In some Canadian provinces, such as Manitoba and New Brunswick, children under the age of 12 can’t be left alone at home or care for younger children. While there is no specified age for being left alone in Ontario, a child’s parents or caregivers are responsible for making sure the child has care or supervision as appropriate. Many babysitting classes in Canada, including those offered by the Canadian Safety Council, are designed for children 12 years old and older; though classes for younger children are available. When in doubt about what is required or appropriate for your child, contact your local Children’s Aid Society. In Kingston the local organization is the Family and Children's Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. See For More Information links below.
Parents often require someone to take care of their children while they go to work, attend classes, or look for a job. Understanding the child-care system in Ontario will help you decide the type of care that suits your needs. Childcare subsidies are available from the province for children up 12 years old (or 18 years old if your child has special needs).
Kingston offers a range of services for children, including full-time daycare, part-time daycare, home daycare and nursery school. Some families hire a licensed child-care worker to come to their home.
Kingston is also home to child-care centres that encourage children to speak different languages, such as French and Spanish. Many elementary schools also offer before- and after-school care that allows parents to drop off their children early and pick them up later in the day. Many daycares accept children who have special physical needs or disabilities.
Newcomers enrolled in Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) programs may be eligible for free on-site child care while they take language training classes.
The City of Kingston maintains an up-to-date list of home child-care programs and daycare centres that operate within the city (see For More Information links below). It is important to contact daycare centres and put your child on their waiting list as soon as possible, as daycares often have long waiting lists, especially those for infants (up to 18 months).
For More Information
Information about child care in Ontario, including how to choose the right kind of care, paying for child care, child-care fee subsidies, and finding care for children with special needs. Informational sheets
for parents are provided on many topics including kindergarten, bullying, dual credit programs, cooperative education, and more. Brochures are available in Afghani, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Cree, English, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Korean, Mohawk, Nepali, Ojibwe, Ojicree, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu and Vietnamese.
Childcare Subsidy Program
City of Kingston program that provides assistance with eligible family’s childcare fees and costs. General information including details on who is eligible, expected costs, and how and where to apply.
Child Care Guide — Queens University
An introduction to child care in Kingston. Includes information on financial resources and assistance available to Queen’s faculty, staff, and students; and a list of helpful resources for parents and children covering a variety of topics.
Licensed Childcare Providers
City of Kingston list of daycare programs and home child-care programs available in Kingston. Also lists nursery schools, recreation programs and schools that provide before and after school programs.
Limestone Advisory for Child Care Programs
This organization provides information on various childcare programs, resources for staff and parents, and helps to link families with community resources and services. An online newsletter contains information about upcoming events, creative play activities and tips about quality child care. Volunteer opportunities are available and the organization can be followed on Facebook
Children (Ontario Immigration)
Information about pre-school and child-care programs in Ontario, introducing a child to daycare, child-care options, Early Years Centres and financial assistance for working families.
Paying for child care
Information about the Ontario Child Care Subsidy, Ontario Child Benefit, Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families, Canada Child Tax Benefit, and Universal Child Care Benefit.
Community Living Kingston and District
A community employment resource center for people with disabilities. Also provides volunteer opportunities and student placement for those wishing to work with people with disabilities. Also available on Facebook
Mes services en français! Kingston (Ontario)
A listing of various social and family services for francophones in Kingston. Services include child development, early childhood centres, education and public health, counseling, homelessness domestic violence, etc. Available in French only.
Centralized Childcare Registry and Information Service (CCRIS)
The official online childcare registry and waitlist service for the City of Kingston and County of Frontenac. This website provides a directory of available childcare options searchable by availability, location, age group, and type of care (home, centre, school, etc.) and program (half-day, full-day, after school, etc.). Sign up to receive notification of available childcare spaces.
"New in Canada" Parenting Support Series
A series of CMAS-created brochures for newcomer parents. Topics covered include dressing for winter, fire safety, home safety for children, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), swimming safety, and street safety. Brochures are available in Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), English, French, Persian (Farsi), Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu.
At what age can a child be left home alone?
Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, which lists information on at what age you can leave your child alone and other topics. Also includes an online directory
with addresses and maps to help you find your local children’s aid society.
Home Alone: Latchkey Kids
A Canada Safety Council article on leaving your child home alone. Includes recommendations for parents on making sure that they are safe and prepared.
Babysitters Training Course — Canada Safety Council
Offered by a number of organizations across Canada, this course is aimed at children turning 12 in the next calendar year. It covers a number of topics, including rights and responsibilities; safety and first aid; and children with special needs. It also includes advice for parents.
Babysitting — Canadian Red Cross
Babysitting courses offered by the Canadian Red Cross. Covers basic first aid and caregiving skills for youth 11–15 years old. Includes a list of resources for babysitters.
Parenting — We are here to help
Parenting help page of Kingston’s local children’s aid society: Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington. Includes who to call, resource links, a set of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and a video.