Child Care Facilities

Do you want to open a child care facility in the City of Port Coquitlam? The City frequently receives requests from individuals or groups interested in establishing child care operations in Port Coquitlam. This page includes helpful information about these requirements and regulations.

Get Started

Before you get started:

  • Research the type of facility you wish to operate, including the number of children, age groups, hours of operation and type of facility you wish to use (your home, commercial unit, church, school etc). It is also helpful to research other existing child care facilities in the area.
  • Develop a business plan for your proposed child care facility. Having a clear understanding of the type of child care services you wish to provide and how large of an operation you are proposing will help you through the application processes required to start your business.
  • Consult PoCoMAP to determine the zoning of the property you want to use for the child care facility, and consult the Zoning Bylaw for applicable regulations.
  • If the property is a strata building, review the strata bylaws to determine if there are any specific restrictions for child care facilities. Likewise, if you wish to operate out of a church or school, speak to the church leadership or school principal to discuss your proposal.
  • Review Zoning Bylaw and BC Building Code requirements for residential or assembly occupancy.
  • Review the Parking and Development Management Bylaw to determine parking requirements.
  • If applicable to your project, review Development Permit and Building Permit requirements.
  • Review Provincial Community Care Facility licensing regulations.
  • Review application requirements for a Port Coquitlam Business Licence.
Fraser Health Authority

Child care facilities are licenced by both the Province and the City. The Child Care Licensing Regulation defines several types of child care acceptable in the Province of British Columbia.

Any facility where child care is provided to three or more children who are not related by blood or marriage or a sibling group is considered a Community Care Facility and must be licenced by the Province. The Fraser Health Authority administers licensing on behalf of the Province.

You can discuss your proposal with a Licensing Officer and ask questions about the child care licensing regulations and the provincial application process. They will likely direct you to speak to the City and apply for a business licence prior to applying for the provincial licence.

However, it is important to work with the Licensing Officer to understand the provincial child care regulations at this stage. The Fraser Health Authority website contains information about the different types of licenced child care facilities.

Zoning Regulations

Child care facilities are located throughout Port Coquitlam in residents’ homes, in commercial spaces, in buildings specifically designed for child care purposes, and in institutions such as schools and churches.

To operate a child care in Port Coquitlam you must ensure your proposal complies with the City’s zoning requirements. Check PoCoMAP for your property’s zoning and then review the Zoning Bylaw to determine what regulations are applicable to your proposed facility.

Facilities where child care is the primary, or main use, are permitted in the following zones:

  • Community Commercial  – CC
  • Institutional – P1, P2
  • Comprehensive Development – CD – if included as permitted use

Child care may be provided in a home when accessory to a residential use (meaning the primary use of the building is that of a residence) in the following zones:

  • Agriculture – A
  • Single Residential – RS1, RS2, RS3, RS4
  • Duplex – RD
  • Townhouse – RTh1, RTh2, RTh3
  • Rowhouse – RRh
  • Apartment – RA1, RA2
  • Community Commercial – CC
  • Recreation Commercial – RC
  • Comprehensive Development – CD – if included as permitted accessory use

Refer to Subsection 8 in the Supplementary Regulations section of the Zoning Bylaw for detailed regulations about child care facilities.

For more information about the zoning regulations, contact the Planning Division at 604.927.5442 or planning@portcoquitlam.ca.

Building Regulations

Any building used as a child care facility must comply with the Building and Plumbing Bylaw, BC Building Code and other related safety regulations.

For agricultural (A), residential (RS) and duplex (RD) zoned properties to be used to care for up to eight children:

  • Applicants should enquire at the Building Division counter to see if Building Permit record drawings exist and whether permits were obtained for alterations or additions.
  • The childcare will be considered part of the dwelling unit.
  • A second exit may be required.
  • Code-complying, hard-wired smoke alarm(s) that are wired to sound simultaneously are required.
  • Other safety upgrades may be required when the building is inspected.
  • Secondary suite and accessory home businesses are not permitted in a dwelling with a childcare facility.

For residential (RS) zoned properties to be used to care for more than eight children:

  • Applicants should enquire at the Building Division counter to see if building permit record drawings exist and whether permits were obtained for alterations or additions.
  • Applicants should retain a registered architect to determine construction upgrading to meet the building regulations noted above.
  • Applicants should enquire with the Building Inspector regarding the occupancy classification under the BC Building Code.
  • Applicants should retain an architect and others to provide drawings and other documents with the Building Permit application (see Build or Renovate a Structure).
  • Construction may begin when the Building Permit is issued, and other permits are required by the contractors as work proceeds.
  • Secondary suite and accessory home businesses are not permitted in a dwelling with a childcare facility.

For property in other zones:

  • Applicants may enquire at the Building Division counter to see if building permit record drawings exist and whether permits were obtained for alterations or additions.
  • Applicants should retain a registered architect to determine construction upgrading to meet the building regulations noted above.
  • Applicants should enquire with the Building Inspector regarding the occupancy classification under the BC Building Code.
  • Applicants should retain an architect and others to provide drawings and other documents with the building permit application (see Renovate a Building or Build a Structure).
  • Construction may begin when the Building Permit is issued, and other permits are required by the contractors as work proceeds.
  • A Building Inspector can provide general information regarding type of upgrades to expect, however, an experienced and registered architect is a good start to obtain detailed information.

For more information about the building regulations, contact the Building Division at 604.927.5444 or building@portcoquitlam.ca.

Business Licensing

All businesses operating within the City of Port Coquitlam require a business licence. Once you have determined that your proposal does or will comply with the various municipal policies and regulations, you can apply for a business licence.

The Business Licensing Division will refer your application to other City departments for comment and to schedule the needed inspections.

Building and Plumbing Inspectors will inspect the property to assess the following:

  • If the premises comply with the building regulations – as noted above, a Building Permit application is required if the facility is to care for more than eight children. The permit must be issued and inspections completed during construction before the business licence is issued.
  • If there is a secondary suite or accessory home business in the dwelling (both uses are not permitted).
  • Whether code-complying, hard-wired smoke alarms are installed in the dwelling and child care area and are interconnected to sound simultaneously.
  • Whether acceptable exits are provided, and
  • If other fire, safety or health risks are addressed.

For more information about business licensing, contact Business Licensing at 604.927.5238 or bylawlicencing@portcoquitlam.ca.

Community Care Facility Licence (Provincial)

Once any issues with the application are resolved, the Business Licensing Division will recommend you submit your Community Care Facility Licence application to Fraser Health Authority.

The Licensing Officer will process your application by assessing the proposed facility and program licencee/manager, conducting routine inspections, and investigating complaints and reported incidents.

Once your Community Care Facility licence has been issued, confirm this with the City’s Business Licensing Division to have your business licence finalized.

For more information about the Community Care Facility Licensing process, contact Fraser Health Authority at 604.949.7700.

Additional resources and training are available through the YMCA Child Care Resource & Referral program.

Contact

Planning Division
Tel 604.927.5442
planning@portcoquitlam.ca

Building Division
Tel 604.927.5444
building@portcoquitlam.ca

Engineering & Public Works
Tel 604.927.5420
engineering@portcoquitlam.ca

Location and Mailing Address

City Hall Annex (Above the Bank of Montreal, 200-2564 Shaughnessy St, Port Coquitlam, BC, V3C 3G4

Business Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)