Choosing Child Care

Choosing quality child care is an important decision for you and your family. There are many different types of care available and finding a provider that nurtures your child’s physical, intellectual, social and emotional well being is key.

What to Consider in Your Decision

What needs and priorities are important to you and your child? You may want to consider the following before you start your search.

  • What days and hours of care do you require?
  • Which location would you prefer the care to be close to; home, school or work?
  • What is the best type of care for your child and family? (group setting, family setting)
  • Are you eligible for child care subsidy?
  • What qualifications do you want your child care provider to have?
  • What guidance methods do you and your child prefer?


Questions to Ask Potential Child Care Providers

  • Are you licensed?
  • If you are licensed, has your program ever been under investigation by the local health authority? Is your program currently being investigated?
  • If you are not licensed, are you registered with the local Child Care Resource and Referral Program?
  • How many children do you care for?
  • What ages are the children in your care?
  • What are your hours of operation? What days are you closed?
  • What are your fees?
  • What child care experience and training do you have?
  • Do you update your training and attend workshops regularly?
  • What do you do with the children over a typical day/week?
  • Does your program have any special features?
  • What are your arrangements for when you are ill or on holiday, or in case of emergency?
  • Do you encourage parent involvement? Can I visit whenever I wish?
  • Who supplies diapers, blankets, meals, or snacks?
  • Do you accept children who require extra support? Why/Why not?
  • Can you give me at least two references, preferably of parents who have used your child care setting?


The Following Elements are Important for Quality Child Care

  • A caregiver who is warm, sensitive and responsive
  • A safe, healthy environment;
  • Activities that stimulate the child’s development;
  • Good communication between the parent and the provider;
  • A child-rearing philosophy that matches the parent’s philosophy, especially where discipline is concerned.

(Partners in Quality Issues CCCF, 1999)

Types of Child Care Available in BC


The types of child care programs include:

  • License-not-required (maximum of 2 children who are not related to the operator by blood or marriage)
  • Registered license-not-required (maximum of 2 children who are not related to the operator by blood or marriage and has met the required standards to register with the local CCRR)
  • Group child care (under 36 months)
  • Group child care (30 months to school age)
  • Preschool (30 months to school age): Up to 4 hours of care per day to children who are at least 30 months old on entrance to the program and 36 months old by December 31 of the year of entrance.
  • Group child care (school age): Care before or after school or during periods of school closure to children who attend school, including kindergarten.
  • Multi-age child care: Care to 8 children of various ages.
  • Family child care: Care for up to 7 children in the licensee’s personal home and where the licensee personally provides the care.
  • In-home multi-age care: Care for up to 8 children in the licensee’s personal home and where the licensee personally provides the care.
  • Occasional care: No more than 40 hours in a month to children who are at least 18 months old.

For more information on licensed child care in BC please visit the Fraser Health Authority or download the Parents Guide to Selecting and Monitoring Child Care.

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