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  1. #1

    Licensed preschool program

    Hi everyone! Quick question here, is there anyone running a pre-school program where the children are in care for only 2.5 to 3 hours outside of the home?

    I have a dream of opening my own licensed preschool centre in Ontario and am researching the requirements, as I am not sure if they differ from a daycare.

    I am just looking to gather information and would appreciate some pointers.


  2. #2
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Ottawa, Ontario
    1,469 Times in 1,125 Posts
    If you operated out of your home the rules would be the same for home daycare. Your home would have to pass the licensing requirements which it likely would not in terms of first zoning from your city from residential to business then things like a sprinkler system, industrial style kitchen, child size bathrooms, qualifications for staff, etc.

    Also considering full day kindergarten doubt your plan would work anymore since kids are in full day school from 3 1/2 on. You might get some parents but most would need their child in care the full day.

    You might want to consider working in a program that already exists such as through the early years centre or throuh a local church. A private school may be interested in adding a preschool component to their program. If you can piggyback off another organization you will be able to start up sooner.

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  4. #3
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    946 Times in 686 Posts
    My advice would be to contact the Ministry of Education and find out the criteria these days ~ not sure if you are aware or not but the day nursery act is currently under revision in Ontario as they are in the midst of Modernizing Childcare in Ontario based on the government paper just released recently as well as all the community town halls and so forth being held asking for feedback on what communities feel they 'need' in way of improvements.

    Everything you need to start your research can be found here ... including the current Modernizing Childcare in Ontario propositions


    IMO as much as there is 'demand' for childcare in Ontario ~ there is a very valid reason why big business is not 'all over' childcare meeting that demand ~ it is an awful lot of WORK and LIABILITY for the investor with next to no return on investment being made ~ aka very low profitability. Unless you are a Registered Early Childhood Educator and both OWN and OPERATE a private program you have to pay an RECE who meets approval of the Minster of Education to actually be the Director/Supervisor of your program which will cut into any revenue left over for you to draw a wage/profit from.... private programs do not receive the same funding / subsidy / grants as NON PROFITS do which makes it hard for them to compete with staff wages of non profits so the staff turnover in private centres is always high as staff work their long enough to get the 'experience' needed to get hired in a non profit and so forth.

    I also agree with Playfelt that with the unveiling of Full Day Kindergarten being in every Ontario school by 2015 licensed childcare centres that were servicing the 3-5 age group are already suffering and many have either closed entirely due to lack of demand in their area or had to undergo renovations to change their preschool classrooms to infant / toddler classrooms due to the drop in enrollment of this age group ~ demand for the preschool age group is only going to get scarcer as 2015 approaches because children who are able to turn 4 by December 31 of the school year will be eligible for what is perceived to be FREE childcare in the guise of full day everyday kindergarten which only leaves the children who are 30 months and a small % of 3 year olds who are born after January 1 left in this age group each school year which makes it hard to 'fill' a classroom unfortunately

    Not to discourage you but the issues of private verses non profit aside now might not be the best time to be opening anything with the future of childcare in Ontario so up in the air so to speak ~ hate for you to go into debt to do renovations on a building in order to get licensed or create a business plan that seems profitable now based on something that in less than a year or so could have drastic changes to age grouping ratios or staffing or access to funding and so forth ... as someone who reads up on all the available information coming out about licensed childcare and the early years field there is a very STRONG push for a national not for profit childcare system with all childcare programs being a part of each communities 'school board network' which could make it very hard for 'private' programs to thrive in comparison ... this is not just a push in Ontario but across Canada to have a system for childcare similar to the education system ~ back in 2002 we almost had this with every province signing off on a National Childcare policy only to have a change in Federal Government come along and scrap it in favor of the current $100/month childcare benefit thing. However advocates for National Childcare are still lobbying for this .... this is one of the reasons why in Ontario the childcare licensing and funding has been moved from the Ministry of Social services over to the Ministry of Education ... it is that first subtle or not so subtle step in getting childcare under the Ministry of Education funding umbrella where society will be more accepting to see it be considered a part of 'education' and willing to fund it verses a 'social service' which is always the first to receive cuts and so forth

    Another great organizations to network with if you are considering going into the industry is the Association of Daycare Operators Ontario .... my understanding is that they are made up of both not for profit and private childcare operators.

    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

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  6. #4
    Thanks ladies, your input/advice/info helps for sure.

  7. #5
    Hi there,

    I know this is an old thread but just curious to find out whether you did something or gave up on the idea.

  8. #6


    Hey, thanks for the such kind of post. It's really helpful for me, i looking for the information about licens for preschool...
    Best of luck.
    Thankyou so much.

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