Child Day Care

Child day care may be licensed or unlicensed. If care is provided to 3 or more children a licence is required.

Child day care may be licensed or unlicensed. If care is provided to 3 or more children a licence is required.

Licensed child day care programs include:

  • group care
    • under 36 months;
    • 30 months to 5 years;
    • school age;
    • preschool;
  • family child care;
  • multi-age child care;
  • in-home multi-age child care;
  • occasional child care; and
  • child-minding.

Health Authority Community Care Facility Licensing Programs issue licences and inspect licensed child day care programs.  They also investigate complaints about a facility's care, supervision and safety.

Unlicensed child day care arrangements are made between the parents and a caregiver, such as a neighbour, relative or friend. Unlicensed child day cares are not required to meet the provincial regulations and are not inspected by health authorities. Unlicensed child day care may provide care for only 1 or 2 children.  It is up to parents to research and monitor their unlicensed child care arrangements.

Legislation & Standards of Practice

Licensed child day care programs must follow the Child Care Licensing Regulation and Standards of Practice which outline staff qualifications and ratios, play space safety, programming, record keeping, guidance and discipline, and health and hygiene rules.

Legislation Changes

September 2013

Order in Council No. 409 (PDF, 304KB)
Amendments to the Child Care Licensing Regulation to strengthen reporting requirements.

March 2013

Order in Council No. 166 (PDF, 32KB)
Amendments to the Child Care Licensing Regulation to clarify child-minding contract language.

May 2012

Order in Council No. 347 (PDF, 564KB)
Amendments to the Child Care Licensing Regulation to promote greater transparency and clarification regarding prepayment agreements.

December 2011

Order in Council No. 562 (PDF, 5.9MB)
Amendments to the Child Care Licensing Regulation to include local police criminal record check for volunteers, adding exempted programs for religious instructions, expanding child-minding requirements and clarifying Early Childhood Educator requirements.

June 2011

Order in Council No. 238 (PDF, 632KB)
Amendments to the Child Care Licensing Regulation to introduce the category of care, child-minding.

June 2010

Order in Council No. 403 (PDF, 812KB)
Amendments to the Child Care Licensing Regulation to increase school age care group size.

March 2009

Order in Council No. 203 (PDF, 860KB)
Amendments to the Child Care Licensing Regulation to clarify licence application for fire evacuation, added reportable incidents and renamed first aid specialist.

February 2008

Order in Council No. 081 (PDF, 528KB)
Amendments to the Child Care Licensing Regulation to allow an exemption to the number of children younger than 36 months in a single group within the category of care 30 months to school age.

November 2007

Order in Council No. 728 (PDF, 29.9MB)
Renewed Child Care Licensing Regulation introduced. The new Regulation includes increased health and safety protections and introduces outcome based regulations to allow increased flexibility, where there is no increased risk to health and safety.

Legislative Responsibilities

Early Childhood Educator Registry

Useful Contacts

Contact Us