Choose a child-care centre or family day home

  • Child-care options
  • Choose your child care
  • Before you visit
  • Visit the facility
  • Make a decision
  1. Child-care options

    Good child care promotes a child’s full development through:

    • a happy and safe environment;
    • nutritious food; and
    • opportunities for active learning and play with a culturally appropriate program.

    Child care can also help a child develop:

    • confidence;
    • creativity;
    • co-ordination;
    • problem-solving skills; and
    • healthy relationships with other children.

    In Yukon, you can choose a child-care centre or family day home.

    Child-care centres

    A child-care centre is a licensed facility providing care to 4 or more children in a place other than a family home.

    The staff to child ratio is:

    • 1 to 4 for infants;
    • 1 to 6 for preschoolers over 18 months of age; and
    • 1 to 8 for preschoolers older than 3 year of age.

    Family day homes

    A family day home is child care provided by a person in a family home environment.

    A day home may provide care to:

    • 4 infants;
    • 6 preschoolers where not more than 3 are infants; or
    • 8 preschool children 18 months or older.

    A family day home providing care to 3 or fewer children does not need to be licensed, but does have that option.

    A home caring for 4 or more children must be licensed.

  2. Choose your child care

    To help you make a decision about child care, you can:

    • view our listing of licensed facilities; and
    • visit the homes or centres to see what these are like.
  3. Before you visit

    Review this checklist before you visit a child care facility.

    • Is the facility licensed? Licensed facilities must follow the Child Care Act and regulations.
    • What is the age range of children attending?
    • What are the daily and seasonal hours of operation?
    • Does the facility close for religious, winter or summer holidays?
    • What is the payment schedule?
    • Does the price include extras such as:
      • meals;
      • diapers;
      • special programming;
      • swimming lessons; or
      • coverage for professional development days.
    • Does the program have a parent handbook?
  4. Visit the facility

    Visit prospective facilities when you can see adults and children interacting.

    Talk to the director or operator

    You want to find out about staffing.

    Staffing

    Ask about the operator's commitment. For instance, how long has the day home been open and are there any plans to close it? Consistency is important for your child's wellbeing and sense of security.

    Find out what training and experience the staff have. A good child-care centre should have a low staff turnover.

    The program

    The program is the heart of any centre or family day home. It sets the tone for what your child will be doing during the day.

    Look for:

    • A variety of activities your child can choose from.
    • Activities should be quiet and vigorous options:
      • storytelling;
      • arts;
      • crafts; and
      • outdoor time.
    • Activities should be appropriate to the child's age and developmental level.
    • Regular, supervised rest period.
    • Regular field trips and outings.
    • Policies you're comfortable with.
    • Ask about:
      • nap time;
      • discipline; and
      • toilet training policies.
    • Make sure the facility does not use:
      • corporal punishment;
      • threats;
      • raised voices;
      • shame; or
      • humiliation.
    • Positive reinforcement ensures that a child's self esteem will grow.

    Look around

    Check to see if the facility you're considering:

    • is bright, clean and attractive;
    • has plenty of natural light;
    • displays children's artwork;
    • has a fenced playground;
    • is free from hazards; and
    • has enough toys and equipment for the number of children enrolled.

    Every child-care centre should have activity areas that promote play, creativity and learning. Look for a:

    • library area with books in a quiet corner with soft cushions or rugs for curling up on;
    • building area with blocks, cars, trucks;
    • dramatic play area with clothes and props for pretend play;
    • quiet area with small table toys, puzzles and play dough; and
    • physical activity area with structures to climb on, indoor and outdoor toys.

    Family day homes don't need specific activity areas. They should provide the same opportunities for the children as child-care centres do.

    Equipment should be:

    • suitable for the child's age;
    • in good repair; and
    • accessible to the children.
  5. Make a decision

    Consider these points to help you decide on your child's care.

    • Is the facility licensed?
    • How consistent are the child-care staff?
    • Is there frequent staff turnover?
    • Are snacks and lunch provided?
    • What is the age range of children attending?
    • Are the child to staff ratios met?
    • What are the hours?
    • Does the facility close down for religious, winter and summer holidays, and professional development days?
    • What is the payment schedule?
    • What does price include? Does it cover meals, snacks and extras like swimming lessons?
    • What will your child do during the day?
    • Are there a variety of activities for your child to participate in?
    • Will your child get quiet time?
    • What are emergency procedures?
    • What are the sick policies?
    • What happens if the caregiver is sick?
    • Are there lots of clean, safe toys suitable for your child?
    • Is there a supervised rest period?
    • Will your child get outdoor play?
    • What are policies on toilet training, discipline and nap time?
    • What are the policies for transporting children on field trips or outings?

Contact 

For questions about choosing a child-care centre of family day home email hssweb@gov.yk.ca.