Bill 195 2016
An Act to amend the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014
Quality childcare is a public good and not a commodity.
Due to the scarcity of quality child care spaces, many parents have little choice but to place their children on multiple waiting lists. Child care waiting lists are often administered in a non-transparent manner which creates the risk that they will be administered unfairly or discriminatorily.
Parents in Ontario already face significant barriers to accessing quality childcare due to high costs and limited numbers of child care spaces. The lack of a universal public child care system gives rise to unfair practices such as waiting list fees. Waiting list fees impose a significant financial burden on parents without providing any guarantee of access to child care.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. The Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 is amended by adding the following sections:
15.1 (1) Every person who maintains a waiting list in respect of child care shall do the following:
1. Prepare a policy, in writing, setting out how the person administers the waiting list, including a description of how the person determines which order children on the waiting list are offered admission.
2. Post the policy on a publicly accessible website or make the policy available, on request, to any member of the public free of charge.
3. Review the policy as often as is necessary, but at least annually.
Rules re waiting lists
(2) Every person who maintains a waiting list in respect of child care shall do the following:
1. Ensure that children on the waiting list are offered admission in accordance with the policy referred to in subsection (1).
2. Post an up-to-date copy of the waiting list on a publicly accessible website or make a copy of the waiting list available, on request, to any member of the public free of charge.
3. Remove a child from the waiting list at the request of the child's parent.
4. Comply with such other requirements relating to waiting lists as may be prescribed.
(3) A copy of a waiting list that is posted on a website or made available under paragraph 2 of subsection (2) must satisfy the prescribed requirements to ensure that the waiting list does not disclose any personal information.
No fee or deposit before admission
15.2 No person who offers child care shall charge or accept any fee or deposit before a child is offered admission for child care.
2. This Act comes into force six months after the day it receives Royal Assent.
3. The short title of this Act is the Child Care and Early Years Amendment Act (Waiting Lists), 2016.
The Bill amends the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 to require every person that maintains a waiting list in respect of child care to prepare a written policy setting out how the waiting list is administered. The person is also required to ensure that children are offered admission in accordance with the policy and the policy and waiting list must be made available to the public. The Bill also prohibits persons from charging or accepting a fee or deposit before a child is admitted for child care.