Types of child care centres in Manitoba

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Finding reliable child care is one of the greatest concerns that parents with young kids have. They would want their child to be in a safe, comfortable and clean facility with trained personnel watching over their kids. Location and cost are also other factors that they would have to consider.

Parents can choose between two kinds of child care centres in Manitoba – licensed and unlicensed. Licensed or regulated child care centres operate under the Community Child Care Standards Act. This means that they follow strict standards set by the act in order to maintain their licence. These include regulations that cover staff and child care provider training requirements, child ratios and group sizes, nutrition and meals, health and safety, curriculum framework, and others. Manitoba Family Services posts Licensing Order histories online where the public can check certain child care facilities for regulation violations and other particulars. Licensed facilities can be:

In centres:

Full-time infant and pre-school

  • Accepts children three months to six years old
  • Open at 6 or 6:30 a.m. – 5:30 or 6:00 p.m.
  • May provide evening, overnight or weekend care

Nursery school

  • Provides child care for children two to five years old
  • Can be offered part-time; operates 2-5 days a week


  • Accepts children five to 12 years old when they are not attending school
  • Care is provided before school, at noon and after school
  • Usually provides service on teacher-in service days and seasonal vacations

In homes

The number of children in homes is usually less than in child care centres.

Family child care

  • Provided in a family dwelling for up to a maximum of eight children, of whom no more than five can be under the age of six, and no more than three can be under the age of two
  • The child care provider’s children are included in these maximum numbers

Private home day care

  • This is also provided in a family dwelling
  • The caregiver may operate without a licence and offer care for a maximum of four children under 12 years old, with no more than two children under the age of two
  • Beyond four children, the home must be licensed

Group child care

  • This is usually run by two providers in one of their homes
  • Can accommodate as many as 12 children under the age of 12, of whom no more than three may be less than two years old

(Source: Manitoba Family Services)

Unlicensed or unregulated child care may be offered by private homes as long as they care for a maximum of four children, including their children under 12 years old. You can read Manitoba’s Unlicensed Private Home Care Fact Sheet for Parents for more information.

If you have a child with a disability or special needs, read about Manitoba’s Child Care Inclusion Support Program.

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Community Resources

Get the Early Learning and Child Care Services in Manitoba booklet. Learn more about how the province ensures that your kids get the best early learning and child care support.

The Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Program website has tons of information for you.

Interested in starting your own child care centre? Read Home-based Child Care and Centre-Based Child Care.

Home is where a career in licensed child care can begin, Manitoba Government

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