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How Child Care Works In Saskatchewan

What is the difference between Licensed and Unlicensed child care?

Licensed child care

Whether provided in a child care centre or a family child care home, licensed child care is regulated and monitored by the Early Years Branch of the Ministry of Education.  

Licensed centres and family child care homes meet and maintain specific standards stated in The Child Care Act, 2014 and The Child Care Regulations, 2015.  

Staff in Child Care Centres are Certified Early Childhood Educators, with exception of staff who are undergoing training for their ECE certification. 

In licensed family child care homes, there is an alternate caregiver in place should the primary caregiver be ill or otherwise unavailable.  

Criminal Record Checks will have been completed on all adults living in the home. 

Parents using a licensed service may be eligible for a Child Care Subsidy to help with child care fees.

Unlicensed Child Care 

Unlicensed caregivers are not monitored by the Ministry of Education, however they are still required to meet certain standards such as the proper ratio of child to caregiver and to provide a safe environment free from abuse.

To report concerns about health, safety or quality of care in a child care facility, call toll free 1-855-824-9419.

If you suspect a criminal offense at an unlicensed child care facility, contact the police immediately.

How many children can be in a child care facility?

The Child Care Regulations, 2015 identify the maximum number of children one person can be responsible for at any one time.  The number depends on the ages of the children. These numbers apply to both licensed and unlicensed child care options.

In Child Care Centres:

One worker can care for a maximum of three infants, five toddlers, ten pre-school age children or 15 school age children except in specific circumstances identified in the regulations.

In Family Child Care Homes:

Whether licensed or unlicensed, one worker or caregiver may care for a maximum of eight children. Five of these children may be infants, toddlers and pre-school children of which only two may be infants and toddlers.  If three infants and toddlers are in care, all other children must be of school age.

All combinations listed in the table below are permitted within the eight-child limit.


Infant/Toddler
6 Weeks-29 Months

Preschool
30 Months-Kindergarten

School Age
Grade 1-13 Years

 3

 0

 5

 2

 3

 3

 2

 2

 4

 2

 1

 5

 2

 0

 6

 1

 4

 3

 1

 3

 4

 1

 2

 5

 1

 1

 6

 1

 0

 7

 0

 5

 3

 0

 4

 4

 0

 3

 5

 0

 2

 6

 0

 1

 7

 0

 0

 8

How do I choose the best child care for our family?

It’s important to find a good “match” when looking for a child care provider. Take some time to identify your needs, your child’s needs, and your priorities for child care.

Set up an interview and visit the centre or family child care home. Discuss your expectations with the potential care providers, and check references before deciding which service to use.

List of important questions to ask potential caregivers

How do I find licensed child care?

You can obtain a list of licensed child care centres and family child care homes by contacting the Child Care Regional Office closest to you, or follow the link below for a map of licensed child care in your community.

Licensed Child Care Homes and Centres 

The Ministry of Education does not keep a list of unlicensed child care options.

How much does licensed child care cost?

Child care centres and family child care homes are responsible for setting their own fees.  Fees vary depending on several factors including: the age of the child; services provided; and the fundraising policies in centres.  The cost of care is generally higher for young children in urban areas.

Assistance with payment of child care fees is available to parents whose circumstances and monthly family income falls within the requirements of Child Care Subsidies (CCS).

Am I eligible for a child care subsidy?

A Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is a monthly subsidy that helps Saskatchewan families meet the costs of licensed child care. Subsidies are provided directly to child care facilities to reduce the fees charged to eligible parents. Subsidies vary on a sliding scale with income — the lower the income, the higher the subsidy.

To see if you are eligible for a subsidy, or to apply for a child care subsidy, please visit the Social Services Child Care Subsidy page

What is the government’s role in regulating child care in Saskatchewan?

The Ministry of Education:

  • Licenses and monitors child care centres and family child care homes to establish/ensure a minimum standard in licensed child care facilities
  • Provides grants to assist with the costs of developing or operating non-profit child care services
  • Investigates complaints of over-enrollment in unlicensed child care operations to ensure children are protected from the risk associated with too many children and too few caregivers
  • Provides financial assistance to low-income families to assist with the costs of licensed child care
  • Promotes the inclusion of children and families with diverse needs within each child care service
  • Provides information, education and consultative supports to individuals and communities to assist in identifying or developing services appropriate to their needs
  • Coordinates service delivery and promotes integration of services for children and families
  • Provides current listings of child care homes and centres in communities across the province

Who can I contact if I have a complaint or concerns about child care?

To report concerns about health, safety or quality of care in a licensed or unlicensed child care facility, call toll free 1-855-824-9419. 

If you suspect a criminal offense, contact the police immediately.

For more information, contact the Child Care Regional Office closest to you:

  • Regina: (306) 787-4980
  • Moose Jaw: (306) 694-3644
  • Swift Current: (306) 778-8531
  • Weyburn: (306) 848-2497
  • Yorkton: (306) 786-5770
  • Saskatoon: (306) 933-6071
  • Meadow Lake: (306) 236-7692
  • North Battleford: (306)-446-7574
  • Prince Albert: (306) 953-3612
  • LaRonge: 1-800-667-4380


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