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After school art classes

Expert: Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Anna asked:

I'm professional artist/illustrator and mom; I would like to start Art Classes/Art School for children at my home. Are there any regulations in Ontario for this business activity? Or it's classified as childcare? Thanks a lot!

Ministry of Children and Youth Services answered:

To answer your question we called a representative from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to ask them whether your service would be considered childcare, which is regulated through the Day Nursery Act. Please note that we cannot confirm whether your business will be affected by other regulations such as municipal bylaws such as allowed business use of your property. Please check with your local municipality in that regard.

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services responded:

The Day Nurseries Act (DNA) requires any premise that receives more than five children under the age of 10 years, not of common parentage (children who have different parents), for temporary care and guidance, to be licensed as a day nursery.

A person may provide informal child care to five children or less under the age of 10 years who are not of common parentage (children who have different parents), in addition to his/her own children, without a licence. This number may not be exceeded, regardless of the number of adults present or on site.

The definition of a day nursery found in the DNA was not intended to include recreation services and programs.

To be exempt from a licence under the DNA, recreation programs serving children under 10 years of age must meet the following conditions:

  1. Programs are offered by a recreation service provider recognized under Schedule A of the Recognition Criteria for Children's Recreation Services, Ministry of Health Promotion*
  2. AND

    Are not advertised for child care, day nursery or nursery school purposes, plus operate under at least one of the additional conditions:
  3. Daily – are available for not more than 3 hours per day
  4. Weekly – are available only one day per week, except weekend programs that may be available both Saturday and Sunday
  5. Seasonal – are in operation during the non-school year and school holidays as defined in Regulation 304 of the Education Act (December breaks, March break, summer break, other holidays and professional activity days).

*Schedule A of the Recognition Criteria for Children's Recreation Services:

The following are recognized by the Ministry of Health Promotion:

  1. Recreation committees appointed by,
    1. the council of a local municipality,
    2. the councils of two or more local municipalities,
    3. the council of the band,
    4. the councils of two or more bands,
    5. the council of one or more local municipalities and the council of one or more bands,
    6. a school board,
    7. two or more school boards,
    8. a local services board.
  2. Recreation camp organizations accredited by the Ontario Camping Association.
  3. Sports organizations that are members or affiliates of provincial sports organizations that are recognized by the Ministry.
  4. Ministry agencies.
  5. Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture agencies and attractions.
  6. Organizations that are recognized as children's recreation service providers by a resolution passed by the entity described in subparagraph i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii or viii of paragraph 1 that appointed the recreation committee in the jurisdiction in which the organization operates.

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