Serious Occurrence Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that there are provisions in place to deal with any serious occurrence which may affect the health and safety and well-being of children. The Childcare and Early Years Act (CCEYA) includes procedures to be followed to ensure that these incidents are reported to the Ministry of Education, tracked and followed up on.



As defined under the CCEYA a Serious Occurrence means:  

  1. The death of a child who received child care at a child care centre, whether it occurs on or off the premises,
  2. Abuse, neglect or an allegation of abuse or neglect of a child while receiving child care at the child care centre,
  3. A life-threatening injury to or a life threatening illness of a child who receives child care at a child care centre,   
  4. Any incident where a child who is receiving child care at the Child Care Centre goes missing or is temporarily unsupervised, or 
  5. Any unplanned disruption of the normal operations in the Child Care Centre or adjacent School that poses a risk to the health, safety or well-being of children receiving care on the child care centre.


  • If a child has a life threatening illness or injury that occurs at the Centre, and the child dies whether at the child care premise or at home as of result of the illness or injury a serious occurrence must be filed. If the child dies from a known illness such as Cancer, a Serious Occurrence is not warranted.
  • Service standard complaints are to be managed by the Supervisor and/or the Executive Director. In the event a complaint is made about abuse or neglect of a child that has occurred on the child care premise, Kids Come First must ensure that the appropriate services are contacting. An allegation of abuse or neglect that gives rise to a Duty of Report that a child may be in need of protection. If Kids Come First suspects that a child is or maybe in need of protection, the staff must report this directly to the local children’s aid society in accordance with section 72 of the Child and Family Services Act. If the allegation is about an incident that did not occur at the child care centre, a report would be required to a CPA however it is not a Serious Occurrence
  • Children who have not yet been received by the child care (i.e. children taking a bus to the program) and go missing is not a serious occurrence. Kids Come First will still follow up with trying to contact parents and/or the school the child attends in order to help find the child, however a serious occurrence will not be filed.
  • For the purpose of this policy, Kids Come First will file a Serious Occurrence if a child is temporarily unsupervised or goes missing for more than 5 minutes. (Procedures for the Supervision of Children) Eg. Children in School Age programs will go to the washroom in pairs. If the children do not return within a couple of minutes, a staff will check on them. If one or both of the children are no longer there and the staff is unsure where they have gone, the children are temporarily unsupervised and a Serious Occurrence will be filed.  OR if a child is left on the playground for 5 minutes after the children go inside.
  • Unplanned disruption of normal operations could include: Fire, Flood, Gas leak, detection of carbon monoxide, outbreak, lockdown and other emergency relocation or temporary closures.  Early closure due to weather is not a serious occurrence however if the Centre does not open, a Serious Occurrence must be filed.

Further information and examples can be found In Appendix C of the CCEYA.