Operating an Occasional Child Care Program in ISAP

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Rules and regulations are always changing, please confirm all details with your CIC Program Officer.

These three documents will help ISAP Administrators better understand what occasional child care is, the requirements for setting such care up, and how to operate an occasional child care program, if you choose to implement one.

Those agencies that already have an occasional child care program should also read:

ISAP Occasional Child Care (OCC) Operations Manual

This Manual is designed to help ISAP organizations implement an occasional child care (OCC) program. It begins with an Introduction to OCC that will help agency staff understand child care and the risks associated with providing OCC -

October 2007.


Access to occasional child care (OCC), seeks to remove a major barrier to service delivery and ensures that your program will reach an even larger population of newcomers. In addition to providing for the safe supervision of children, OCC is also a beneficial support to family life and promotes the successful settlement of children as well as adults.

What is occasional child care?

OCC is an informal, unlicensed arrangement for the care and supervision of children while their parents are at the same site, receiving specific CIC-funded services. Usually, the children who participate in OCC are different every time care is offered. If parents are allowed to go off-site, provincial law states that the program must be licensed. For that reason, it is important to ensure that parents and children remain at the same site.

What does occasional care look like?

Occasional care will look different for each organization. If your organization primarily offers programming at its own service site, then you will be able to meet your needs by providing OCC at that single location, either in a space permanently dedicated to child care or in a multi-use space that is only used for children when there is a need and is available for other purposes at other times. If you offer services at more than one location, you will need to think about operating OCC on a mobile basis at itinerant sites, possibly provided by other organizations.

OCC involves different needs and risks from regular, ongoing child care programs. OCC must be flexible enough to meet varying situations and accommodate unpredictable numbers and ages of children. Without opportunities to develop relationships with children, caregivers must be able to identify needs quickly and be skilled in dealing with separation anxiety. Since the space for caregiving may vary and, in many instances, is unlikely to be permanent, caregivers must be skilled in setting-up and closing down an environment for children every time OCC is provided.

What Supports Are Available?

To ensure that OCC meets your goals, as well as the expectations of the families you serve, it is important to have a standard of care that all programs must achieve. Accordingly, the core of the OCC program is a set of requirements that provides a framework for implementing OCC and establishes minimum benchmarks for program operation. These requirements have been developed after consultation with SPOs and with the varied needs of many CIC-funded programs in mind. They are also grounded in research in the child care field. This research identifies basic minimums, accepted internationally, which must be achieved to modify risks to children in group settings and ensure that the care they receive meets their social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs.

CIC has made a number of handbooks, documents and resource binders available to you. You will need to meet specific administrative, space/facility and activity requirements.

Reading through the three documents available for download here will help you to make the final decision about whether or not an occasional child care program is a fit for your organization.

Language: English, French

Format: Thes document are available for download in PDF format.