Funding Agreements with Child Care Operators
The City of Hamilton enters into funding agreements with licensed child care operators in order to assist eligible families with their child care costs and for the purpose of distributing funding to eligible operators.
Funding agreements ensure child care operators are in compliance with Municipal and Provincial guidelines and legislation and that the City has quality child care options for Hamilton Families.
All child care operators with a funding agreement with the City of Hamilton are required to:
- Accept families in receipt of child care fee subsidy;
- Receive services with Community Living Hamilton ;
- Participate in the Hamilton Early Years Quality Program;
- Notify the City of Hamilton on any changes to operating capacity, provide reporting on vacancies, provisional licenses, plans to expand or reconfigure;
- Participate in the Annual Service Contract Review.
Child care operators with a Funding Agreement are subject to random auditing to ensure compliance.
Help Hamilton’s families and children by becoming a home child care provider with a licensed home child care agency in Hamilton and experience the benefits of this rewarding career.
Licensed Child Care Agencies in Hamilton
How many children can a home child care provider care for?
A home child care provider with a licensed agency can care for a maximum of six children under the age of 13. A home child care provider not with a licensed agency can care for a maximum of 5 children under the age of 13. All home child care providers cannot care for more than two children under the age of two years old.
Does a provider have to count their own children?
Yes. All home child care providers must count their own children under the age of 6.
Can a home child care provider care for more children if another adult is present?
No. The maximum number of children applies regardless of the number of adults in the home.
How do I go about becoming “licensed”?
In Ontario, the agency is licensed NOT the provider. Licensed home child care agencies are always looking for people who would like to care for children in their own homes. Contact one of the licensed agencies for more information.
What types of supports and training will the licensing agency provide?
Licensed agencies support providers by ensuring that they are in compliance with the Ministry of Education’s standards.
Providers have access to various training, workshops and the ongoing support of Registered Early Childhood Educators. In addition, providers will have regular home visits from an agency staff member to assist in meeting requirements and to support the day to day operations of their home child care.
Providers are also given the opportunity to attend workshops and evening meetings where they can meet other providers in their area.
Some agencies provide child care equipment and resources to assist providers in starting up their home child care business.
How often will a home visitor visit my home?
A home visitor from the agency will visit your home at minimum once per month. 6. What happens if I’m sick or go on vacation? The licensed agency may provide backup coverage for the children in your care for times you require off for illness or vacation.
To align with the Ministry of Education’s direction the City’s current focus is on expanding child care spaces with operators with existing funding agreements.
At this time the City of Hamilton is not entering into new funding agreements.
To create a responsive high quality, sustainable quality child care system the City of Hamilton requires not-for-profit corporations to have a high-quality governance model that meets these requirements.
Board of Director Structure
- The board is comprised of at least 5 directors.
- No board members are employees or relatives of employees of the corporation.
- The board composition rules and member names are available in a publicly accessible area.
Letters Patent and/or Articles of Incorporations Includes Provisions which required that:
- The corporation is a corporation without share capital.
- The corporation is carried on without the purpose of gain for its members and any profits or other accretions to the corporation shall be used in promoting its objects.
- The corporation shall not purchase goods or services from any director, officer or person related to a director or officer of the corporation unless there is only one available sources of goods or services within a reasonable distance of the child care location.
- The corporation shall not sell goods or services, other than child care services, to any director, officer or other person related to the director or officer of the corporation.
- The corporation shall not lend money to or borrow money from any director, officer or person related to a director or officer of the corporation.
- The corporation shall not rent property to or from any director, officer or person related to the director or officer of the corporation.
- The corporation shall not engage in any other transaction which may directly or indirectly confer a financial benefit on one of its directors.
- The directors of the corporation shall serve as directors without remuneration but may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
- No director of the corporation shall directly or indirectly receive any form of money or money’s worth as a result of his or her position as director.
- Upon dissolution of the corporation and after payment of all of its debts and liabilities, the remaining property of the corporation shall be distributed or disposed of only to charitable or non-profit organizations which provide child care, which are beneficial to the community and which operate solely in Ontario.
- Clear job descriptions outlining roles and responsibilities of the board members.
- Signing authorities require a minimum of 2 signatures, one of which is a board member.
- By-laws clearly define:
- criteria for members’ qualification;
- guidelines for membership suspension/termination;
- decision making process for member motions and voting power;
- when and how the election, appointment and removal of members will occur.
There are written policies and procedures:
- of job descriptions outlining roles and responsibilities of the board members;
- that demonstrate signing authorities require a minimum of 2 signatures, one of which is a board member;
- On conflict of interest, code of conduct, and complaints;
- confirming board members serve without remuneration;
- to ensure an accurate return is filed with the Canada Revenue Agency within 6 months of year end;
- Board meeting minutes are accessible to the general membership;
- Board meeting attendance is sufficient for quorum.
These documents will be submitted to the City of Hamilton on request:
- Constitution of Incorporation
- Letters Patent and/or Articles of Incorporation
- Conflict of Interest Policy
- Names of all board members
- Minutes for the Annual General Meeting
- Board approved budget
- Directors and Officers insurance policy
Funding Agreement Default
The goal of the child care services management is to maintain funding agreements with child care programs. However, there may be occasions when an operator finds they are in default of their funding agreement. These will explain what a potential default is and what action the City of Hamilton will take to fix it.
These events shall constitute funding agreement defaults:
- Knowingly providing false or misleading information
- Breaching any material requirements of the Agreement
- Changes to operations which effect eligibility requirements
- Changes in ownership or centre closure
- Arrangement for the benefit of creditors is made
- An event of Force Majeure has continued for a period of 60 days or more
Child Care Services Management will work with programs to ensure that required standards are realized by providing the child care operator with an opportunity to fix the default. The City will inform the operator of the particulars of the default and provide a period of time in which to fix the situation.
If any of these defaults have occurred the City may at any time take one or more of these actions:
- Initiate any action necessary in order to facilitate the continuation or provision of services
- Suspend payment of funds
- Reduce amount of funds
- Demand repayment of funds
- Terminate agreement
Any decisions made by child care system support may be appealed by writing to the Director of Children’s and Home Management Services. The child care operator should specify the reasons why they do not agree with the decision. The Director will review the appeal and respond in writing within 10 days of receiving the written appeal.
Appeals are to be submitted to:
Child Care System Support Team
Termination of the Funding Agreement
Either party may terminate the funding agreement in whole or part with respect to the delivery of any particular service upon 90 days’ written notice to the other party. If the agreement is terminated in part, all obligations with respect to delivery of all other services continue in full force and effect.
The annual service contract review is used as a tool by the City of Hamilton to determine child care fee subsidy per diems, maintain accurate records in the Ontario Child Care Management System (OCCMS) and to ensure that operators are meeting their annual contractual obligations with the City of Hamilton.
The annual service contract review is required annually and must be accompanied by the appropriate financial statement.
- The annual service contract is to be submitted within four months of an organization’s fiscal year end along with required financial statements.
- For operators submitting their annual service contract review package:
- between January to June approved increased will be effective July 1st
- between July to December approved increased will be effective January 1st of the following year
The annual service contract review package is to be submitted along with:
- Service Providers who receive these in general operating funding for wages:
- $100,000 or more are required to submit audited financial statements that include third party special purpose report
- between $30,000 to $99,999 are required to submit either a review engagement or audited financial statements and include third party special purpose report
- less than $30,000 are required to submit financial statements signed by board chair or agency authorized signee/owner
- Organizations with a Board of Directors are also required to submit the board approved budget for the next fiscal year
- Must maintain valid license from Ministry
- Provide verification of Insurance with minimum $2 million per occurrence for liability coverage and aggregate limit of $4 million. The City of Hamilton must be indicated as additional insured.
Agencies Incorporated as Non-Profit must include these with their Annual Service Contract
- Minutes for Annual General Meeting
- Board approved budget for next fiscal year
- Directors and Officers insurance policy
- Names of all board members
Reporting Program Changes
Prior to making any program changes, operators are to consult and receive written approval from the City.
These items are to be submitted prior to per diem rates being approved for program changes:
- Copy of license or confirmation from the ministry
- Details regarding the new program (start date, operating capacity, rate, hours of operation, location)
- How program will be integrated into existing program
- Demonstrated need/demand for the program at your location
- Annual service contract review outlining per diem rates for new program and projected expenses and revenue with the added program into your budget
Expansion or Reconfiguration of Existing Contract
- Contracts with the City of Hamilton are not transferrable.
- Operators should not enter into any agreement to sell, purchase, merge or transfer ownership/control (through the sale of share or assets) of a centre with an existing contract unless a request for a new contract has been approved.
- Operators who want to expand their program to serve additional age groups must contact the City of Hamilton before expansion to review their current Funding Agreement for fee subsidy.
- Operators who want to expand their program with new sites must contact the City of Hamilton to apply for a revised Schedule A.
- When reviewing requests for service expansion, the City will consider the following:
- Child care license history
- Program budget and financial history
- Expenses funded by the City of Hamilton related to reconfiguration cannot be included in current or future operation budgets as amortization cost.
- Funding entitlement for the balance of the year will be reassessed.
- Any increases to a program will not be eligible for additional funding until the following calendar year.
- Any extra funding previously approved prior to program changes is to be returned to the City or to be used as otherwise deemed appropriate by the City.