canada_child_RTR2VKKN_640
in

Compare provincial regulations & guidelines

This information was excerpted from and provided by the Childcare Resource and Research Unit and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers' "Finding Quality Child Care" project. The full edition of their online child care information guide for parents is available in English and French at http://findingqualitychildcare.ca

Click the link below to jump to your province or territory:


In our investigation, Marketplace found unlicensed daycares in Ontario caring for more children than the law allows. In that province, a license to operate a day nursery is required if a premises receives more than five children under the age of 10 for temporary care and guidance.

That number may not be exceeded, regardless of the number of adults present or on site.

Here's how other provinces and territories stack up when it comes to daycare:


British Columbia

Unregulated/Unlicensed child care

There are two categories of legal unregulated home child care in BC; "license-not-required" (LNR) and "registered license-not-required" (RLNR). The maximum capacity in a home is two children or one sibling group of any age, not including children related to the caregiver.

RLNRs must be registered with a CCRR and meet registration requirement criteria established by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Child care providers caring for more than two children (or one sibling group) are required to have a license.

Regulated child care

• In BC, child care centres (referred to as "group child care"), preschools, and family child care must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Community Care and Assisted Living Act. This document is not specific to child care, though there are certain regulations only relevant to child care (i.e., certification of educators of young children) and to child care subsidies.

Facts and Figures

• There is a regulated space for 17% of children age 0-12
• There is a regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 20% of children age 0-5 years
Who's responsible for child care?
• In British Columbia, the Ministry of Children and Family Development is responsible for child care.
• Licensing and monitoring of child care facilities is the responsibility of the Ministry of Heath. A Medical Health Officer oversees the issuing of licenses, inspecting licensed facilities and investigating complaints that an unlicensed facility is being operated. These duties are carried out by licensing officers on a daily basis.
• The Ministry of Children and Family Development is responsible for administering child care fee subsidies and funding for service providers, registering early childhood educators and funding local Child Care Resource and Referral programs. Unique to British Columbia, monitoring and licensing regulated childcare is the responsibility of Ministry of Health.

Finding child care

• The Ministry of Children and Family Development has established a child care lookup tool that allows parents to search for daycare facilities.

 


Alberta

Unregulated family child care

Family child care providers do not have to be licensed or approved to work with an agency. Unregulated providers are permitted to have up to six children under the age of 13 years, not including the caregiver's own children.

Regulated child care

• In Alberta child care centres, preschools, group family child care and out-of-school care must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Child Care Licensing Regulation, Alberta Regulation 143/2008.

Facts and Figures

• There is a regulated space for 15% of children aged 0 - 12 yrs
• There is a regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 20% of children aged 0 - 5 yrs.

Who's responsible for child care?

• In Alberta, the Ministry of Human Services is responsible for child care.
• Early Childhood Services (ECS) including kindergarten are the responsibility of the Ministry of Education.
• Ten local Child and Family Services Authorities (CFSAs) offices and 18 Delegated First Nation Agencies (DFNAs) are responsible for monitoring and licensing regulated child care.

Finding child care

• Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren).
• The Alberta government has developed an online Child Care Look-Up Tool, which provides the location, age group, served, program capacity, accreditation status and recent inspection results of all regulated child care services. Users are able to search by program name and city or postal code, age group and type of care.

 


Saskatchewan

Unregulated/unlicensed care

A family child care home is not required to be regulated if it has eight or fewer children under 13 years, including the caregiver's own school-aged children. Of the eight children, five may be younger than six years and of these five, only two may be younger than 30 months.
Preschools (nursery schools) are not required to be regulated if they operate less than three hours/day or three days/week and school-age child care programs located in schools are not required to be regulated.

Regulated child care

• In Saskatchewan, only not-for-profit centres are eligible for public funding of any kind. There are usually no (or very few) for-profit centres, although they are permitted to operate.
• In Saskatchewan, child care centres, regulated family child care, school-age child care programs, and teen student support centres/homes (which provide care to parents attending high school) must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the C-7.3 - Child Care Act.

Who's responsible for child care?

• In Saskatchewan, the Ministry of Education is responsible for child care, kindergarten and pre-kindergarten services overall.
• The Early Learning and Child Care Branch of the Ministry of Education administers the legislation and is responsible for child care services, consultations, standards and training. 
• Monitoring, licensing and consultation are provided through regional offices.

Finding child care

• Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren).
• Saskatchewan has an online Licensed Directory of Child Care Homes and Centres , which provides contact information for licensed centres and family child care providers in all 12 regions.

 


Manitoba

Unregulated/unlicensed child care

A childcare provider in a private home can legally care for a maximum of four children, including their own children under 12 years.

School-age childcare provided in public schools may be exempt from licensing.

Regulated child care

• In Manitoba, child care centres, nursery schools (half-day centre-based programs or full days less than three days/week), family child care homes, and occasional child care centres (care on a casual basis for more than 4 children) are regulated by the Community Child Care Standards Act This act defines the types of child care that need regulating and sets out licensing standards.
• Manitoba makes licensing order histories (licensing reports) available online . These provide details about specific child care services such as what regulation(s) were violated, and description of the circumstances.

Facts and Figures

• There is a regulated child care space for 16.8% of children aged 0 - 12 yrs.
• There is a regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 22.8% of children aged 0 - 5 yrs.
• Most child care services in Manitoba charge fees set by age group by the provincial government; there are a few regulated centres that do not receive government funding that are free to set their own rates.

Who's responsible for child care?

Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care, part of Manitoba Family Services and Consumer Affairs is responsible for child care overall. Manitoba Education is responsible for kindergarten.
• Early Learning and Child Care administers the legislation and oversees the operation of child care in the province. Monitoring, licensing and administration of the fee subsidy program is provided through local offices.

Finding child care

• Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren); there is no entitlement.
• Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care has created an online licensed child care search tool that allows parents to search for child care centres and family child care by type of care, location and age of child(ren). Parents are also able to limit the search to centres with vacancies. This search tool is designed to allow parents to browse potential child care options without registering or actively placing their child's name on a waiting list.
• Manitoba is the only province to have established an online child care registry which serves as a centralized waiting list. The registry provides information about child care services to parents and places child(ren) on waiting lists of centres and family child care that meet the individual family's needs. Parents are able to update and/or change their information at any point.

 


Ontario

Unregulated/unlicensed child care

A family child care home is not required to be regulated if it has five or fewer children less than 10 years old; this does not include the caregiver's own children. This number may not be exceeded, regardless of the number of adults present or on site.

Regulated child care

• In Ontario, child care centres (sometimes referred to as "day nurseries"), nursery schools, and before/after school programs and regulated family child care must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Day Nurseries Act (DNA), R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 262

Ontario Facts and Figures

• There is a space for 14.9% of children aged 0 - 12 yrs
• There is a regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 19.7% of children aged 0 - 5 yrs.

Who's responsible for child care?

• In Ontario, the Ministry of Education is responsible for child care and kindergarten overall.
• The Early Years Division of the Ministry of Education administers the legislation and is responsible for monitoring and licensing regulated child care.
Finding child care
• Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren). A Licensed Child Care Search tool is available through the Ministry of Education. This tool allows users to find licensed child care providers by city, postal code, type of program (i.e., centre vs. home care), age group and/or name of centre. In most of Ontario, parents are required to contact the program directly to place their child on the waiting list.

 

Quebec

Unregulated child care

A family child care home is not required to be regulated if it has six or fewer children, including the caregiver's own children.
There are no part-time licensed centres (nursery schools) for 0-4 year olds. Unregulated part-day centre-based programs opened before a specified date (1995) are permitted to operate in Quebec as jardins d'enfants.

Regulated child care

• In Quebec, regulated child care centres and family child care must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Educational Child Care Act R.S.Q. cC-8.2. Child care provided through school boards must operate in accordance with the Education Act. R.S.Q., c.1-13.3.

Facts and Figures

• There is a regulated space for 37.4% of children aged 0 - 12 yrs;
• There is a full-time centre-based space for 28.5% of children aged 0 - 5 yrs;
• 39% of regulated child care spaces for 0-4 year olds are in garderies, which are primarily for-profit centres;
• All school-age centres are publicly-operated (by school boards); there are no publicly-operated centres for 0-4 year olds.

Who's responsible for child care?

• Quebec has established its own unique approach to child care provision and services. A significant amount of public funding has been provided so regulated child care centres and family day homes provide spaces at a flat parent fee of $7/ day (referred to as "reduced contribution spaces") for infants through school-age children.
• Two ministries regulate, oversee and administer child care programs. The Ministère de la Famille et des Aînés (MFA) is responsible for services for children 0-4 years and the Ministère de l'education, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) http://www.mels.gouv.qc.ca is responsible for services for school-age children and is also responsible for kindergarten.

Finding child care

Quebec provides several types of centre-based and family child care programs for 0-12 year olds:
• Non-profit centres (under MFA) for 0-4 year olds are always part of small networks of non-profit services called centre de la petite enfances (CPEs); there are more than 1000 CPEs in Quebec. CPEs are typically include several child care centres and usually regulated family child care as well. All CPEs are publicly funded to provide child care at $7/day for all age groups whether the child's parents are in the labour force or not.
• There are also centre-based programs for 0-4 year olds called garderies. Garderies are usually for-profit operations, although there are some non-profit organizations that operate garderies. Many garderies are publicly funded to provide $7/day care for 0-4 year olds.
• School authorities, under MELS, are required to provide school-age child care outside regular school hours if there is a "demonstrated need", which may include children from age 4 to 12 years. All school-aged child care in Quebec is delivered by schools.
In addition to centre-based programs:
• 165 family child care coordinating offices are either part of CPEs or are (occasionally) freestanding organizations. Family child care agencies, whether CPEs or freestanding, hold permits (licences) to manage family child care homes, and are issued by MFA.
• Individual family child caregivers are not licensed in Quebec. Instead, family coordinating offices are responsible for monitoring individual homes under the regulations on behalf of the MFA. They also coordinate the providers, provide training and equipment, and maintain information for current and prospective parents.
• Quebec also offers group family child care--care in a private home provided by two caregivers--also managed by family child care coordinating offices.

The Childcare Establishment locator tool allows parents to search for regulated childcare by region, name, and proximity to home or work address. Search results display whether or not the child care centre or home offers the $7/day program, spaces for infants, as well as provides a link to inspection reports.

 


New Brunswick

Unregulated/unlicensed child care

A family child care home is not required to be regulated if it has five or fewer children younger than 12 years old (including the caregiver's own school- aged children). It is not legal to operate a nursery school or child care centre without a license.

Regulated child care

• In New Brunswick, day care centres, nursery schools, school-age child care centres and community day care homes must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Family Services Act and Day Care Regulations, 83-85.

New Brunswick Facts and Figures

• There is a regulated space for 20% of children aged 0 - 12 yrs
• There is a regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 21% of children aged 0 - 5 yrs.

Who's responsible for child care?

• In April 2011, the New Brunswick government formally integrated Early Childhood Development with the Department of Education to form the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. In a 2012 policy paper, Putting Children First: Positioning early childhood for the future, the provincial government noted that "early childhood services now will focus on children from birth to age eight, which we believe will facilitate a smooth and seamless transition of services from one part of our system to the other".
• The Child Day Care Services Program is responsible for the approval and monitoring of centre-based and home-based day care facilities and administration of the Day Care Assistance Program through their social development regional offices.

Finding child care

• Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren).
• There is a List of Approved Day Care Centres available online. This list allows users to find licensed child care providers by region, and provides location and contact information. Parents are required to contact the program directly to register or place their child on the waiting list.

 


Nova Scotia

Unregulated child care

A family child care home is not required to be regulated if it has six or fewer children of any age, including the preschool-age children of the person providing the care. Care is allowed for a maximum of eight school-age children, including the children of the person providing the care.

Regulated child care

• In Nova Scotia, child care centres, child development centres (CDCs), and family child care daycare agencies must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Day Care Act and Day Care Regulations.
• Family child care is subject to similar regulations and is approved, managed and monitored by licensed family child care agencies.

Facts and Figures

• There is a space for 13% of children aged 0 - 12 yrs
• There is a regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 22.6% of children aged 0 - 5 yrs.

Who's responsible for child care?

• In Nova Scotia, the Department of Community Services is responsible for child care. Kindergarten is the responsibility of the Department of Education.
• Within the department, Early Childhood Development Services administers the legislation. Monitoring, licensing and the fee subsidy program are administered through regional offices.

Finding child care

• Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren).
• A Child Care Directory is available through the Department of Community Services. The directory allows a search for facilities by name and/or location, and shows whether a facility currently meets its licensing requirements. Parents need to contact centres directly to register their child or put their name on a waiting list.

 


Prince Edward Island

Unregulated/unlicensed child care

A family child care home is not required to be regulated if it has five or fewer children of any age, including the preschool-age children of the person providing the care. If all children are under 2 years, three are allowed, or five preschoolers with no more than two of them younger than 2 years. Six are allowed in a mixed-age group up to 10 years with no more than two younger than 2 years.

Regulated child care

• In Prince Edward Island, early childhood centres, school-age child care centres and regulated family child care must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Child Care Facilities Regulations.

Facts and Figures

• There is a space for 25.9% of children aged 0 - 12 yrs;
• There is regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 41.6% of children aged 0 - 5 yrs.

Who's responsible for child care?

• In Prince Edward Island, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is responsible for child care and kindergarten.
• The PEI Child Care Facilities Board is responsible for licensing and license renewal of child care/early childhood programs through regional offices.

Finding child care

Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren).
Early learning and child care registry allows families to search for regulated child care and early learning programs across PEI. Parents can search by care type and region/area. Contact and location information is available and families can then register their child(ren) or join a centre waitlist through the online registry.

 


Newfoundland and Labrador

Unregulated/Unlicensed child care

A family child care home is not required to be regulated if it has four or fewer children less than 13 years old (including the caregiver's own children under 13). If all the children are under 24 months, the legal maximum is three children.
It is not legal to operate a part-day nursery school or child care centre without a license. However, unregulated group programs are allowed if they do not receive more than six children for not more than nine hours a week, or for an unspecified number of children for not more than six hours a day for fewer than eight weeks in a 12-week period.

Regulated child care

• In Newfoundland and Labrador, child care centres must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Child Care Services Regulations, 2005, under the Child Care Services Act.
• Some family child care is subject to regulations as well and is either directly monitored by the licensing officials from the ministry or by a licensed agency that monitors multiple family child care homes, both through regular home visits. However, most family child care is not regulated.

Who's responsible for child care?

• In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services is responsible for child care overall.
• The Division of Family and Child Development within the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services administers the legislation. Licensing and monitoring centres and home-based child care providers and family child care agencies is done through regional offices.

Facts and figures

• There is a regulated space for 9.6% of children aged 0-12 yrs (2010).
• There is a centre-based space for 17.9% of children aged 0-5 yrs (2010).

Finding child care

• Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren).
• Lists of child care facilities by region is available online. This list provides location and contact information for mostly centre based child care services. Parents must contact centres directly to register their child or put their child on the waiting list.
• In some parts of NL, regulated family child care providers are individually licensed in which case it may be a matter of finding them on your own.

Yukon Territories

Unregulated child care

A family day care home is not required to be regulated if it has three or fewer children of any age, not including the preschool-age children of the person providing the care.
Preschool programs for children aged 3-6 years that operate for less than three consecutive hours are not required to be licensed.

Regulated child care

• In the Yukon, child care centres, family day homes and school-age child care centres must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Child Care Act, 1990 and the appropriate program regulations (i.e. child care, family day home, or school-age program)
• A government Child Care Inspector is required to conduct an annual inspection and two to four unannounced visits per year to each child care centre.

Facts and Figures

• There is a space for 29.5% of children aged 0 - 12 yrs
• There regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 27.9% of children aged 0 - 5 yrs.

Who's responsible for child care?

• In the Yukon, the Ministry of Health and Social Services is responsible for licensing and monitoring child care centres and family day care homes.
• The Childcare Service Unit is responsible for monitoring and licensing programs and administering the fee subsidy program.

Finding child care

• Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren).
• A list of Licensed Child Care Centres and Family Day Home Programs can be found here. Parents must contact centres directly to register their child or put their name on a waiting list.

 


Northwest Territories

Unregulated child care

A family child care home is not required to be regulated if it has four or fewer children including the provider's own children up to 12 years old. It is not legal to operate a nursery school or child care centre without a license.

Regulated child care

• In the Northwest Territories, day care centres, nursery schools, after-school care and regulated family day homes operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Northwest Territories Child Day Care Act and the Child Day Care Standards and Regulations 1988.

Northwest Territories Facts and Figures

• There is a space for 21.7% of children aged 0 - 12 yrs
• There regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 22.9% of children aged 0 - 5 yrs.

Who's responsible for child care?

• The Department of Education, Culture and Employment is responsible for child care overall and for kindergarten. The department administers the legislation and is responsible for monitoring and licensing programs.

Finding child care

Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren). Information for parents is available on the territorial government website.

 


Nunavut

Unregulated child care

A family child care home is not required to be regulated if it has four or fewer children including the provider's own children up to 12 years old. It is not legal to operate a nursery school or child care centre without a license.

Regulated child care

• In Nunavut, day care centres, nursery schools, after-school care and regulated family day homes operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the Northwest Territories Child Day Care Act and the Child Day Care Standards and Regulations 1988.

Facts and Figures

• There is a space for 11.3% of children aged 0 - 12 yrs
• There is a regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 20.5% of children aged 0 - 5 yrs.
• All regulated child care is non-profit

Who's responsible for child care?

• In Nunavut, the Department of Education is responsible for child care overall and for kindergarten. The department is responsible for monitoring and licensing programs through regional Early Childhood Division offices.

Finding child care

• Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren).
• A list of licensed child care facilities is available online. This list provides location and contact information. Parents are then responsible for contacting centres directly to register their child or put their name on a waiting list.