2.4 Safe Spaces, Accountable Spaces


Compliance with health and safety standards, Building Code, Fire Code, etc.
13. (1) Every person who applies for a licence to operate a child care centre under section 20 of the Act shall at the time of application file with a director evidence that the premises to be used as a child care centre complies with,

  • (a) the laws affecting the health of inhabitants of the municipality or of the reserve of a First Nation, as the case may be;
  • (b) any rule, regulation, direction or order of the local board of health and any direction or order of the local medical officer of health that may affect the provision of child care;
  • (c) any by-law of the municipality or any by-law of the council of the First Nation on the reserve, as the case may be, and any other law for the protection of persons from fire hazards;
  • (d) any building by-law passed by the municipality pursuant to the Planning Act or any predecessor of that Act and any by-law of the council of the First Nation on the reserve to regulate the construction, repair or use of buildings;
  • (e) the requirements of Ontario Regulation 332/12 (Building Code) made under the Building Code Act, 1992, where applicable;
  • (f) the requirements of Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code) made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, where applicable; and
  • (g) the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, where applicable.

(Ontario Regulation 137/15, under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014. © King’s Printer for Ontario, 2015)

Safe spaces support health promotion for young children by ensuring all structures are regulated by building codes, fire codes, and safe drinking water mandates. Noncompliances may be issued by Inspectors from any of the regulatory bodies listed in the above regulation from the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA). It is essential that early learning programs adhere to the mandated codes and rectify any concerns raised by Inspectors. The CCEYA legislates that licensees of child care centres are accountable for implementing safe spaces to protect the health and well-being of young children. Accountable spaces must consider the social well-being of those accessing the early years’ settings.

How Does Learning Happen (2014) and The Kindergarten Program (2016) curricular frameworks begin to address the importance of social well-being through the implementation of the four foundations necessary for learning. These foundations honour the rights of the child to feel a sense of belonging, to be able to express their unique perspective, to engage in a safe environment, and be supported in developing a sense of well-being.

Creating inclusive and diverse learning spaces where children, families, and educators can see themselves reflected is an ongoing practice in early years settings. The individuals accessing the early year’s program are the best resources to learn more about diverse abilities, traditions, beliefs, values, and preferences. Educators find ways to communicate with families to learn more about how to support each child’s unique perspective. All individuals have valuable contributions to make in the co-construction of knowledge in early years settings. A welcoming and accountable space invites others to share their diverse perspectives and allows them to feel confident in communicating their needs for consideration when setting up the social and physical environment.

People marching in a Pride Parade from 2016 in Canada
Pride Parade 2016 by GoToVan, CC BY 2.0.


This activity will require you to read a brief overview about how to use this checklist in practice. Once you have read the overview, please click the Take the Checklist button. This will direct you to another website where you will need to click the Do the checklist button. You can start the checklist without adding your personal information if you do not have a child care space you are assessing. If you would like to assess a child care space (placement or place of employment) you can enter your personal information to receive a professional development certificate from the Canadian Child Care Federation.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Holistic Care and Wellness in Early Years Settings Copyright © 2023 by Barbara Jackson and Sheryl Third is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book