Follow the Rules for Operating a Licensed Child Care Facility
Follow the rules at all times to keep your licence in good standing.
Child care can be licensed, registered or unlicensed. Unlicensed (or licence-not-required) child care providers can care for only two children or a sibling group not related to them. If care is provided to three or more children, a licence is required.
Instructions & Guidance
- Fire and Life Safety for Licensed Home Based Child Care Settings in B.C. (PDF)
- Furnishings and Equipment Guidelines for Licensed Child Care Facilities (PDF)
- Guiding Children's Behaviour (PDF)
- Preventing Illness in Child Care Settings (PDF)
- Preventing Injury in Child Care Settings (PDF)
- Quick Guide to Common Childhood Diseases (PDF)
Monitoring & Inspection
Licensing officers from the local health authority monitor each child care facility to make sure that rules are being followed and that the needs of the children in care are being met. This includes inspection, discussion and risk analysis of facility plans and programs. Each facility is monitored and assessed on an individual basis.
Work closely with your licensing officer to make sure you understand what is expected. They're available to discuss issues, make site visits, provide education and help licensees understand what needs to be done and why.
Make a change to your licence: Be sure to contact the licensing officer at your local health authority to report any changes to your licence. For example, you will need to request authorization to change locations or add new spaces to your facility.
Fraser Health Authority
Central intake: 604 587-3936
Abbostford: 604 870-6000
Burnaby: 604 918-7683
Chilliwack: 604 702-4950
Delta: 604 507-5478
Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody: 604 949-7700
Surrey and Whiterock: 604 930-5405
Interior Health Authority
Licensing: 1 877 980-5118
Cranbrook: 250 420-2220
Kamloops: 250 851-7340
Kelowna: 1 877 980-5118
Nelson: 250 505-7200
Penticton: 250 770-5540
Salmon Arm: 250 833-4100
Vernon: 250 549-5707
Williams Lake: 250 302-5000
Island Health Authority
Campbell River: 250 850-2110
Courtenay: 250 331-8620
Nanaimo: 250 739-5800
Victoria: 250 519-3401
Northern Health Authority
Dawson Creek: 250 719-6500
Fort St. John: 250 263-6000
Prince George and Smithers: 250 565-2150
Terrace: 250 631-4222
Vancouver Coastal Health
Powell River: 604 485-3310
Richmond: 604 233-3147
Sechelt: 604 885-5164
Squamish: 604 892-2293
Vancouver: 604 983-6700
West Vancouver: 604 675-3800
Authority to Monitor Licensed Facilities
Health authorities are legislated to monitor licensed child care facilities. Child care licensing follows the same structure and governance used for other community licensing programs in B.C. Learn more about how governance works:
Responsibilities: The following licensing responsibilities are assigned.
The director of licensing is appointed by the minister as the steward for all Health Authority Community Care Licensing Programs. Their role is to oversee and ensure the safe care of persons in licensed facilities.
Medical health officers issue licences, inspect facilities, suspend or cancel licences and investigate complaints. Typically, medical health officers delegate their day-to-day work of inspection and complaint investigation to licensing officers.
Legislative amendment (May 2018): The Community Care and Assisted Living Amendment Act, 2018 - Bill 5 (PDF) amends the CCALA to require the posting of information online about community care facilities and assisted living residences, including persons operating illegally without a licence or registration.
Note: Cannabis and Child Care
British Columbia’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA) came into force October 17, 2018. What does this mean for child care providers in B.C.?
The CCLA authorizes adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household. However, cultivation of cannabis for any use is prohibited in households that operate as licensed child care facilities (section 56 and 58). To align with this new legislation, Registered Licence Not Required (RLNR) providers are also prohibited from cultivating cannabis in dwellings used as child care, as stated in Child Care Resource and Referral Centre registration guidelines.
As always, any concerns related to the health, safety, and well-being of children should be reported to the appropriate agency:
- For licensed facilities: local Community Care Facilities Licensing Office
- For RLNR providers: local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) program
- For certified Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) or ECE Assistants: ECE Registry
We hope you take the time to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the new legislation. For more information on the new cannabis laws and regulations, please visit www.getcannabisclarity.ca. If you have any further questions, please contact BC Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.