Bill 10 has passed third reading

Bill 10, the Child Care Modernization Act, has passed third reading in the Ontario legislature.

 As the government’s backgrounder highlights, Bill 10:

  • Gives the province the authority to issue administrative penalties of up to $100,000 per infraction by a child care provider.
  • Increases the maximum penalty for illegal offences under the act from $2,000 to $250,000.
  • Increases the number of children a licensed home-based child care provider can care for from five to six.
  • Clarifies what programs and activities are exempt from licensing requirements, including care provided by relatives, babysitters, nannies and camps that provide programs for school-age children.
  • Requires all private schools that care for more than five children under the age of four to be licensed as a child care centre.
  • Amends the Education Act to ensure school boards offer before- and after-school programs for 6 to12 year-olds where there is sufficient demand.

Bill 10 also restricts the number of children who can be looked after in unregulated home child care, by making unregulated providers include their own children in the total number for whom care is provided, and limits them to caring for only two children under two years of age at any one time.

Some further amendments to the Bill were passed following the committee process:

Government amendments:

  • Exclude a provider's own children who are 4 and 5 years old, and are enrolled in full-day kindergarten, from the total children that may be cared for -- as long as the provider cares for fewer than two children under two years, and meets prescribed criteria.
  • Clarify that the total number of children that can be cared for refers to the number of children being cared for at any one time.
  • Allow existing, legal unlicensed child care arrangements to continue until January 1, 2016, or another date set out by regulation.

Opposition amendments:

  • No Progressive Conservative motions of amendment passed.
  • Five NDP motions of amendment passed, the most significant being the inclusion of children with disabilities as a group on section 49(f). That section now reads “It is a matter of provincial interest that there be a system of child care and early years programs and services that… respects equity, inclusiveness and diversity in communities and the particular qualities of… children with disabilities.”
  • Other NDP amendments that passed included key changes of “Minister may” to “Minister shall” language, including “Minister shall appoint employees of the Government of Ontario as inspectors for the purposes of this Act.”

Thank you to all supporters who took the time to send in written submissions to committee, wrote or called your MPP, or talked to friends and colleagues about the Bill.

The next steps will be to help inform the regulations that will accompany the legislation. We look forward to making sure your voices are heard by the government throughout this process.