Bill 10 (formerly known as Bill C143) and Why it Matters To You

By Salina Sunderland Your first question is probably “What is Bill 10?” perhaps followed by “Ugh…politics…not interested!” But before you skip by this post in favour of something more exciting and glamorous, let me fill you in on why you should be very concerned with this bill as a parent of young children.

daycare bill 10

Bill 10, the Childcare Modernization Act, is a bill that has been introduced by the Minister of Education, Liz Sandals, in the name of making your child’s daycare safer and better whether you have your child in a daycare centre, in an agency affiliated home daycare, or a private home daycare. Here are some highlights as pertain to private home daycare (there are changes for daycare centres and agency home daycares as well that I won’t go into here):

1) Currently, a private home daycare provider may have 5 daycare children at any one time in addition to her own children of any ages. Bill 10 would force the provider to count her own children under the age of 6 in her total of 5 kids, even though her children are most likely in school full-time at the age of 4. 2) Currently there are no age ratio restrictions for private caregivers and it is left to a daycare providers own discretion as to which ages to accept into her/his daycare depending on the caregivers own abilities, strengths, and programming. Bill 10 would make it so that private home daycares would be allowed no more than 2 kids under the age of 2.

Now, you might be saying “This is great! My kids will be safer!” However, considering that 80% of children in Ontario are cared for in unlicensed home daycares, this bill has the potential to severely disrupt childcare availability and rates. As a private home daycare provider, I receive many enquiries for care every month. 99% of those enquiries are for babies around the 12 month mark when their moms or dads return to work. Considering children now start school full-time at 3.5-4 years of age, we are left with children aged 1-3 to care for. Many of us actually prefer having a group of little ones close in age as they grow and learn together and it is much easier to cater to their needs when they are all in a similar stage.

If this bill is put into law, many home daycare providers will be forced to close as they will not be able to survive on the 2-3 kids they will be allowed to care (having to count their own children as well as find kids to fit the ratios). Those that stay in business will almost certainly raise their rates significantly, especially for the under 2 spaces. All of this adds up to less spaces available and higher costs for parents.

Now, if all of this was really in the cause of keeping children safer, I would say “It’s worth it! Let’s all suck it up and do this for the kids!” However, the problem is that the daycares that are currently running illegally (with too many kids) are not following the current laws; they are not going to suddenly decide to follow the new law. These are the daycares in which children are in danger and this law will do nothing to stop them. If the Ministry of Education would do their job and follow up on complaints, inspect daycares with complaints against them, and shut down the unsafe ones, we would all be better off.

Bill 10 is now in second reading in the Ontario Legislature. Once it passes through second reading it will go to Committee, where we hope that some amendments will be made. After it is discussed in Committee, it will be passed into law. The Liberal party has said that they would like to have it passed before Christmas.

You can find out more at this Facebook Page: Ontario Families and Home Childcare Providers Against Bill 143 Or: Coalition of Independent Childcare Providers of Ontario

If you are concerned, please write to Education Minister Liz Sandals ( as well as your local MPs (follow this link to find them.) Act now before it’s too late; let the government know how this bill will affect you!

Non-Profit Daycare Centres

We all know finding good quality daycare for our children is a top priority if we return to work. I'm happy to welcome Catherine on the blog today, as she tells us more about her daycare experience.  For me, becoming a parent has undoubtedly been the most rewarding and challenging thing I have ever done. Along with all the many high points (first smiles, wonderful hugs, “Mommy, I love you so much!”) and low points, (the multiple night awakenings, tantrums) come the pressures and stresses of being responsible for another being. Especially with my first child, when it came time to make a decision about childcare I found the options overwhelming: nanny, nanny-share, home- based daycare, centre-based daycare, non-profit vs. private, English vs. French, etc. I barraged myself with questions: where was my child going to get the best care? What did this mean? Where would  she have an enriching experience? Where was she going to be the happiest? And what about us? What would make us the happiest?

In the end we chose a non-profit co-op daycare in our community 2 years ago, and are very happy with our choice. This was made even clearer to us when we needed care for our son and put him in a private daycare centre (he could not attend the co-op centre where our daughter attends until he was 18 months old). Our son was very happy at the private centre and he received good quality care from the educators, but it was in another neighbourhood - so we had to do two drop-offs and pickups everyday, which was a particular challenge if one of us was out of town. Our experience with the administration was very negative, we were rarely informed, and never consulted about what was going on at the centre. The fees were higher, we were expected to provide lunches, the snacks provided were often sugary and insubstantial, and the staff were not well treated or paid well, which resulted in a high turnover.

Our son joined our daughter at Capital Daycare Centre as soon as he was old enough. It was a relief for us to be able to walk our kids to daycare and spend less time in cars shuttling them around; something I am sure we will have to do enough of as they grow older and become more involved in activities. We were happy to have our children attend a centre with other children from our neighbourhood who they would also see at the park and on our street, making it easy to foster friendships with other families. As well, Capital Daycare has been providing child care to the families of Old Ottawa South since 1973 – that’s 40 years! And many of the staff have been working there for over 20 years, which makes it feel more like a family than a centre. As a co-op, the centre is managed by a Board of Directors made up of volunteer parents and staff, which gives parents the chance to be involved in the operation of the centre. I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve on the Board for the last 2 years. This has helped me to feel connected to the centre and a partner in the care my children receive, rather than a customer purchasing services.

Every family must weigh many factors when choosing child care for their child/children and make the best decision for their family. For all the reasons above, and many more, the non-profit co-op daycare in our community is the right choice for our family.

Non-profit daycare centres, such as Capital Day Care Centre, are increasingly at-risk of being pushed out of the market by private centres due to cuts in provincial and municipal funding. Our centre recently underwent a 5 year financial planning exercise which showed us that the centre will not be financially viable in 5 years if we are not able to significantly increase our revenue or reduce our costs. In light of this, the Board has decided to make fundraising a priority. We have our first big event planned for May 25th - see below for details. I hope you will consider coming out to help us support keeping good quality, affordable child care in our communities!

Mayfair Movie Day


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