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One of the hardest decisions parents make in the first year of their child’s life is choosing the right daycare option.  There is a lot to consider from a logistical standpoint, for example – Do I want care close to work or home? Is childcare available during the hours that I work? Can we afford it? Add in the emotional considerations – Will my child thrive in daycare? Is it safe? and it becomes overwhelming quickly!

There are many options for childcare in Ontario and what is best for you and your child will depend on your individual needs.  Many parents have made the choice to select Licensed Home Childcare as the best option for them.  Parents that choose licensed home childcare select it for one or more of the following benefits:

  1. Home environment – they like that care is delivered in a warm and nurturing environment vs the more institutional setting of daycare centre
  2. Small number of children in care – more individualized attention to your child and children have less exposure to illness
  3. Flexibility of hours – for parents working flex hours, shifts, weekends, evenings or non-traditional hours of any kind, licensed home childcare is often the only option available that is as flexible as the hours parents work
  4. Safety – peace of mind comes from knowing that a licensed home is overseen by a licensed agency and the Ministry of education for health, safety and nutrition standards
  5. Affordable – Licensed home childcare rates are typically lower than daycare centre rates. It’s a great option as you receive all the benefits of a daycare centre in a more nurturing home setting.  Wee Watch agencies are all approved as part of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Childcare System (CWELCC), which means parents receive the benefit of lower rates!
  6. Quality – why settle for anything less than the best quality for your child? When considering quality – this would include the type of program that is being delivered and does the agency and Provider do anything above the standard required by regulations?  In the case of Wee Watch, we provide equipment to Providers (to ensure its in good repair and safe), we conduct monthly unscheduled visits to every home (regulation is once every 3 months) and we provide an extensive educational curriculum to ensure children are developing toward kindergarten readiness and beyond.

If you decide to choose Licensed Home Childcare, you will have the opportunity to meet and select your Provider – “fit” between the child, Provider and parents is very important to their transition.  Here are some things to look for as part of the process of making your decision:


  • How long have they been a Provider? Why do they do this job?
  • Ask to see a Menu plan (are the foods they plan to serve nutritious and varied)?
  • What training and support does the Provider receive from their agency?


  • Is the home warm and inviting? Clean and organized?
  • How many children are currently in the home (ages?)
  • Ask how they ensure their home is safe for your child.

Learning and Play

  • Ask what a typical day looks like
  • What does the indoor play space look like? Is there play space outside?
  • What type of activities and programming are provided?

Special Services

  • How often is the home inspected by the agency?
  • Is back-up care provided if the Provider is sick or absent?
  • What communication will you receive from the agency (newsletter? Progress reports? Social media pages?)