The District of Central Saanich would like to support you in successfully starting and operating a community-based child care facility within the community. If you are planning to do so, please consider the following factors and see the resources at the end of this page.
- Type of Licensed Child Care and Licensing Requirements, including required staff qualifications and applicable staff-child ratios
- Suitable Location and Facility
- Business Licensing and other District Regulatory Requirements
- Explore Provincial Support for Starting a Community-Based Child Care
Some of the steps outlined in this below should be taken concurrently and may depend on your progress in meeting other requirements.
1. LICENSED CHILD CARE CATEGORIES AND LICENSING REQUIREMENTS
A community-based child care facility cannot be located inside a personal residence. If you want to start an in-home child care, please see Starting a Home-Based Child Care in the District of Central Saanich.
All community-based child care facilities are required to achieve and maintain licensing through the Island Health Community Care Facilities Licensing office. The applicable types of licensed child care, ages cared for, maximum group size, staff ratios, and staff education requirements are outlined in the table below. Staff must be certified by the Provincial regulator. Staff qualifications are included in the table as follows:
- ITE - Infant Toddler Educator Certificate (approximately 1300 hours of training)
- ECE – Early Childhood Educator Certificate (approximately 900 hours of training)
- ECEA – Early Childhood Educator Assistant Certificate (one early childhood education course)
|Type of Child Care||Ages|
Maximum Group Size
|Child to Staff Ratio|
Group Child Care – under 3 years old
Birth to 36 months
Group Child Care – 2.5 years to school age
30 months to school age (kindergarten - KG)
Group Child Care – school age (before and after school care)
(KG and up)
24 children from KG and grade 1
30 children from grade 2 and up with no KG or grade 1 children present
Multi-age Child Care
Birth to 12 years old
2.5 years to school age (KG)
Occasional Child Care
18 months old and up
16 children if children under 36 months are present
20 children if no children under 36 months are present
School age (KG and up)
No maximum, as long as usable floor area of a space used for activity is sufficient to ensure health and safety of children participating
See the Child Care Licensing Regulation for further details. If there is any discrepancy between the Regulation and the information in this document, the Regulation is correct.
Child Care Licensing will be able to provide resources for developing a community-based child care, an application package, and support the process of meeting licensing requirements. Take a look at their guide: Steps to Obtaining a Community Care Facility Licence: Child Care. This guide applies to all types of licensed child care. The licensing office should provide support for completing the steps involved. Reach a Licensing Officer by phone at 250-519-3401 or visit their site.
2. SUITABLE LOCATION AND FACILITY
The operation of community-based child care is restricted to specific Land Use Zones as identified by Land Use Bylaw #2072. The following zones permit us for community-based child care:
|Land Use Zones Allowing Community-Based Child Care – District of Central SaanichAges|
Comprehensive Development Zone 8 (The Generation)
Comprehensive Development Zone 9 (Marigold Lands) – Development area A only
Neighbourhood Commercial (Restricted)
Comprehensive Development Zone 2 (Carriage Pointe)
See the Zoning and ALR Map to determine the suitability of your planned location. If the property you are planning to use is not within one of these zones, contact the Planning department to discuss your situation. There may be options to pursue rezoning or a zoning amendment.
Once you have determined that your proposed location is in a zone that allows this use, you must ensure that the building you are occupying or constructing will meet requirements of both applicable District regulations and Child Care Licensing. Depending on the modifications required, you may require a Building, Development, or other permits from the District. Discuss facility requirements with Child Care Licensing and contact the Planning department to ensure you are following any required District processes. Planning should also be able to help you meet other District regulatory requirements, such as off-street parking.
3. Business Licensing and other District Regulatory Requirements
During the process of working with Child Care Licensing and the District of Central Saanich to determine and plan for the type of facility you would like to operate, you need to consider the other regulatory requirements of the District:
- Business licensing – All businesses in the District must be licensed prior to operation. Learn more and apply for a Business License here.
- Parking – Your planned facility may require off-street parking as outlined in the Land Use Bylaw.
- Signage – A sign permit must be acquired from the District before installing or modifying any signs. Learn more and apply for a sign permit here.
- Other permits or licenses – There may be a need for other permits or licenses. Discuss your needs with the Planning Department
All child care providers are required to follow any applicable Municipal, Provincial, and National laws and regulations regarding the operation of a business. If you are unsure about the requirements for your business, please see the provincial business resources located below.
4. Explore Provincial Support for Starting a Community-Based Child Care
Licensed child care operations may be eligible for start-up or operating funding through the Province of B.C., depending on funding availability. Contact Child Care Licensing to discuss programs that may be applicable to you. Potential funding programs available to licensed facilities include:
RESOURCES FOR STARTING A COMMUNITY-BASED CHILD CARE BUSINESS
Further District Resources
District Staff Contacts