The Implications of Childcare, Early Years Act and Camp

This may have major implications for parents of 3 year olds who are looking for a camp experience or childcare during the summer months.

The Ontario Government recently made changes to the Childcare and Early Years Act that has some implications for age groups offered at camp. Below is an excerpt from the act that pertains to camp:

9. Subject to subsection (3), the care or supervision is provided as part of a camp,
i. that is not operated for more than 13 weeks in a calendar year,
ii. that is not operated on days on which instruction is typically provided for pupils enrolled in schools,
iii. that is not operated at a person’s home, and
iv. where the care or supervision is provided only for children who,
A. are four years old or older, or
B. if the care or supervision is provided on or after September 1 in a calendar year, will attain the age of four in that year.

This means that children must be 4 on the start date of camp to attend a camp.  

Below are alternatives for children who turn 3 in the year of camp:

Who is exempt from the Act?

The following are some examples:

• Nannies or babysitters that provide care to children in the children’s home
• Care by relatives
• Camps that only care for children aged 4 and over
• Programs with a primary purpose of academic or skill-based recreation
• Private schools that only care for children aged 4 and over.

This means that for all camps held in 2016, a child must be 4 years old on the start date of the camp to be eligible to attend.  

This may have major implications for parents of 3 year olds who are looking for a camp experience or childcare during the summer months. It may inhibit someone who wants a flexible varied summer program for their children. They may even have trouble finding any care for 3 year olds at all as spots in licensed daycares are limited.

Below are two links to the relevant Ministry documents:

Mike Perozak is the Founder and Director of Sportplay Inc. He has been operating Sportplay Inc., a multi-sport program for kids, since 2005. Prior to that he has been a personal trainer, worked with chronic high school non-attendees, integrated autistic kids into main stream high school, served as a staff in high risk group homes, and been a recreationist at the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital. Mike is a NCCP Level 3 Track and Field coach and has participated in a multitude of sport and recreational activities including track and field, cross-country running, triathlons, canoe tripping, white water canoeing, ultimate frisbee, hockey, soccer, volleyball, table tennis, yoga, Aikido, rock climbing, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, down hill skiing, snowshoeing, and more. For more info, visit:

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