Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ministry guidelines for boards of education setting fees for extended-day childcare

If your centre provides care to four- and five-year olds and a school in your catchment area will be part of the Early Learning Program, you need to consider whether you will continue offering childcare for kindergarten-aged children. One consideration will be how the fees charged by the school in your area for before- and after-school childcare compare to what your centre charges.

Fact: A memo, dated January 13, 2010, from Jim Grieve, the assistant deputy minister for the Early Learning Division of the Ministry of Education, to directors of education explains how boards of education should set their fees for before- and after-school care for four- and five-year-olds. The memo can be found at:

The French version of the memo can be found at:

The memo offers the following guidance about the fees to be set by boards of education (see pages 4 to 6 of the memo):

Ministry of Education comment

Implications for your centre

"Boards would be responsible for setting extended day fees on a board-wide basis… and [would] approve them through a regular, open meeting of the board."

You will have a chance to see how fees will be set for the before- and after-school parts of the extended-day programs delivered by boards of education.

"Fees are intended to recover incremental costs associated with the extended day program… fees are not designed to raise additional resources to supplement other board revenues."

Fees for extended-day childcare are intended to cover only the day-to-day operating costs of before- and after-school care. Capital costs, such as playground construction and facilities upkeep, do not seem to be included in the formula for calculating daily fees. (See last comment in this table, Capital costs...)

Boards would be required to calculate their costs in accordance with provincial policies, guidelines and requirements including:

  • ECE and ECA hourly wages at board-approved salary levels
    • Benefits and staff-related costs at rate of 55% of gross salary (see memo, Appendix 1: Sample Daily Fee Calculation)
    • Program and snack costs estimated on a per diem basis
  • "Fee collection and administration costs based on arrangements made by Boards to collect and administer the fees (for example, internal administration costs, costs of fee collection contract)"

It will be possible to compare board of education salaries with those in your organization.

Note that there is no mention of administrative salaries.

The board price calculations also do not appear to include overhead, such as insurance, utilities and telephone costs.

Your fees, on the other hand, must be high enough to pay for supervisory staff and overhead as required by the Day Nurseries Act.

"Capital costs would not be recoverable through extended day fees."

The board price calculations do not include capital costs.

Your fees must be high enough to pay for capital equipment required by the Day Nurseries Act.

Fact: The memo also contains the following other important information:


Ministry of Education comment

Implications for your centre


"Boards that have the capacity and the demand are called upon to provide extended services at other times of the year to children aged six to twelve years old. This could include PD days, holidays and the summer."

It is hard to imagine that a school would not have space during PD days, holidays and the summer to provide these services given that students do not attend school during those periods. If the demand is there, the boards of education are being requested to provide care for children aged six to twelve.


"Where there is sufficient parent demand and board capacity, school boards are called upon to provide extended services, for a reasonable fee, at other times of the year for four and five year olds.… This could include summertime, PD days, holidays and the statutory holidays."

It is hard to imagine that a school with before- and after-school care programs for four- and five-year olds would not have space during PD days, holidays and the summer. In addition, the board may well have childcare staff on hand who are able to provide the service.


Before-and after- school care programs will be delivered by board employees.

Program delivery will not be outsourced to third-party care providers.


"As a board program led by board employees, the extended day component would not be subject to the Day Nurseries Act."

"However… third party providers will continue to be subject to the Day Nurseries Act."

"As with the core day program, the ratio of staff to students would be 2:26. Where there are more than 13 children ...a second adult must support the registered ECE in the delivery of the extended day component."

Extended-day programs offered by boards will be subject to the anticipated 1:13 ratio that applies to kindergarten children in school (Note: legislation has not yet been passed setting caregiver to child ratios).

Non-board care providers will be subject to the current Day Nurseries Act ratios:
1:8 for preschool children
1:10 for junior kindergarten children
1:12 for senior kindergarten children



"Transportation related to extended day programs would be parental responsibility."

There will be no busing to and from schools for children in before-and after- school care programs.


"With regard to subsidies eligibility and subsidy levels, the government's intent is to apply the current subsidy eligibility rules and income test to subsidies for extended day [childcare]."

Details regarding subsidy have not yet been announced.

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