2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 3: Enrollment

The organization responds to requests for care promptly and responsively.




Early Childhood Education facilitates appropriate child development and ensures the health and safety of children in care.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Enrollment procedures
  • Child file access policy
  • Child file access procedures
  • Parent handbook and other informational materials provided upon enrollment
  • List of community-based providers and/or resource and referral networks
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents
  • Review child files
  • Observe how files are stored


CA-ECE 3.01

Prior to enrollment, parents are offered a tour of the facility and receive information regarding:
  1. the organization’s approach to education, child development, and behaviour management;
  2. policies and procedures;
  3. classroom rules and expectations;
  4. opportunities and expectations for parental participation;
  5. applicable child protection reporting mandates;
  6. established mechanisms for parents to report safety concerns or suspected child abuse and neglect; and
  7. whether or not there is space currently available.


CA-ECE 3.02

Prompt, responsive enrollment practices:
  1. support timely initiation of care; and
  2. provide placement on a waiting list, if desired, or referral to the local child care resource and referral network or a similar resource when families cannot be served or cannot be served promptly.

Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 3.03

The organization maintains a file for each child that is:
  1. specific, factual, and legible;
  2. updated at least annually;
  3. signed and dated by parents/guardians and authorized personnel, where appropriate; and
  4. maintained and disposed of in a manner that protects privacy and confidentiality.
Examples: Files and signatures can be paper, electronic, or a combination of paper and electronic.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 3.04

Files contain information necessary to provide care, including:
  1. identifying information, including name and date of birth;
  2. address;
  3. emergency contact information;
  4. written parental authorization for emergency care including names of the hospital to be used;
  5. authorizations for pick-up;
  6. verification of up-to-date preventative screenings and immunizations;
  7. relevant health information and needs, including physician name, allergy information, and medication permission forms;
  8. information and consent/authorization forms related to special needs, if applicable; and
  9. additional forms or documentation, as needed.
Examples: Additional forms or documentation can include accident report forms, payment receipts, permission or consent forms, attendance sheets, and evidence of ongoing communication with family members.

Fundamental Practice

CA-ECE 3.05

Access to confidential child files is limited to:
  1. the child’s parents or legal guardians or designated legal representatives;
  2. personnel authorized to access specific information on a “need-to-know” basis; and
  3. auditors, contractors, and licensing or accrediting personnel, consistent with the organization’s confidentiality policy.