Sunday, June 13, 2010


Bill 242, Full Day Early Learning Statute Law Amendment Act, 2010 was proclaimed into law on June 3, 2010. The legislative basis for the introduction of the full day early learning program is now in place.

The regulations designed to support the introduction of both full day kindergarten and the extended day component of the full day early learning program were filed on June 7th and are now available publicly at On June 8, 2010 Jim Grieve, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education, released his latest memo, EL7, to Directors of Education across the province. You can find a copy of this memo at


The release of the regulations allows the licensed child care sector to more clearly determine the rules under which the extended day programs will be operated. Ratios and parent fees are now public and parents will be better able to make decisions about how to best meet their child care needs.

There are five significant components to the Regulations which will be of interest to the licensed child care sector.

  1. The regulations clarify the expectations as to when a school is required to operate the extended day program have. There is an extensive discussion related to viability and the expectation that these programs will not be operated unless they are viable:
    1. Boards are not obligated to operate the extended day program if fewer than 10 children are expected to be enrolled in either the morning or the afternoon component of the program.. However, boards may increase the numbers of children by providing up to 25% of the spaces for children in grades one and two.
    2. The ability to increase enrollment by offering spaces to children in grades one and two only exists in those schools where a third party provider is not currently providing before and after school programs.
    3. There appears to be an understanding that in those circumstances where there are fewer than 10 children enrolled, the program will not be viable even with only one staff and where fewer than 20 children are enrolled (or expected to be enrolled) then the program will not be viable with two staff.
    4. Boards are expected to determine viability looking at the before- school and the after-school components separately. That is to say that a school may provide one and not the other.
    5. Boards have the option of partnering with another school or with a coterminous board (i.e. a different board of education but in the same region) as a strategy to achieve the numbers necessary for viability.

  2. The model for the calculation of parent fees for the extended day program has been determined:
    1. Project operating costs – there is an expectation that the programs will be operated on a cost-recovery basis. This includes:
      1. Salaries of ECEs who will run the extended day program and non-ECEs if they are hired as assistants
      2. School operations costs ($.60/hour/child) which includes utilities and custodial costs (EL7: page 8)
      3. Program costs
      4. Snacks if provided
      5. Administration and fee collection costs
        1. Boards may enter into an administrative services contract with a third party prior to July 1, 2010. The third party would then be responsible for the administration of the extended day program
        2. Staff costs for board employees may be included in this calculation provided that the staff person spends at least 75% of his or her time administering the extended day program.
    2. It should be noted that, in calculating fees, boards are allowed a vacancy allowance of up to 10 percent which is more than three times that currently permitted by the City of Toronto for licensed centres with a purchase of service agreement.
    3. The boards have been told that they must calculate the fees based on operating five hours per day (before school and after school).
    4. It appears that parents will be charged at an hourly rate equal to 1/5 of the daily rate.
    5. Should a board chose to operate on non- instructional days (i.e. PD days, holidays etc) then the fees will be increased to reflect the additional hours of care provided.

  3. The adult to child ratio has been established for the extended day component.
    1. Extended day programs are to attempt to adhere to the ratio for the full day early learning program which is 1 staff to 13 children.
    2. The maximum ratio is 1 staff to 15 children or 2 staff to 30 children.
    3. It does not appear that there will be a maximum group size. If the group is larger than 30 children then an additional staff person must be hired.
    4. It is interesting to note that the maximum ratios reflect existing DNA school age ratios. They are considerable higher than the existing DNA junior kindergarten ratio of 1 to 10 and somewhat higher than the existing DNA senior kindergarten ratio of 1 to 12.

  4. The rules under which school boards may enter into agreements with third party providers for the provision of the extended day component of the full day early learning initiative have been clarified:
    1. Where boards have an existing WRITTEN agreement with a third party provider, the board itself is not required to provide the extended day component of the full day early learning program.
    2. This holds true for a transitional period only of up to two years maximum.
    3. It is interesting to note that the definition of a third party provider is a "child care operator who is licensed or authorized under the Day Nurseries Act".

      This would suggest that recreation programs currently providing services in schools will not qualify as third party providers.
    4. In circumstances where a third party provider will be the operator of the extended day program, the provider is expected to provide a program with similar content as "required for extended day programs under the Education Act". (EL7, Page 6)



As the full day early learning initiative rolls out over the next five years, the impact on the licensed child care sector will be significant. The ability to effectively manage this period of change is greatly enhanced when the rules for all parties involved are in the public domain.

With the release of the regulations, licensed centres and home child care agencies will not only be able to plan for the future more effectively, they will also be better able to provide informed, accurate information to their parents when asked.

Information is power. Knowing the rules under which the boards of education will be operating increases the ability for a licensed child care centre or home child care agency to adjust its operating model to meet the needs of its community while remaining financially viable.