The City of Toronto undertakes an Expression of Interest process when selecting an operator for a newly built or renovated child care space funded by the City. Non-profit child care operators with a current service agreement for fee subsidy are eligible to apply.

Location

A new child care centre is being built at 541 Finch Avenue West and will provide child care for the surrounding community. The interior of the child care is 5,479 square feet. It is located on the ground level of Valleyview Residence, part of Advent Health Care Corporation’s community for seniors. Advent Health is a non-profit, charitable organization. The site offers opportunities for intergenerational programming.

The centre is located near the intersection of Finch West & Bathurst and the property has frequent TTC bus service. Parents can walk to the dedicated child care entrance or drive and park at the drop-off and pick-up lot located nearby.

Behind the child care centre is the West Don Parkland & Hearthstone Valley Greenbelt. This provides a beautiful setting for the child care playgrounds and senior’s gardens.

Operating Capacity

The centre will have space for 49 children:

  • 10 infants
  • 15 toddlers
  • 24 preschool aged

Facility

This planned campus development is for seniors and will continue to develop over the next 25 years. Formerly known as Branson Hospital, there are active health care services still available. The 128 suite Forestview Retirement Residence recently opened. Across the courtyard is Luma Care’s Adult Day Program. Near the long term care facility is the Willowdale Seventh-Day Adventists Church and Crawford Adventist Academy. Community children and families are welcome to attend and take part in their programs.

Entry

Parents will enter the child care centre from a well-lit walkway, located on the north side of the building. The walkway has views of the naturalized infant, toddler and preschool Playgrounds. After entering the building, there is a large lobby. Parents can leave their strollers there, browse through the displays and notices posted on the walls, or sit and chat with fellow parents. Double secured doors mark the main entrance to the child care.

Main Lobby

Inside the main lobby, the child care office/meeting space is on the left. The staff room is on the right of the central corridor. It has a staff washroom and lockers. Further down the main corridor are:

  • two spacious storage rooms
  • an infant triple stroller storage area
  • a barrier free washroom for parents or staff
  • a laundry room with stackable washer and two dryers (including space to handle weekly toy washing duties)

The centre is air-conditioned and is on a separate ventilation system from the long term care residence. Within the centre is a separate room to service the telecommunication, electrical and local area network needs.

Infant Playroom

To access the infant playroom (10 spaces) from the corridor, there is a half door to accommodate parents. Within the corridor, there are two undressing tables and infant cubbies. The playroom has toy washing capability. There is a triple sink built in to the west wall, and the cabinetry also features a separate adult sink, and room for a microwave and full sized fridge. Located at the entrance door are large storage units. There is also an infant height sink situated along the north wall. Within the playroom, there is an infant sleep room. The sleep room draws natural light and features upper enclosed cabinetry above the cribs, along the east wall. There is a linen closet with upper shelving for a CD player and baby monitor. The shared infant washroom has a child height toilet, infant height sink and a Totmate change table outfitted with a sink and pull-out stairs.

Toddler Playroom

The toddler playroom (15 spaces) faces the south and overlooks the courtyard of the long term care facility. The playroom is well-lit and features an adult height sink, a child height sink with in a wall of cabinetry with room for a bar fridge and microwave. There is a separate storage room to store rotational toys and cots. The toddler washroom is shared with the infant washroom. It features two, child height toilets and a Totmate change table that includes a sink and pull-out stairs. A pull-down change table is available within the washroom for extra diapering needs.

Preschool Playroom

The preschool playroom (24 spaces) offers direct access to the shared vestibule to enter the playground. The south wall features millwork that includes:

  • a child height sink
  • an adult height sink
  • room for a bar fridge and microwave
  • storage for art supplies and cots

This playroom also has a separate storage room for rotational toys and more cot storage. The preschool washroom features three preschool height sinks and three adult height toilets. A pull down bench will allow for diaper changes when needed.

Main Corridor

The main corridor houses all the required cubbies. It flows into a well- lit room, designed for gross motor activities and overlooks the wooded ravine and campus walkway. The secondary corridor empties into the enclosed playgrounds, the janitor room and the main servery/pantry. The servery will handle daily catered food deliveries to the child care centre. The room features:

  • a separate pantry storage room
  • triple sinks
  • a commercial dishwasher
  • a residential stove and residential hood
  • room for a stand up freezer and refrigerator
  • a raised counter work station where there is trolley storage beneath

Cabinetry will supply plenty of storage space. A door onto the playground will allow for easy access to snacks during all seasons.

Playgrounds

Along the north façade of the building, there are three separate playgrounds. They slope down from the north end and enhance the naturalized setting.

  1. The infant playground has a variety of surfaces, including rubber and natural grass, a covered sandbox and a gazebo for shade. A chime fence allows interaction with toddlers.
  2. At the west section, the toddler playground features a wooden gazebo that sits in the middle of a trike track. This playground has
    • a sandpit
    • water table
    • balancing log
    • log seats and table
    • places to garden
    • thunder drums
    • play wall panels
  3. The preschool playground is large, covering a range of ground levels. Along the treed, grassy slope, the children have a variety of equipment to play on, such as:
    • a playhouse
    • an amphitheater seating area
    • a sand pit with a climbable hill complete with rubber boulders
    • stepping logs

    The lower area offers a trike trail, gardening beds and wall panels with several types of surfacing.

Lease Agreement

The new child care operator will enter into a lease agreement with Advent Health Care Corporation.

The future lease between Advent Health “Landlord” and the child care operator “Tenant” will include the following provisions:

  • The operator shall be required to pay base rent in the amount of $9.85 per square foot and an operating cost of $9.85 per square foot (which amount shall not include custodial fees) provided that the lease is executed by December 31, 2018; and
  • The lease rate shall be subject to an annual increase of 2 per cent and shall be reviewed every 3 years, at which time the lease rate may be increased by an amount exceeding 2 per cent subject to market conditions.

Application Process

Expression of Interest applications for the new child care at 541 Finch Ave. W. must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Send the application to:

Arynne Crosbie
North District Consultant
Toronto Children’s Services
1118 Finch Ave. W., Unit 4
Toronto ON  M3J 3J4

For more information, please contact Arynne Crosbie at 416-392-5676.


The City selects operators for newly built child care facilities through an Expression of Interest (EOI) process.  Not for profit child care operators with a current service agreement for fee subsidy are eligible to apply. The City is looking for operators that:

  • Meet the requirements of the City’s Service Agreement and operating criteria, including demonstrating financial viability through the submission of a financial viability and budget package.
  • Are committed to providing integrated services to families through collaboration with school boards and other learning and care services in the community.
  • Have a proven history of contract compliance and high quality.

As new child care centres are developed, the City will provide a detailed site description.  An information session and site tour may also be provided to assist candidates in the completion of a comprehensive application.

All applicants submitting an Expression of Interest shall be understood to accept the recommendations of the City as final and binding.


Selection Process

All Expression of Interest applications will be screened and evaluated by Children’s Services staff and interviews will be conducted by a Review Panel comprised of a minimum of three members. Panel members will be determined based on their relevance to each location but may include; school boards, developers, and staff from Children’s Services and other City divisions.

In selecting an operator, the review panel will be guided by multiple criteria including the option of a visit to an applicant’s current child care location.  Where the school board is involved, the process will be adapted to include other procedures related to the school boards selection process.

Expression of Interest evaluation results shall be the absolute property of the City. The City does not disclose Expression of Interest evaluation results, before, during or after the evaluation process. However, applicants must be aware that such information may become public as a result of the need for transparency and accountability in decisions made by the City.

The selection process shall be as follows:

Stage 1: Mandatory Documents

Expression of Interest applications must be received by the deadline and must include all Mandatory Documents (Appendix A) and Selection Criteria Items (Appendix B). Only complete and accurate submissions will be considered for review. Applications that do not meet this standard will not move forward to Stage 2.

Stage 2:  Structure, Viability and Quality

A detailed evaluation based on the Selection Criteria outlining:

  • history of operation
  • financial viability
  • alignment with Children’s Services Service Plan
  • past performance and proven experience

Applications that do not meet the required standard will not move forward to Stage 3.

Stage 3:  Interview

Applicants at this stage will be invited to an interview with the Review Panel.  The interview will include a set of predetermined questions and the opportunity for the Applicant to make a presentation. Interview questions will include a demonstrated knowledge of the community where site is located. Applicants are required to supply their own presentation equipment and materials.

The City reserves the right to limit the number of interviews to top-scoring applicants as determined by the City, regardless of the number of applicants who qualify at this stage. The City also reserves the right to augment the short list at any time.

Decision

The applicant’s Expression of Interest that best meets the requirements of the City, in the absolute discretion of the City, in consultation with the Review Panel, will be designated as the preferred agency.

No obligation will arise until an agreement, based on the accepted Expression of Interest application, has been authorized and executed by the appropriate City authority.

After receipt of Expression of Interest applications and at any time prior to the execution of an agreement, the City may request clarification on any items related to the Expression of Interest and conduct negotiations with the preferred agency. The City, at its sole discretion, may adjust the evaluation score or ranking of an applicant as an outcome of the clarification process.

Applicant must be Not-for-Profit and hold a current Service Agreement for the provision of fee subsidy.  Service Agreement must have been in good standing for a minimum of the last two (2) years.

Include the following items with your submission:

  • A brief overview of the history and mandate of the organization
  • Copy of the Articles of Incorporation/Letters Patent
  • Declaration of Not-for-Profit Compliance with seal/notarized
  • List of Current Board of Directors with Contact Information
  • Agency by-laws
  • Audited Financial Statement for the most recent fiscal year end and copy of any Management Letter issued by the auditor
  • Annual General Meeting Minutes for the past fiscal year

Applicant must demonstrate that their programs operate in accordance with the principles of service integration as per the Child Care Service Plan, and the inclusion of children with additional support needs.

Include the following items with your submission:

  • Organization’s program statement reflects integrated services that are inclusive and support all children.
  • Where the Organization has not had previous experience serving one or more age groups, submit a plan to ensure developmentally appropriate programs will be offered for all age groups applied for.
  • Copies of recent program plans for a one month period that demonstrate specific program components to support children with special needs as outlined in the City’s Assessment for Quality Improvement (AQI). Children’s Interests reflected must be evident.
    • Provide two (2) program plan samples for each age group.
  • Total of three (3) letters of support from parents or general membership of the agency.
  • Two (2) letters of reference from community partners that demonstrate community collaboration experiences.
  • Provide examples of previous experiences which demonstrate community collaboration program and community partnerships.
  • A plan to describe how the child care program will develop partnerships with the local schools and other early learning and care services specific to this new location.

Compliance with the following items is required.

  1. Applicant holds a current Service Agreement for the provision of fee subsidy.
  2. Applicant meets the requirements of a Not-for-profit Agency
  3. Applicant meets or exceeds the AQI for each site operated by the applicant over the last two year period.
  4. Applicants service agreement has been in good standing for a minimum of the last two years.  Note: Good standing will be assessed by the City through a review of Stop Admissions compliance with contract requirements.
  5. Applicant currently meets Financial and Administration Criteria.

Financial Viability and Budget Package

Operators must demonstrate a history of financial viability, timely submission of required documents and reports, and also compliance with the City’s financial requirements as outlined in the Service Agreement and the City’s Financial Criteria.

Include the following items with your submission:

  • Letter of reference from organization’s current financial institution
  • Complete Children’s Services Financial Viability and Budget Package for the new site with all the required documentation attached

What is an Expression of Interest?

An Expression of Interest is the process the City of Toronto undertakes when selecting an operator for a newly built or renovated child care space funded by the City.

Who can apply?

Non-profit child care operators with a current Service Agreement for Fee Subsidy with the City are eligible to apply. Candidates must meet the requirements of the City’s Service Agreement and Assessment for Quality Improvement (AQI). In addition, candidates must demonstrate financial viability through the submission of a Financial Viability and Budget package and compliance with business requirements such as the timely and accurate submission of required information.

What steps are involved in the Expression of Interest process?

The Expression of Interest process consists of three stages.

Stage 1: Evaluation of the completeness of the application
Stage 2: Evaluation of the Selection Criteria
Stage 3: A Review Panel Interview

Who will be on the Review Panel?

The Review Panel will be comprised of a minimum of three members. Panel members will be determined based on their relevance to each location but may include; school boards, developers, and staff from Children’s Services and other City divisions.

When are Expression of Interest applications accepted?

A notice will be posted on the City website when new locations are identified. Each notice will have an application deadline identified. To be considered, applications must be received in full and complete by the deadline.

How can we access information about each individual site?

When an Expression of Interest opportunity is posted on the website, it will include site specific details such as the address, the type of building the program is located in, the age groups and group sizes, the physical layout of the program and the information about the community. Site tours will also be arranged for applicants that indicate interest.

What should we include in a draft budget?

The City requires a draft budget that covers staffing, program and operational costs, where fees reflect the actual cost to operate the program. Details of site specific operational costs will be included in the site details on the website.

Can interested applicants take photographs during scheduled site visits?

Photographs may be taken of the physical plant as long as there are no children present.

Will the City make placement of children a priority when a new child care centre opens?

The Toronto Child Care Service Plan sets out priorities for Toronto’s child care system. This includes setting geographic and age equity targets that ensure funding for child care fee subsidy is equitably distributed.

There is a waiting list for fee subsidy and eligible applicants will have to access fee subsidy on a first come first served basis, subject to ward and age equity targets. However, new child care operators may be prioritized for placement for the first six months of operation or until they achieve full enrollment, whichever occurs first.

Clients already receiving fee subsidy are able to transfer to a new centre if there is a physical vacancy. Families not requiring a fee subsidy are able to enroll their children in child care with a licensed physical vacancy and pay full fee.

Families may contact 311 or 416-338-8888 for more information on how to apply.

Is it a conflict for a parent who is also a board member to write a letter of reference for an agency?

The Expression of Interest application requires three letters of support from current and past parents of the child care operator. A letter of support from a parent who is also a board member is acceptable; however, support letters from parents should not be limited to those who are members of the Board, and if the agency has general members, please consider including these letters as well.

When will the successful Application be notified?

Applicants who successfully complete all three stages of the Expression of Interest process will be notified within five business days following the last day of interviews of the City’s decision.

All Applicants submitting an Expression of Interest application shall be understood to accept the recommendations of the City as final and binding.

Is the budget completed for a full year of operation?

Yes. The budget must be completed using annual revenue and expenses.

What program plans are required with the submission?

Provide two samples for each age group. For example if you program plan weekly your submission would include two weeks of program plans for each age group.

The Board Minutes are still in draft and have not been approved by the Board. Can I provide draft minutes with the submission?

Yes. The approved minutes can be forwarded to the Consultant following the Board meeting.

Does the Declaration of Not-For-Profit Compliance need to be notarized by a lawyer?

Yes.

How will we know the timing for the date when the Child Care Centre would expect to be operational?

Please contact the Consultant for the timeline.