Education and Early Childhood Development

Family Child Care

What is Family Child Care?

Family child care is care provided to children in a child care provider's home. The Child Care Services legislation determines the number and ages of children. Family child care may be regulated or unregulated.

How is Family Child Care Regulated?

Family child care can be regulated in two ways:

  • Individually licensed by the Regional Director of Child Care Services
  • Approved by a licensed Family Child Care Agency

The requirements under the Child Care Services Act, Regulations and related policies are the same for both types of regulated family child care. The provider may care for a maximum of six children (in special circumstances up to eight). Of that six, a maximum of three children may be less than 36 months of age. Of that three, a maximum of two children may be less than 24 months. There is provision in the legislation for providers to care for three children less than 24 months of age, but in those cases, the maximum number of children permitted is three. The provider's own children who are in full-time attendance at school are not included in the maximum number. The actual number of children that the home is licensed or approved to care for will depend on factors such as the space available in the home.

Individually Licensed Family Child Care

Once all the requirements for licensing have been met, a license is issued by the Director of Child Care Services. Staff from the regional Child Care Services office visit licensed homes on a regular basis to provide support to the provider and to monitor the service being delivered to children and their families. Services provided by the regional Child Care Services office may include:

  • consultation services, advice or direction on professional issues
  • workshops for providers
  • lending of professional resources such as videos or books
  • information on upcoming community/provincial events

Family Child Care Home Approved by a Licensed Family Child Care Agency

In some communities there may be a family child care agency which is licensed to approve family child care homes. An agency employs home visitors who visit the homes on a regular basis to provide support and to monitor the approved homes. Services provided by the agency include those provided by the region and may also include drop-in play groups and toy-lending service.

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What is meant by Unregulated Family Child Care?

When care is provided to no more than four children age 0-12 years, or to three children less than 24 months, no license or approval is required but may be issued upon request. Unregulated services are not monitored or supported, however, consultative services may be provided by a regional Child Care Services office upon request.

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For More Information

For more information about child care in this province contact:

Child Care Services Program

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL A1B 4J6
Telephone: 1-709-729-5960

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