Caregivers: Frequently Asked Questions


What do I need to know before I open a home daycare?

CCPRN recommends the following as Best Practices prior to opening: First Aid/CPR training, Liability insurance, Daycare Ryder (extra car insurance) on your car (if you are taking children out in the car), a written contract and other business related papers; a Police Records Check – Vulnerable Sector – for all adults in the home during daycare hours, and a smoke-free, child-proofed home. Workshops such as: Starting Your Own Home Child Care Business are also a good idea – depending on your present education level and your child care experience. CCPRN offers workshops across the City – check out our list of workshops. Please feel free to call us to discuss this further.

How many children can I have in my home child care?

As an independent home child care provider you can provide care for up to 5 children under the age of 13, including your own under the age of 4 at any one time. Please see Ministry Guidelines for the complete details.

Does CCPRN find families for me?

CCPRN is not a Home Child Care Agency – it is a Resource Centre. CCPRN provides information, training, resources and support. The support includes parents having access via our website’s ‘Find a Caregiver’ search feature to all our caregiver members. Your profile allows you to personalize your information, add pictures and links to your social media, and add details about your home child care.

Where else can I advertise to find clients?

There are many free websites for this purpose. Click here to see a list.

Can I have more children if I have a helper?

Not if you live in Ontario. Please see Ministry Guidelines.

Can two caregivers work together?

Two caregivers may work together – but they may not exceed the numbers/ratios in place for an individual caregiver. Please see Ministry Guidelines.

Can caregivers visit in each other’s homes?

As long as the premises does not exceed the maximum number of children under the current legislation, and that the age ratios are not exceeded.

Does the CCEYA apply to home child care?

Yes. Please see Ministry Guidelines for more information on how the Child Care and Early Years Act applies to home child care.

Should I take the children out in my car?

This is up to each individual and to the client families in care. It will depend on your access to a safe vehicle and to safe car seats, your driving record and comfort in driving young children, and the type of program you wish to offer the children in your care. Some believe that outings to playgroups, parks, gymnastics programs, children’s programs, etc. are invaluable to the children in their care. Others believe they can meet children’s needs better in the space of their home and the activities that they can walk to. For more information on car seats please go to

How much can I charge?

You set your fees and the terms of your written agreement. Fees are usually based on location, years of experience, education, quality of food served, type of program. Click here for our most recent survey of rates.

Can parents change the terms of my contract?

A parent cannot change the terms of your contract; however, s/he may wish to discuss certain aspects and negotiate a change with you. It is your business and you make the decisions related to it. The parent decides whether to enter the contract with you or not.

How many holidays can I take?

Caregivers are self-employed and therefore are not entitled to “paid sick time”, or “paid vacation”. To accommodate for this some caregivers charge more per day and bank the extra money for when they are sick or on holidays. Others use statements similar to the one below:

“Weekly fee for care is _____, totaling an annual amount of ______. Payment is expected for the agreed upon hours/days whether the child is in attendance or not. Payment will not vary due to statutory holidays, child’s illness or appointments or parent vacations. Fee will be negotiated if caregiver takes excess of ____days off annually.”

Another term for this is being “paid by enrolment”. The language is very important in case of an audit by Revenue Canada. If you are audited and your contract mentions “paid vacation” and “paid sick time”, Revenue Canada can request the parents pay CPP and UI Benefits. Remember also, Revenue Canada can go back 6 years.

Can I charge for days that the child isn’t there?

See note above.

Can I charge for holding a spot?

Yes you can. Please call the office for more information.

Do I have to give receipts?

Caregivers are required to give receipts yearly. Please note that parents can declare your fees even if you haven’t issued a receipt so make sure you file your returns! Caregivers are exempt from charging GST/HST.

Do I provide diapers, wipes, & baby food?

Typically the parent supplies these. Once the child is on regular food the caregiver takes over the food cost and preparation. However, this can be negotiated between the caregiver and parent and of course would be reflected in the fee paid.

How do I get in touch with other caregivers in my area?

Some ways to get in touch with other caregivers include: attending workshops, children’s programs, CCPRN social evenings and die-cutting evenings at the office, going to your local park, library and playgroups. There is also a wonderful community through our Facebook and Twitter pages where you can put a call out for caregivers in your area.