Five Leading Types of Child Care in Canada

Many parents need to use child care. Whether they work full-time or need someone to watch their children when they are out, there is a great demand. Fortunately, there are different options available. Studies show that people want different things for children of different ages, but the most common age for child care is between the ages of two and four. Take a look at the top five types of child care in Canada.

1. Full-Day Childcare Centre

One option for parents of young children is a full-day childcare center. In Canada, these facilities must be licensed, but there are some regions that may allow private schools, religious schools, or other institutions to be exempt from licensing. In general, full-day childcare facilities are monitored and inspected regularly by government officials. They need to meet the province or territory regulations concerning group size, staff-child ratios, staff training requirements, sleep, nutrition, health, outdoor time, safety, record keeping, and physical space. You can drop your child off at these childcare centers for the day while you go to work. They will take care of the children, provide meals, provide playtime, read books, and more.

2. Part-Day Child Care Program

A part-day child care program is similar to a full-day program, but people take their children there for only part of the day. This includes nurseries and preschools, and in Yukon and Saskatchewan, unlicensed programs are permitted.

This option works well for parents who want to socialize with their small children or who need part of the day to work or take care of other responsibilities. These programs are regulated in nearly every province and are required to have the same licensing as full-day childcare programs.

3. School Age Childcare Programs

An option that is popular with school-age children includes programs that are for before and after school, as well as summer and holiday programs. They may offer camps, and the children often attend these schools. They are not required to be licensed, including those that operate on the school grounds. These programs are regulated in all provinces and territories, usually until the age of 12. The programs vary in terms of the starting age, and some programs offered during summer and holidays are not required to be licensed. Finally, summer sleep-away camps are not regulated.

4. Regulated Family Child Care

Another type of child care in Canada is regulated family child care or home child care. This is usually offered to a group of children in a caregiver’s home. It is available in all of the provinces and territories, and there are regulations that cover the physical environment, the number of children by age, nutrition, safety, health, record keeping, and, on occasion, caregiver training.

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In addition, some provinces monitor childcare homes, using a government official who makes visits to inspect the home regularly. Other provinces may regulate through an approved agency that performs home visits. It is often the case that it is not regulated at all.

5. Nannies or Sitters

People often hire nannies or sitters to come to their own homes and provide child care for their children. This type of family child care is not regulated. Nannies and sitters do not need a license, and they are not inspected or monitored. In addition, they are not required to go through any training programs. Parents need to negotiate the terms of employment with their caregivers, but if the caregiver is part of the Live-in Caregiver Program, there must be a written contract that includes the work hours, wages, job duties, holiday and sick leave, terms for termination, and resignation terms.

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