

  • Visit the child care provider with your child to meet the caregivers and the other children to help them become more familiar with their new setting.
  • For older children, talk about the child care program, the people there, and what they’ll do throughout the day
  • If attending child care requires a new schedule (e.g., waking up earlier, eating breakfast at a different times), begin this new routine several days before starting care, to make the transition easier for your child

During first days

  • Work with your child care provider on a plan for your departure when dropping off your child during the first few days/weeks
  • If you can, begin care gradually (e.g., on the first day, take your child for an hour or so and then leave together; over the next few days, stay for several hours)
  • As your child becomes more comfortable, gradually increase their time in care until your child reaches a full day
  • Let your child know ahead of time that you will be going to work and when you will be back (e.g. after nap time)
  • To help comfort your child, some programs suggest bringing a familiar item from home or a photo of family members
  • Call your child care provider to see how your child is doing (this can help alleviate your own worries)
  • Do your best to pick up your child at the time you said you would
  • Transitions may also be stressful at pick-up time, and your child may express different emotions when you arrive (this is a normal part of getting used to child care)

These tips were recommended by the Government of Ontario at https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-prepare-your-child-child-care.

Of course we have much more insight about this period and we will share another list of 8 tips collected by the members of www.chirpingmoms.com, and specifically http://thechirpingmoms.com/8-tips-to-help-prepare-your-child-for/. Read on 🙂


1.   Adjust your schedule 2-4 weeks before school starts. Make sure you get your child used to the routine of their preschool day.  Plan lunch around the same time you will eat lunch on school days.  Plan rest time around the same time that they will rest on school days.  Helping them get used to the routine will help them transition smoother to the routine on school days.  We even work on moving bedtimes up & rise a little earlier than usual so we are ready & eager for the first day of school!

2.   Pick out a few special items for preschool. This could be new shoes, lunchbox, or a fun backpack with your child.  Abby loves animals, especially dogs & cats so when we saw this Land of Nod kitty backpack, we knew that she would love to head off to preschool with a kitty on her back!

3.   Play on the playground before school starts, especially during the summer before preschool starts! When we moved to our town two years ago, the new school playground was one of our favorite spots for the kids to play before they started at their new school.  It helped them get used to the school area & they were excited to start school and be back on the playground every day.  We also met other families and children that were also attending the school.  (Just check with the school before you head over there as some schools do not allow this opportunity!)

4.   Here are some of our favorite books for this young age to help with the transition to preschool:

Llama Llama Misses Mama:  Anna Dewdney

I Love You All Day Long:  Francesca Rusackas

The Kissing Hand:  Audrey Penn

The Night Before Preschool:  Natasha Wing

Maisy Goes to Preschool:  Lucy Cousins

Fisher Price Little People, Let’s Go to School:  Doris Tomaselli

5.   Practice separation. Try to help your child get used to being dropped off & picked up (and you saying good-bye!).  This could be at a gym daycare, grandma & grandpa’s house, or a church nursery.  It helps so much for a child to already be used to this process before starting preschool, trust me!  My oldest was so hard to separate from, but thankfully Abby has been left in care of family, friends, & more that she is totally okay with this transition which makes me feel more prepared for the big preschool day!

6.   Talk about school experiences. The boys love to tell Abby about some of their favorite things about preschool:  running on the playground, playing the drums during music class, & creating fun art projects with their teachers.  We also have the eeboo Back to School Tell Me a Story picture cards where we can look at the different cards & tell stories about what we see.  Talking with them about fun experiences is a great way to prepare for their new school year!

7.   Try to think of simple ways to help them reassured. This could be packing a small lovey in the backpack for the day or establishing a goodbye routine.  I have learned, over the years, to make the good-bye simple and sweet.  Give them a kiss & tell them to have a great day and then leave (even if they are crying).  Teachers know how to deal with the stars and most likely all will stop within several minutes, or at the worst several days but they will most likely adjust.  Continue to be positive and uplifting about school and your kid will feel the same way!

8.   Work on teaching independent age-appropriate skills with your child. At not even 2 1/2, we are working on very short directions including: cleaning up toys & listening to simple directions.

Introducing your family to camping

Greetings from Step By Step Daycare,

Last week we have addressed a topic that covers the summer activities to enjoy with your children. And today inspired by some of the questions that we have received we will discuss one of the most exciting things to do with your children, and specifically family camping. Yes, kids love camping and in most cases, it’s up to the parents to organize a camping journey.

But hey, this is not rocket science and we have investigated the essentials of planning a family camping. So, let’s jump on as we wanted to share the article http://www.parentscanada.com/family-life/momsense-introducing-your-family-to-camping.

Rest assured, all these tips and easy to follow instructions will prepare you for an unforgettable family camping. As usual, we would be happy to hear your experiences and other ideas.

Wishing your family a great time on a camping journey.

Gelena Liberzon, Daycare Director, RECE


Introducing your family to camping

By Andrea Howick & Lianne Castelino

Camping may be more affordable than many other vacations, but there are more reasons to try it than saving money. Many families – parents and kids alike – find camping allows them to spend unique, quality time together.

Just ask Goldie Silverman. The Seattle grandmother still regularly hikes, backpacks and camps with her entire extended family. She wrote her first book on the subject, Backpacking with Babies and Small Children, in 1975. In her most recent book, Camping with Kids, she interviewed families extensively to get their take on camping. The main reasons parents and children loved camping were:

  • to share new experiences
  • learn new skills together (starting a fire, putting up a tent)
  • to experience a much simpler, less stressful, less competitive life.

“One child wrote, ‘To see my Dad having fun,’” says Goldie. Here are some things to consider if it’s your family’s first time camping:

Start small

Don’t be too ambitious when picking your campsite. In fact, if there is a park in your city that has cabins or tents to rent, consider that for a first camping experience. A perfect overnight with young kids includes a fun supper, some planned games, a cozy night in a sleeping bag and breakfast! Otherwise, make the journey to camp as short as possible – pick somewhere close to home.

Book your site

For those ready to be more adventurous, booking a site is a first step. (You’ll still need to consider how long a car ride you or your children can tolerate.) Also, even if you have a two-week vacation, don’t make first trips with young kids too long. Start the planning process early and involve your kids. Booking a site in a national park can cost between $15-$40 a night, depending on the facilities the park provides. Book early as some sites fill up quickly.

Collect equipment

Don’t focus on equipment, but be task-oriented, says Goldie. Look very critically at what you’ll need in terms of clothing, food and activities, and ask yourself what you already own. For example, instead of buying sleeping bags, make bed rolls using a plastic tarp as a ground cloth and folding old quilts and blankets over them. Think of what you’ll need in terms of categories: Shelter, Sleeping, Meals, Clothing, Fun, First Aid and Repairs. Check with camping supply stores to see if they rent equipment. Also, check out neighborhood garage sales for second-hand gear.

Set a simple menu

You’ll need to plan all meals, snacks and drinks for every family member for every day of the trip. Goldie suggests avoiding elaborate cooking; if you don’t own a camp stove, plan meals that can be cooked over a fi re, like hot dogs on a stick made from a bent wire hanger, a stew, or hamburger patties cooked at home and wrapped in heavy duty foil that can be warmed in the coals (take a pair of oven mitts).

Another idea is to make deli sandwiches at home, but pack washed lettuce leaves and mustard or mayo packs separately, then build your sandwich in camp. Many campgrounds provide a barbecue with a grill that can be used by all campers at the site. Be sure to keep pre-cooked foods cold until you need them.

No matter how you plan to camp, Goldie has three final tips when planning your trip:

  • Practice camping before you go, especially with young children. Talk about it with your kids. Set up a tent inside or outside, and spend some time in it.
  • Don’t try too much at first. Avoid planning a trip that demands great effort from the weakest member of the family. Keep in mind what that person can do comfortably.
  • Plan to include something special for each member of the family – a favourite food, activity or book.

Video: Preparing for a camping trip




Gormley Daycare – our Sister Daycare

Gormley Daycare – our Sister Daycare

Step By Step Children’s Academy is happy to announce a fruitful partnership with Gormley Daycare, that is our sister daycare from Gormley, Ontario. This daycare shares the same values and childcare excellence. Gormley Daycare is located in Gormley, the town that overlaps parts of Richmond Hill, and Whitchurch–Stouffville communities. Gormley community celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005. Now this town is a vibrant area with access to Highway 404 and a new Go Train station.

Gormley Daycare is positioned at the cross-roads of the main streets in this town, and specifically, 11 Union street, a 1-2 minutes drive from the GO Train station, and the Highway 404 and Stouffville Road intersection. The daycare has a capacity of 35 children ranging from 2 years to 12 years. An advantage of Gormley Daycare is that it incorporates Preschool and Before and After School groups. This is especially convenient for parents who have children of a school and preschool ages.

Feel free to explore the website of Gormley Daycare and take advantage of the wealth of information published on that website.

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