A Guide to Setting Up Child Care Facilities in the City of Port Coquitlam
Types of Child Care Facilities
Before establishing a child care centre, the type of facility needs to be considered. The Child Care Licensing Regulation defines several types of child care acceptable in the Province of British Columbia. The following are brief descriptions of these facilities:
Group Child Care
This classification of child care is split into two age groups. The first is for children under 36 Months. This age group shall not be in care for more than 13 hours per day and in a group of not more than 12 children. Staff to child ratio is 1 : 4
The second Group Child Care classification is from 30 months to children who have not yet entered grade 1. These children shall not be in care for more than 13 hours per day. They may be divided into groups of not more than 25 and not more than 2 of the children can be under 36 months of age but has reached 30 months of age. Staff to child ratio is 1 : 8
Preschool facilities are intended to provide children with opportunities for social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth. Children may be in care at the facility for no more than 4 hours a day. Children must be at least 30 months of age when first entering the facility and 36 months of age by December 31 of the same year as entrance. Children can be divided into groups of not more than 20. Staff to child ratio is 1 : 10
Out-of-School Care is specific to the care of school-age children before and after school hours and during school holidays for no more than 13 hours a day. Kindergarten and grade 1 children may be divided into groups of not more than 20 with a staff to child ratio of 1 : 10. Groups of up to 25 children are allowed if all children are in grade 2 or higher and under 13 years of age. Staff to child ration is 1 : 15.
Family Child Care
This type of facility is expected to provide care to children and opportunities for their social, emotional, or physical and intellectual growth in a licensee’s own home. Children may be in care at the facility for no more than 13 hours a day and must be under the age of 13. Maximum group size is 7 children with age restrictions.
Multi-Age / In-home Multi-Age Care
Setting Up a Child Care Facility in Port Coquitlam
Step 1 - Determine Municipal Zoning Requirements
The first step is to determine the zoning of the property at which the child care facility will be located. This information is available at City Hall in the Planning Department (see contact list). Once zoning has been determined, the uses permitted in the particular zone must be assessed for compliance with child care regulations.
Port Coquitlam’s zoning regulations allow child care facilities in all single-family, duplex and multiple family residential zones, as well as agricultural zones. However, some residential zone restrictions do apply and are outlined in the following table:
Residential Zone Child Care Permitted
RS-1 (Large Lot)
Maximum 25 children. Outdoor recreation space must be within rear yard enclosed by fence. Child care facility not permitted if there is a secondary suite. Facilities with 11 or more children are not permitted in a cul-de-sac or dead end street and must be located 200 metres from another child care facility. Facilities with 10 or more persons, including all children in care, will require building modifications.
RS-2 (Small Lot)
Maximum 8 children. Outdoor recreation space must be within rear yard enclosed by fence. Child care facility not permitted if there is a secondary suite. One licensed child care facility is permitted
RM-1, RM-2, RM-3, RM-4, RM-5 (Multiple Family Apartments and Townhouses) Direct access or egress must be to ground level outside the building. Child care facility permitted within an a dwelling unit provided there are no more than five children in care at any one time. Child care facility may be located within building or portion of building not used for residential purposes provided there are no more than 25 children in care at any one time. Outdoor recreation space must be located in rear yard enclosed by a fence.
Source: City of Port Coquitlam, Zoning By-law, 1987, No. 2240.
Child care is also allowed in most Commercial zones, Public and Private Institutional zones, and the Business Industrial Park zone.
A Sign Permit is required for any sign for a child care facilty.
Step 2 - Assess Building Code Requirements
All facilities must comply with BC Building Code regulations. The Code also requires that buildings with an occupancy of more than 10 persons follow more stringent fire, safety and health standards. This information is available at the City of Port Coquitlam's Building Department (see contact list).
Step 3 - Obtain Provincial Licensing
A Community Care Facility License is required for all facilities caring for more than two children who are not related to the operator by blood or marriage.
Source: Community Care & Assisted Living Act.
The Fraser health Authority renders inspections, and issues licenses for all child care facilities (see contact list).
An application package is available at the Licensing Office.
The licensing staff offer information, guidance, and consultation on licensing child care facilities.
Facilities are evaluated through inspections and compliance with policies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of children in care. The qualifications and personal suitability of a child care facility manager is also assessed.
Complaints against licensed and unlicensed facilities are investigated by licensing staff. The staff also investigate and take appropriate action to serious incidents, reports of abuse, and health and safety hazards.
Please contact the Licensing office for further clarification on service types of facilities.
Step 4 - Obtain a City Business Licence
Business Licence applications are available at City Hall in the By-law Department (see contact list).
Licensing is conditional and subject to compliance with municipal zoning regulations and Building Code standards, as well as Provincial regulations.
The information contained in this brochure is supplied as a guide only and is not a comprehensive account of municipal and provincial regulations. For further information, please contact the following agencies:
City of Port Coquitlam
2580 Shaughnessy Street
Port Coquitlam, BC
Bylaw Division (Business Licences)
Fraser Health Authority
Community Care Facilities Licensing
#300-205 Newport Drive
Port Moody, BC V3H 5C9