Research tell us that early childhood experiences can affect later outcomes in life. We want all Toronto children to have access to developmentally appropriate, play-based early learning experiences in a safe and nurturing environment.
To ensure quality child care is offered to families, the City assesses licensed programs using the Assessment for Quality Improvement (AQI). The results of this assessment are called quality ratings, and are posted online for all parents to view.
The Assessment for Quality Improvement also known as the AQI, is a set of quality standards for child care based on early learning research and best practice.
The AQI is validated tool, developed by the City to assess the quality of a child care program.
The AQI evaluates 3 main areas:
The complete AQI is available for anyone to review.
While it is important to take the quality rating into consideration when choosing a child care, it is necessary to understand that the rating reflects a snapshot of the environment and events that existed on the day.
Various factors have potential to impact the results. For example, the results could be impacted if the regular early childhood educator happened to be off that day.
So, in addition to the rating, we encourage you to visit the child care and observe the program, speak to staff and ask the supervisor any questions you might have about the centre’s quality rating.
Note: Child care centres that do not have a service agreement with the City are not assessed for quality and therefore will not have a quality rating.
The AQI provides clear expectations, service standards and guidelines for child care programs.
The results of the AQI can be used to support continuous improvement and it can help the organization to set goals and priorities.