Daycare is one option for parents looking for care and supervision for their preschool-age children. It provides childcare for kids, from birth to age six, and sometimes beyond.
There are daycare and childcare centres all across Canada. Most are licensed by a government body, such as the Ontario Ministry of Education. This in accordance with the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA).
Each daycare has its own special approach to supervision, childcare, and education. This is often informed by specific views of child psychology, development, and learning.
In general, though, daycare tends to be quite play-based. Normally, it has plenty of “free-explore” time, unstructured activities, and play-based learning. That said, many daycare centres, especially at the higher levels, provide some structured learning, focusing on academic skills and knowledge, such as reading, writing, math, numbers, and letters.
This contrasts with many preschool programs, which tend to be more academic. Many preschools have more teachers with training in Early Childhood Education than daycares, and more teachers who are Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECE). They also focus more on early learning and academics than daycare through a fairly intensive curriculum. And some have less unstructured play time than daycares.
Childcare simply refers to any place where a child is cared for. This can mean a number of different things.
It may, for instance just involve one-on-one homecare provided by a parent, nanny, or someone else. Childcare may also be provided in an out-of-home setting. Here your child may simply be “looked after.”
Like daycare, though, childcare can and often does provide much more than babysitting. It often includes structured play time, with organized activities which allow kids to explore and learn. Many childcare centres also have some play-based learning. And some even provide some sit-down learning. Normally, though, childcare providers focus less on early learning and cognitive development than preschool.
Daycare and childcare centres aren’t right for all children. They do have some major benefits, though. They also has come potential disadvantages.
Below we look at some pros and cons of daycare and childcare. Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list.
Daycare and childcare
Should you send your child to a daycare or child-care centre? And if so, at what age?
These are challenging questions. And there’s far more to them than the table above.
What’s most important is to look at specific daycares. You should look into their approach to care, supervision, development, learning, and more. You should also try to get a feel for the environment and the care providers.
Finally, you should consider whether a daycare is a good fit for your child. Does it fit your child’s personality, learning style, and social and emotional needs? Is your child likely to thrive there? Is there likely to be a long period of adjustment?
There’s lots of research to be done here. And you won’t want to take shortcuts given what’s at stake here—your child’s well being.
Below, we list daycare and childcare centres in Canada. Click on a profile to learn all about it, including its approach to early childhood development and education. You can also click through to a daycare’s website and register your child.
The Giles School (est. 1989)
The Giles School is a French immersion private school in Toronto for children age 2 (Pre-K) to Grade 8. Open Admissions through Grade 1, small classes, and Mandarin introduced as a third language in Grade 1. [View profile]
|$12,900 to $22,500
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed||12900|
La Citadelle's Excellence in Bilingual Education and academically advanced curriculum develop successful global citizens through IB & AP programs and a holistic approach where students achieve their highest potential. [View profile]
|$12,565 to $20,750
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||12565|
We offer a sound, internationally recognized academic foundation. Our students gain fluency in three languages and achieve mastery of biology, chemistry and physics. [View profile]
|$7,150 to $10,400
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||7150|
Olivet School (est. 1893)
Founded in 1893, Olivet School is a Christian private school in Etobicoke, offering PS-Gr5. Olivet School combines quality teaching with individual attention to help each child achieve their personal potential. [View profile]
|$4,300 to $10,455
|Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed||4300|
|$16,496 to $19,120
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||16496|
Calgary French & International School (est. 1969)
Calgary French & International School graduates will be active global citizens with a foundation for life-long success, and our school will be the leader in French immersion and international education. [View profile]
|$7,900 to $15,100
|Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||7900|
Collège Bourget is a day & boarding school situated between Montreal & Ottawa, that exceeds Quebec curriculum guidelines & ensures our students grow through different spheres: arts, sports, community service & science. [View profile]
|$4,700 to $35,000
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed||4700|
Bayview Glen (est. 1962)
Bayview Glen is a traditional co-ed day school in Toronto, Ontario from Preschool (age 2) to Grade 12, a global member of Round Square and offers Advanced Placement programme. Tuition ranges from $17,000 to $26,500. [View profile]
|$17,800 to $26,500
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||17800|
|$9,500 to $17,595
||Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed||9500|
|$17,195 to $21,370
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||17195|
Banbury Crossroads School (est. 1979)
Since 1979, Banbury's student-paced approach with tutorial instruction is in small, multi-aged groups of 10:1. Meainingful relationships enhance learning. Member of Canadian Coalition of Self Directed Learning--CCSDL. [View profile]
|$9,000 to $13,000
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||9000|
|$3,250 to $14,800
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed||3250|
The Nature School (est. 2017)
The Nature School at Kortright provides an alternative form of education designed to provide experiential learning opportunities and promote curiosity to nurture the whole child. [View profile]
|$1,500 to $12,000
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Day Coed||1500|
Kelowna Christian School (est. 1978)
Established in 1978, our passion is to provide families with transformative, excellent education that equips and inspires students to be disciples who are world changers that love and serve God and others. [View profile]
|$4,750 to $6,550
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||4750|
St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School (est. 1891)
Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Graduating Year since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything. [View profile]
|$17,000 to $27,600
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls||17000|
|$8,400 to $25,000
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed||8400|
|$6,250 to $46,700
|Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Day Coed Girls||6250|
|$4,899 to $14,999
||Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed||4899|