Who to contact
The Early Childhood Branch of Family and Children’s Services (in the Department of Health and Social Services) is responsible for licensing, monitoring, and providing operating funding to child care centres and family day care homes.
The Department of Education is responsible for kindergarten.
Child Care Services in the Early Childhood Branch is responsible for the Child Care Subsidy Program. Eligibility is based on an income test and assists families who may not be able to afford to pay for their child to attend a licensed child care centre, family day home or school-aged program.
Finding child care
Facts and figures
- There is a regulated space for 19.0% of children aged 0 – 12 yrs. (2016)
- There is a regulated full or part-time centre-based space for 31.4% of children aged 0 – 5 yrs. (2016)
- Private, for-profit organizations operate 65% of centre-based child care spaces. There is no publically delivered child care.
Parents are responsible for finding and obtaining a child care space for their child(ren); there is no entitlement.
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, $739 for infants (0-17mos), $685 for toddlers (18mos-3yrs), $649 for preschoolers (3-5.11yrs), and $341 for school-aged children (6-12yrs). Average monthly fees in regulated family day homes are approximately the same as in centre-based care.
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 the Yukon, subsidies can be used in any eligible licensed full-day non-profit and for-profit child care centres and family day care homes.
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.
A subsidy application form and further information about eligibility is available online.
Regulated child care
Meeting the regulations is an important basis for quality but is considered to be a minimum in all provinces/territories. High quality centres:
- Go above and beyond minimum standards by, for example, increasing the number of staff or hiring staff with more than required early childhood training.
- Incorporate non-required elements into the program such as community involvement or inclusion of children with special needs.
- Develop their own approach to requirements such as a well-defined pedagogical approach.
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 [pdf] and the appropriate program regulations (i.e. child care, family day home, or school-age program).
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.
|Age of child||Staff:child ratio||Max group size|
|18 mos – 2 yrs||1:6||12|
|3 yrs – 6 yrs||1:8||16|
Family day homes
The maximum capacity in a regulated family day home with one caregiver is eight children up to the age of 12, including the provider’s own preschool but not school-aged children. There may be no more than three infants if there are also three children who are preschoolers or school-age already enrolled. If there is an additional caregiver, there may be four additional school-age children.
Regulated programs are not required to provide meals. When meals are provided they must be in accordance with Canada Food Guide to Health Eating and Native Food Guide.
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 injures, 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 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. (There is no common or suggested curriculum framework for child care).
Unregulated child care
A family day care home is not required to be regulated if it has three or fewer children of any age, not including the preschool-age children of the person providing the care.
Preschool programs for children aged 3-6 years that operate for less than three consecutive hours are not required to be licensed.
Children with disabilities
Families in Yukon are eligible for a fee subsidy if their child care is recommended as a child protection service, or approved by the director on the basis of special needs of the family or child, for child development purposes, 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 need of the child through the Supported Child Care fund.
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.