Licensed vs. Unlicensed Childcare


Licensed care means that the centre or home is licensed and monitored by the Ministry of Education, Early Years Branch. The Ministry currently regulates and monitors licensed childcare by means of a childcare consultant.

In the Moose Jaw area, the childcare consultant can be reached by calling 306.694.3644.

Licensed care homes/centres must meet the standards of the Child Care Act and Child Care Regulations (2001) before they receive a license. They are inspected at least once a year and have occasional unannounced drop-in visits to make sure they are meeting the standards. These standards include the number of children for each staff, group size, minimum play space per child, nutrition, health, safety, and outdoor play.

In addition to the above requirements, staff members employed in a child care centre are required to have current CPR and First Aid training, TB testing, pass a criminal record check and have a minimum level of early childhood development training, obtained through college or university classes.

All staff employed at YMCA Childcare Centre’s are required to complete a child welfare check and are also required to complete a minimum of one early childhood development course every six (6) months. All of our centres have a parent handbook to inform parents of centre procedures, activities, policies, and parent responsibilities.


Licensed childcare centers are obliged to follow ratios with respect to the maximum number of children that can be with one staff member.

  •     One staff per 3 infants
  •     One staff per 5 toddlers
  •     One staff per 10 pre-school age
  •     One staff per 15 school age


Licensed childcare may give you the opportunity, depending on your gross monthly income, to receive subsidy for your child's care.

For more information about subsidy or to find out if you may qualify for subsidy call 1.800.667.7155 or visit the Childcare Subsidy website.

Be prepared to provide the assessor with your average gross family income, and the total childcare fees that you will be expected to pay to the childcare facility. Please note that significant changes were introduced to the subsidy system in September of 2006, and many families that did not previously qualify due to higher incomes now qualify for subsidy.


Unlicensed care is said to be "unregulated". This means it has few legal requirements to meet and no one is inspecting the premises. Unlicensed care includes nannies, private childcare sitters, friends, or relatives. Your child can be looked after either in your home or be taken to the childcare provider's home. There is no such thing as an unlicensed centre in Saskatchewan.