Education and Childcare

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The Ontario School System

Public & Separate Schools

There are two publicly funded school systems in Ontario: public (non-denominational) and separate (Roman Catholic). They are available at both the elementary and secondary school levels. All permanent residents between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school as outlined in the Ontario Education Act which can be found on the Government of Ontario’s website.



The Ministry of Education in Ontario sets the curriculum throughout the Ontario public school system. Please refer to the Ministry of Education's guide for more information on required courses and credits for a high school diploma in Ontario.

Educational programming in Ontario divides age groups into two distinct tiers of programming; Elementary School and High School/Secondary School. Please refer to the drop down menu below for more information on programming in Ontario schools.

Programming In Ontario Schools

Elementary School Programming

Elementary school programs start at Junior Kindergarten (JK) and Senior Kindergarten (SK) for children who are 4 and 5 years of age, and Grades 1 through 8 for children 6 to 13 or 14 years of age. In some areas, Grades 7 and 8 are placed in a separate Junior High school.

Please note: Kindergarten can be a half-day program, either a morning or afternoon session or an alternate day program. Additional child care may therefore be required if the school is not one that provides consecutive or full-day sessions.

High School/Secondary School Programming

High schools or secondary schools accept Grades 9 through 12, with students generally graduating when they are about 18 years of age. To receive an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, students need to complete at least thirty credits during their time in secondary school (one credit typically equates to one course).


Academic Year

For the vast majority of Ontario schools, the school year begins in September and ends in June. Generally, the grade a child enters is based on where the child’s birthday falls within the January to December calendar year, not a September to August school year. School holidays are typically the same for all public school systems.

Schools run from Monday through Friday. Depending upon the school, the school day typically starts at 8:30 am or 9 am and ends at 3 pm or 3:30 pm, but could start as early as 8:15 am. There is a vacation period of approximately two weeks around the end of December, and a break in March that is approximately one week long. Schools are closed for the summer months of July and August (unless the child is registered for an optional summer school program). Please check with the school for details.

All school boards offer teachers professional development days (PD Days) during the school year. Students do not attend school on these days.


Languages of Instruction

English is the language of instruction in most Ontario schools; however, there is also a French-language school offered to students.

French immersion programs are offered at some schools in the public and separate school systems, which can provide all or most subjects instruction in French.

For information on Francophone public education in Ontario, please visit the Conseil Scolaire Viamonde website as well as Canadian Parents for French.

For information on public French-Catholic schools, please visit Conseil Scolaire Mon Avenir.


School Locations

Children are generally required to attend the school in the area/neighbourhood in which they reside.

For more information on the school system in Ontario, please refer to the Ministry of Education’s Website.

School Boards In Toronto & Surrounding Areas

Public Schools

Toronto District School Board:

This school board covers the areas of East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, Toronto, and York Region.

Peel District School Board:

The Region of Peel is located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) west of Toronto. It consists of the municipalities of Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga.

York Region District School Board:

York Region is north of Toronto and includes Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Whitchurch-Stouffville.

Durham District School Board:

Durham Region is east of Toronto and includes Pickering, Ajax, Oshawa, Whitby, and Clarington, as well as Uxbridge, Brock, and the Scugog Townships.

Halton District School Board:

Halton Region stretches west of Peel and includes Burlington, Milton, Oakville and Halton Hills.

Conseil Scholaire Viamonde (centre et sud-ouest)
(Francophone school board for central & south-western Ontario):

This board covers central/southwestern Ontario (including Toronto and the GTA) and is part of the Association des Conseils scolaires et des écoles publiques de l'Ontario) or the Public School Boards Association of Ontario.

Catholic Schools

Toronto Catholic District School Board:

The Toronto area encompasses East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, Toronto, and York Region.

Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board:

The Dufferin-Peel area includes Brampton, Caledon, Mississauga, and Orangeville.

York Region Catholic District School Board:

York Region is north of Toronto and includes Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Whitchurch-Stouffville.

Halton Catholic District School Board:

Halton Region stretches west of Peel includes Burlington, Milton, Oakville and Halton Hills.

Private Schools

For information on private school options throughout Canada, including Toronto and the surrounding area, please refer to the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools Web site at

Our Kids Publications is a Canadian publisher of annual magazines providing information to assist families to make informed decisions regarding education, leisure time, retirement-living and health care options. For more information, please refer to their website.

The following is a list of private and independent schools that are available in Toronto & parts of the GTA:

Arrowsmith School:

245 St. Clair Ave. W., Toronto (Avenue Rd./St. Clair Ave. W.)
A private school for students with learning disabilities.

Bayview Glen:

275 Duncan Mill Rd., Toronto (Don Mills Rd./York Mills Rd.)
A co-educational, multi-cultural, private day school offering programs for preschool through Grade 12 children.

The Bishop Strachan School:

298 Lonsdale Rd., Toronto (Bathurst St./St. Clair Ave. W.)
Canada’s oldest boarding and day school for girls. Founded in 1867, it offers education from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.

The Country Day School:

13415 Dufferin St., King (Dufferin St./King Rd.)
A co-educational non-denominational day school covering Grades Senior Kindergarten through UE.

Crescent School:

2365 Bayview Ave., Toronto (Lawrence Ave. E./Bayview Ave. – near York University’s Glendon campus)
A school for boys, established in 1913, for Grades 3 through 12.

Fieldstone Day School:

2999 Dufferin Street, Toronto (Lawrence Ave. W./Dufferin St.)
An independent school for girls and boys, Grades Kindergarten through 12.

Giles School:

80 Scarsdale Rd, North York (York Mills & Leslie)
A secular, co-educational school for students from Nursery through Grade 8 that offers multilingual education in French, English, Mandarin, and Japanese. Students can study for the French Baccalaureate or the British O’ and A’ Levels.

Havergal College:

1451 Avenue Rd., Toronto (Avenue Rd./Lawrence Ave. W. )
An independent day and boarding school for girls, from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Howlett Academy:

15 Madison Ave., Toronto (Bloor St. W./Avenue Rd.)
Admission information, educational programs and philosophy of a small, independent, co-educational school for Grades 4 through 8.

Hudson College:

21 Ascot Ave., Toronto (Dufferin St./St. Clair Ave.)
This private, non-denominational, co-educational school provides courses from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 and pre-university programs.

Imperial College of Toronto:

20 Queen Elizabeth Boulevard, Toronto (Royal York Rd./The Queensway)
An independent boarding school, providing pre-university programs and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

J. Addison School:

2 Valleywood Drive, Markham (Woodbine Ave./Highway 7)
A private elementary/secondary school. Web site lists admission guidelines, programs of study, and requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Junior Academy:

2454 Bayview Avenue (south of York Mills Rd)
A co-educational day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8.

Kingsley Primary School:

3962 Bloor St. West in Etobicoke (Bloor St. & Shaver)
A non-profit private elementary school for pre-kindergarten through Grade 5.

Kingsway College School:

4600 Dundas Street W., Toronto (Dundas St. W./Royal York Rd.)
A small co-educational elementary school in Etobicoke.

McDonald International Academy:

Main campus: 920 Yonge St., Toronto (near Yonge St./ Bloor St. W.)
A registered and accredited secondary school offering Grade 9 through 12 education, and ESL courses.

Montcrest School:

658 Broadview Ave, Toronto (East of the DVP, south of Bloor)
A co-educational elementary day school. The arts are an integral element of the curriculum and students receive education in art, drama, music, French, physical education and technology.

Northmount School:

26 Mallard Rd., Toronto (Don Mills Rd./York Mills Rd.)
A school for boys from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8. The information listed includes the school's philosophy, advisory program, and parent coordination system.

Sidney Ledson Institute:

Main institute: 220 Duncan Mill Rd., Toronto (Hwy. 401/(Don Mills Rd.)
Centre for reading research and intellectual development; attempts to help two to ten-year-olds to attain maximum academic potential. Online classes.

St. Andrew’s College:

15800 Yonge St., Aurora (Yonge St./Wellington St.)
St. Andrew’s is one of Canada’s oldest and largest all-boys boarding and day schools, educating students from Grade 6 through University Entrance (UE).

Sterling Hall School for Boys:

99 Cartwright Ave., Toronto (Hwy. 401/Dufferin St.)
Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8. The Web site includes an overview of the school.

Sunnybrook School:

469 Merton St., Toronto (Mount Pleasant Rd./Moore Ave.)
Junior Kindergarten through Grade 6.

TAIE International Institute:

399 Church Street, Toronto (Church Street & Carlton Street)
Offers English language courses and programs leading to Ontario Secondary School Diploma and university preparation.

The Dragon Academy:

35 Prince Arthur Ave., Toronto (Bloor St. W./Avenue Rd.)
Co-educational independent school located steps from the Royal Ontario Museum in downtown Toronto. Offers programs for students in Grades 7 through 12.

The Linden School:

10 Rosehill Ave., Toronto (Yonge St./St. Clair Ave. E.)
Offers classes for girls in Grades 1 through 12. Promotes development of young women in its policies, structures, programs and curriculum.

The Mabin School:

50 Poplar Plains Rd., Toronto (Dupont St./Avenue Rd.)
Co-educational and non-denominational school in downtown Toronto that offers a full-day program for boys and girls ages 4 through 11.

The University of Toronto Schools:

371 Bloor St. W., Toronto (Bloor St. W./Spadina Ave.) OR 30 Humbert Street
A private school for high achieving students, Grades 7 through 12, affiliated with the University of Toronto. Admission is based on merit.

Toronto French School:

306 Lawrence Ave. E., Toronto (Lawrence Ave. E./Bayview Ave.) and
1293 Meredith Ave., Mississauga (Lakeshore Rd. E./ Dixie Rd.)
A multilingual, co-educational international school from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. Aims to develop strong English-French bilingualism in students, who do not need any knowledge of French for admission. The International Baccalaureate program is also offered.

Toronto International College:

3550 Victoria Park Avenue, North York(Victoria Park near Steeles)
Offers Grade 11 and 12 university preparation courses to students from around the world.

Upper Canada College:

200 Lonsdale Rd., Toronto (Ave Rd./St. Clair Ave. W.)
An independent school for boys up to Grade 12, and one of the oldest schools in Canada. Offers day school and boarding, and provides outlines of its history and programs.

YMCA Academy:

15 Breadalbane St., Toronto (Yonge St./Wellesley.)
An independent secondary school supported by the YMCA of Greater Toronto; offering specialized programs to students with mild learning disabilities and learning style differences.

Montessori Schools

Montessori schools utilize a methodology for nursery and elementary school education, first developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. For further information and a comprehensive list of all Montessori schools in Toronto and the surrounding area, please visit Montessori Schools Ontario.

Avalon Children’s Montessori School:

Two locations - 31 Wood Glen Rd., Toronto (Kingston Rd./Wood Glen) and 2181 Queen Street East, Toronto (Wineva Ave./Queen St.). Offers Casa and Elementary Montessori programs for children 2 ½ to 12 years of age in the Beaches area of Toronto.

Bannockburn School:

12 Bannockburn Ave., Toronto (Avenue Rd./Wilson Ave.)
Offers preschool and elementary programs based on the Montessori method of education.

Bond Academy:

720 Midland Ave., Toronto (Kennedy Rd./Eglinton Rd.)
A private elementary and secondary school that offers a Montessori Casa program.

Manor Montessori School:

909 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto (Mt. Pleasant Rd./Eglinton Ave. E.) and 14 Desavery Crescent. (Mt. Pleasant Rd./Eglinton Ave. E.)
Offers pre-school and elementary curriculum for boys and girls.

Taddlecreek Learning Centre:

39 Spadina Ave (Annex neighbourhood)
Private Montessori learning centre offering Ontario Ministry of Education courses for the ages of 2 to 12. The website includes fees, location, course list, and a description of their objectives.

Cultural & Religious Independent Schools

Bialik Hebrew Day School:

2760 Bathurst St., Toronto (Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. W.)
A Hebrew day school for students from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8.

Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto:

Tanenbaum campus: 200 Wilmington Ave., Toronto (Dufferin St between Sheppard Ave & Finch Ave) A co-educational Jewish high school providing education in Judaic and general studies.

De La Salle College:

131 Farnham Ave., Toronto (Avenue Rd./St. Clair Ave. W.)
A co-educational, Catholic school.

Holy Trinity School:

11300 Bayview Ave., Richmond Hill (Bayview Ave./19th Ave.)
Holy Trinity School is a co-educational independent day school located just north of Toronto, covering Grades Senior Kindergarten through 12.

North Toronto Christian School and the Yorkland School:

255 Yorkland Blvd. (Highway 404/Sheppard Ave. E.)
One of Canada's largest independent Christian schools.

Olivet Church of the New Jerusalem:

279 Burnhamthorpe Rd., Etobicoke (Burnhamthorpe Rd./Kipling Ave.)
An independent Christian school, Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8.

Peoples Christian Academy:

245 Renfrew Drive, Markham
A Kindergarten through Grade 12 independent private Christian school offering biblically-based private education to students.

Royal St. George’s College:

120 Howland Ave., Toronto (Bathurst St./Bloor St. W.)
An independent university preparatory school for boys, from Grade 3 through University Entrance (UE). It was founded as an Anglican choir school in 1964 and is Christian based. Music is a central part of life at RSGC.

St. Michael’s College School:

1515 Bathurst St., Toronto (Bathurst St./St. Clair Ave. W.)
A Catholic school for boys grades 7 through 12, offering a Christian liberal education.

International Baccalaureate Schools

Please find below selections of IB schools located within a reasonable commute of York University:

Branksome Hall School:

10 Elm Ave., Toronto (Yonge St./Bloor St.)
An independent day and boarding school for girls, in the Rosedale area of Toronto. It offers the International Baccalaureate programme. Applications for the school are available online.

Harrison Public Elementary School

81 Harrison Road, Toronto (Hwy. 401/Bayview Ave.)
An International Baccalaureate World School and offers the Primary Years Programme (PYP) to all its students.

The Academy For Gifted Children

12 Bond Crescent, Richmond Hill (Yonge St./King Rd.)
An independent day school that provides differential programming for gifted children, Grade 1 through 12.

The York School:

Main campus: 1320 Yonge St., Toronto (St. Clair Ave. W./Yonge St.)
Co-educational, non-denominational school. Provides Grades 1 through University Entrance and offers both the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in the last two years of high school and the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 6.

For a wider selection, please visit the International Baccalaureate Organization website for a list of schools in Ontario.


Canada has a large and growing homeschooling movement. The following websites are provided for more information on homeschooling guidelines in Ontario.

For a map showing the various regions within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), please refer to the section About Canada.


Higher Education

After Grade 12, students wishing to pursue higher education can apply to attend college or university. Please refer to the following websites for more information regarding Canadian universities and the application process:




The Ministry of Children and Youth Services is responsible for the legislation and regulations under the Day Nurseries Act. The Ministry issues licences to operators of day nurseries and private-home daycare agencies. It is illegal to leave children under twelve years of age alone in a home or daycare.

The regulations of the Day Nurseries Act requires that premises be licensed if they have more than five children who are under the age of ten years, of different parents, receiving temporary care and supervision. The Act is designed to ensure standards for the children’s health, safety, development and learning.

In an effort to make childcare accessible for staff York University provides on-campus options for childcare day programs. Please refer to the drop-down menu below for more information on childcare available on York University's Keele campus.

On-Campus Childcare

York University Co-operative Daycare Centre

The York University Co-operative Daycare Centre is a fully licensed centre that has served the York community since 1969. It is licensed for 119 – 120 infants, 20 toddlers, 64 preschoolers and 15 school-agers, e.g. children from six weeks to ten years of age. The daycare gives priority to York students, staff, graduate students and faculty. They serve delicious meals prepared on the premises and offer enrichment classes. They have spacious ground floor accommodation and three playgrounds that all meet safety standards.

Further information on this daycare can be found at York University Co-operative Daycare Centre. You may email the daycare centre at, or call (416) 736-5190.

Lee Wiggins Child Care Centre

Located inside the First Student Centre, the Lee Wiggins Child Care Centre provides licensed part-time and full-time care for 25 children of ages 18 months through five years, in a family group setting. The centre is designed to provide a child care option that is directly responsive to the specific needs of students and part-time/shift workers, and educational workers by providing licensed part-time and full-time child care.

The Centre also provides an Early Years Program called `Play and Learn.’ This is a free, drop-in program held on Saturdays, from 9am to 12pm, for parents and children from 0 to 6 years of age.

Parents may use the Centre’s services on an occasional basis, for emergency care, Professional Activity (P.A.) Day for teachers and March Break care when space allows. Child care is normally booked on a per-term basis, but parents/parental guardians may register at any time by appointment. CUPE members are eligible for a CUPE subsidy towards their fees. Priority is given to students and CUPE 3903 members, followed by staff, faculty and members of the wider community.

For further information, please refer to Lee Wiggins Child Care Centre.


Child Care In The Community

You may visit this online resource that helps nannies and parents connect, by going to

Family Daycare Services is available at and (416) 922-9556. They provide licensed child care for children from birth to 12 years. There are 43 centres within the Toronto, York and Peel Regions.

The City of Toronto website provides information on child care centres, home child care agencies and providers, and francophone child care programs.


Child Care In Schools

Many schools have licensed daycare for children who are preschoolers and school age. There may be full day programs for preschoolers and `before and after’ school programs for the school-aged child, e.g. Peel Lunch and After School Program, `PLASP.’ You can refer directly to the school board website for information on their available child care programs, or visit the PLASP website.


Emergency Childcare

Depending on the illness, if your child is mildly sick and your main child care provider cannot provide care below are child care providers that will accommodate caring for mildly ill children in your own home.