Child care licensing FAQs

Licensing Officers employed by Vancouver Coastal Health issue inspection reports during visits to child care facilities. If you have any questions, contact your local licensing office.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a licensed child care facility?

    A child care facility is a facility that provides care and services for 3 or more children unrelated to the caregiver by blood or marriage.

  • What is the role of the Licensee?

    The Licensee is responsible for ensuring that the facility complies with the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and the Child Care Licensing Regulations. They may delegate this responsibility to the Manager of the facility who would be responsible for the day to day operation of the facility.

  • What is the role of the Vancouver Coastal Health Community Care Licensing Program?

    The Community Care Licensing Program is responsible for monitoring compliance of licensed facilities with the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and the Child Care Licensing Regulations. Licensing staff monitor facilities through an inspection process. Licensing staff also perform other duties outlined in the Community Care and Assisted Living Act including investigating complaints, reviewing new applications, and considering exemption requests.

  • Why is the government promoting web-based public reporting on licensed child care facilities?

    The government made a commitment to “build the best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities, those with special needs, children at risk, and seniors.”

    Public reporting is important because it will strengthen public accountability and transparency. Other jurisdictions already have public reporting; for example, Ontario, several United States and Australian states and the United Kingdom post reports on the web in some format.

    The goal is to provide everyone with accessible information about community care facilities.

  • What will the inspection reports tell me and how do I access them?

    An inspection report will identify if a licensee is not compliant with the Act or the regulations. The information provided on the website is NOT enough to determine if a facility is the best one for you or your child. You are also encouraged to visit each child care centre that you are considering before making a final decision.

    For inspections in Vancouver, Richmond, North Shore, Sunshine Coast, and Sea to Sky, visit the Inspection Reports website. Information comes from the Vancouver Coastal Health Community Care Facilities Licensing program and updated daily.

    This searchable database includes reports of all child care facilities licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act within Vancouver Coastal Health. You can find facilities within a desired area and see information on each facility, such as the facility’s address, capacity, contact information and routine and routine follow-up inspection reports.

  • What are the next steps in selecting a child care centre for your child?

    You should contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral programme for more information about choosing child care.  There are a number of checklist resources for choosing child care, including a Ministry of Health publication called Parents' Guide to Selecting and Monitoring Child Care in BC.  You are also encouraged to visit a number of facilities in order to determine, first-hand, which one is best suited to meet the needs of your child and family.  You may also contact your local Child Care Licensing Office.

  • What will the website reports NOT tell me?

    Posted inspection reports will NOT:

    • Recommend a facility to you
    • Rank or rate homes against one another
    • Issue a report card that grades facilities on their current status in meeting the requirements of the Act or regulations
    • Provide information on complaints
    • Provide information on inspections that are not routine or routine follow-up inspections
  • How can I register a complaint?

    To register a concern or complaint against a facility, use the health protection feedback form.

  • Are the facilities' ranked or rated on this website?

    No. The Ministry of Health and the health authorities are providing the public with access to routine inspection information about the performance of each facility operator in meeting provincial legislation. Facilities are not ranked or rated.

  • How often are facilities inspected?

    Facilities are inspected at least once per year. Facilities with a history of non-compliance receive more frequent inspections. Our website reflects only routine inspections and follow-up inspections related to routine inspections.

  • What do licensing officers look for during inspections?

    During inspections, licensing officers look for items typically divided into ten broad categories:

    1. Physical facility, equipment and furnishings
    2. Staffing
    3. Policies and procedures
    4. Care and/or supervision
    5. Nutrition and food services
    6. Medication
    7. Hygiene and communicable disease control
    8. Records and reporting
    9. Licensing administration
    10. Program

    All contraventions identified during inspections are followed up by a VCH licensing officer to ensure ongoing compliance with the act and regulations.