A guide for parents in Canada

Yukon

Who’s responsible?

Who to contact

  • Ministry of Health and Social Services (child care services)
  •   Website
  •   (867) 667-3492
  •  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Department of Education (kindergarten)
  •   Website
  •   (867) 667-5141

Child Care Services, in the Early Childhood Branch of the Department of Health and Social Services, is responsible for licensing, monitoring, and providing operating funding to licensed child care centres and family day care homes.

The Department of Education is responsible for kindergarten and supports the Learning Together program which is available for children aged birth - five years with their caregivers.

Child Care Services is also responsible for the Child Care Subsidy Program. Subsidy assists families pay child care fees at a licensed child care centre, family day home or school-aged program. Eligibility is based on an income test.

Finding child care

Facts and figures

  • There is a regulated space for 24.9% of children ages 0 - 12 years. (2019)
  • There is a regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 40.7% of children aged 0 – 5 yrs. (2019)
  • Private, for-profit organizations operate 70% of centre-based child care spaces. There is no publically delivered child care. (2019)

Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren); there is no universal entitlement to a child care space in the Yukon.

There is a list of licensed child care centres and family day home programs. Parents must contact centres directly to register their child or put their name on a waiting list.

The Department of Health and Social Services has a Choosing Child Care page to help parents make an informed decision between a licensed child care centre and family day home. The page also provides information on unlicensed day homes.

Paying for child care

Parents are responsible for paying child care fees. According to the most recent available territorial government data, the median monthly parent fee for full-time centre-based care is, $802 for infants (0 - 17 months), $749 for toddlers (18 months - 3 years), $723 for preschoolers (3 - 5 years), and $371 for school-aged children (6 - 12 years). Average monthly fees in regulated family day homes are approximately the same as in centre-based care.

Subsidies

The Child Care Subsidy Program, which is administered by the Child Care Service Unit, may provide eligible families with a subsidy to cover part or all of their child care costs based on a territory-wide income test. In Yukon, subsidies may be used in any licensed for-profit or nonprofit licensed program, both full and part time programs are eligible.

toddler with blanket cape and hat

Fee subsidies are paid directly to service providers on behalf of eligible parents. If costs are above the maximum subsidy rate, the subsidized parents will be charged the difference.

It is the responsibility of subsidized parents to find a space in a child care centre or family home day care for your child and let the Child Care Service Unit know when your child will be starting and the program’s daily fees.

Accessing subsidies

A subsidy application form and further information about eligibility is available online.

Regulated child care

In the Yukon, child care centres, family day homes and school-age child care centres must operate in accordance with the regulations set out in the The Child Care Act, 1990 and the appropriate program regulations (i.e. child care, family day home, or school-age program). There Yukon has appointed the Yukon Child Care Board as a community advisory board. The Board releases an annual report on a regulat basis. 

A government Child Care Inspector is required to conduct an annual inspection and two to four unannounced visits per year to each child care centre.

Territorial regulations address a wide range of standards - from space requirements to attendance taking to outdoor time. A number of regulations related to program quality are highlighted below.

In child care centres in the Yukon, 20% of the staff working with children must have two or more years of training in early childhood development (ECD). An additional 30% of staff must have at least one year of training in ECD, and the remaining staff must have a minimum 60-hour introductory ECD course.

The care provider in a regulated family day care home must complete a 60 hour introductory early childhood development course, and a specific family day home course or equivalent within the first year they provide care for children. Family day care home providers must be 18 years of age, have a first-aid certificate and a criminal records check.

  • Staff:child ratios address the number of staff required per number of children.
  • Group size is the number of children, usually of one age group, that stay together throughout the day in a defined group – often a room.
  • Family child care homes have a specified number of children by age.

Child care centres

Yukon child care centres have a maximum of 64 spaces overall.

Max staff:child ratios and group sizes for centre-based child care
Age of childStaff:child ratioMax group size
 0-18 mos  1:4  8
 18 mos – 2 yrs  1:6  12
 3 yrs – 6 yrs  1:8  16
 6-12 yrs  1:12  24

Family day homes

The maximum capacity in a regulated family day home with one caregiver is no more than four infants; or six children with no more than three children under 18 months; or eight children over 18 months. Providers’ children that are school- aged, are not included in the maximum number of children. If there is an additional caregiver, there may be four additional school-age children.

Regulated programs are not required to provide meals but to supplement meals if a parent does not supply enough food. When meals are provided they must be in accordance with Canada Food Guide to Health Eating and Native Food Guide.

Programs must ensure that the following meals/snacks are served:

  • A morning meal, a midday meal, or an evening meal including at least four food groups;
  • A mid morning, mid afternoon, or mid evening snack including at least two food groups.

Child care providers must provide access to outdoor playground space, either on the premises or off, of no less than five square metres of play area per child for each child using the outdoor space. The outdoor play space does not have to accommodate all children enrolled in the program at one point in time.

The daily schedule must include time to play outdoors every day, except in inclement weather.

Centres and family child care providers are required to have a behavior guidance/discipline policy and are responsible for familiarizing staff and parents with the policy.

Disciplinary action should take the form of positive guidance, redirection, and establishment of well defined limits, according to established guidelines.

Children must not be punished by putting them in isolation in a closed, separate room.

The operator must not permit, practice, or inflict any form of physical punishment, verbal or emotional abuse of, or denial of physical necessities to, any child in attendance.

The operator of the centre must ensure that open communication is maintained with parents and guardians on all matters affecting their child. Parents and guardians must also have reasonable access to the program, inspection reports, written policies, menus, log of injuries, The Child Care Act, Regulation and Guidelines, and the Child Care Subsidy Regulation.

The regulations require some basic health and safety precautions to be met. For example, service providers are required to:

  • Have a written procedure for emergency evacuation.
  • Have a daily written record summarizing incidents affecting health, safety, or well-being of staff or children.
  • Have a first aid kit and first aid manual available.
  • Have medications stored in a locked place and written permission obtained before staff can administer medications to children.
  • Have a service-specific written policy and procedure regarding serious occurrences (i.e., injury, death).

The Yukon’s Early Learning Curriculum was expected to be available to Early Childhood Educators in 2020. It is currently under territorial review and when approved, will move into an implementation stage.

The regulations do not address all aspects of quality. For example, there are no regulations or standards addressing curriculum or pedagogy in child care in the Yukon. The Yukon’s Early Learning Curriculum is in the process of being developed.


Unregulated child care

A family day care home is not required to be regulated if it has three or fewer children of any age. This does not include the caregiver’s own children.

Preschool programs for children aged 3-6 years that operate for less than three consecutive hours are not required to be licensed.

A program for children that has a primary purpose other than providing child care and operates for a period of 12 consecutive weeks or less is exempt from the Child Care Act.

School-age programs provided to seven or fewer children when school is not in session are not required to be licensed.

Children with disabilities

Families in Yukon are eligible for a fee subsidy if child care is recommended as a child protection service, approved by the director on the basis of special needs of the family or child, for a child with a disability, due to a short-term family crisis, or for parental respite.

Funding may be provided for adaptive equipment, transportation, programming support and additional staff based on the individual needs of the child through the Supported Child Care Program.

See Do you have a child with a disability or special need? for more information on provincial/territorial supports for children with disabilities in child care.