Keep Your Children Safe: What You Need To Know About Daycare Liability - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Keep Your Children Safe: What You Need To Know About Daycare Liability


The rise in the number of families with both parents pursuing careers outside the home has increased the need for child care services. Whether provided by a relative or a daycare facility, at least half of families in Canada make use of some form of child care for their children. Licensed daycare facilities are subject to inspections and standards under Ontario law and regulations, but not all daycare providers are required to be licensed. While most children in daycare receive proper treatment, reports of children being injured or killed in incidents at daycare prompts questions about the extent of daycare liability an injury occurs.

Licensing regulations for Ontario daycare services

The Ontario Mistry of Education licenses and regulates daycare centres and providers offering daycare services in their homes. Whether you need a licence is determined primarily by the number of children you have under your care. You may only care for up to two children under 2 years of age, including your own child, without needing a licence. Daycare providers may care for five or fewer children between the ages of 2 and less than 6 years of age without having a licence.

Regulations pertaining to licensed daycare providers require periodic inspections by the Ministry of Education. Daycare providers who are not required to have a licence are not subject to inspections, but they are subject to limitations on the number of children they may have under their care at any particular time.

Staff and other individuals working at licensed daycare centres must pass a criminal reference checks with vulnerable sector screening. This must be updated every five years. The Ontario Child Care and Early Years Act regulations do not apply to the following types of child care providers:

  • Babysitters and nannies providing care in a child’s own home
  • Care provided by relatives of the children
  • Camps attended by children who are at least 4 years of age
  • Academic or skill-based programs
  • Private schools caring for children who are at least 4 years of age

Parents have the right to know whether a daycare provider is licensed. Unlicensed providers must give written notice to parents informing them the provider is not lcensed by the provincial government. Daycare centres must also provide parents with a statement outlining their program and are prohibited from restricting parents from having access to either the facility or to their own children.

Consequences when daycare centres violate the rules

Daycare providers who do not provide the level of care and supervision required under the law face administrative penalties from the licensing agency, the Ministry of Education. For example, having more children at a daycare facility than is permitted by law can result in penalties of as much as $2,000 per day for each child.

When the services offered by a daycare facility cause injury to a child, the owners of the centre and the individuals providing the care could be held liable to pay compensation for the injuries they caused. A personal injury lawyer is the best source of information and guidance for parents who believe their child might have been injured through the conduct of a daycare staff member or by the conditions at a facility.

Personal injury lawyers in Ontario

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for  compensation on behalf of the victims injured due to the negligence of other parties. If you or a loved one has a claim for compensation, call our 24/7 personal injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to one of our team members. We have offices throughout Ontario to offer free consultations and case evaluations.

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