Family Home Child Care

Family home child care is one of the child care options available to parents in Prince Edward Island, where children are cared for in a home setting, by someone other than a parent, guardian or family member.  

Licensed Family Home Centres

Regulated family home child care is care provided to children in a home that is licensed by the Early Learning and Child Care Board. Licensed family home centres can provide child care to a maximum of 8 children aged infant to school age, including the operators own children, in the private residence of the provider.

Learn more about how to apply for a Family Home Centre License.

Read the Early Learning and Child Care Act or Early Learning and Child Care Act Regulations.

How will parents know if the family home child care setting is licensed or unlicensed?

A licensed Family Home Centre operator is required to post their license in an area visible to parents.  

Additionally, an annually updated directory of licensed early childhood centres, including family home centres, is available to search for a program which best meets your needs. 

What is the difference between a licensed and unlicensed family home centre?

Licensed
An operator of a licensed centre in a private home has applied for licensing as a Family Home Centre and meets all the applicable regulations in the Early Learning and Child Care Act and Regulations, and operates according to all standards set by the Act, Regulations and Minister’s Directives.

Licensed Family Home Centre operators have annual Environmental Health, Fire, and Early Learning and Child Care Board inspections.

Operators of a licensed family home centre have taken, at a minimum, a 30-hour course related to the care and education of infants and preschool children.

A licensed family home centre is able to provide care for up to 8 children, including the operators own children. 

As long as there are no more than 8 children being cared for in a home, a licensed family home centre may have two caregivers to meet ratio numbers. 

Unlicensed
There are no health, safety or training requirements or provision for public oversight in unregulated care; any attention by local or provincial public officials is on a complaint basis.

An unlicensed child care provider must operate within the allowable numbers for unlicensed child care and is otherwise unregulated.

An unlicensed family home centre is able to provide care, depending on the ages, for up to 7 children, including the operators own children. See a further note below about the ages and number of allowable children.

What are the benefits of becoming a licensed Family Home Centre?

  • You can provide care for up to eight infant, preschool, or school-age children in your home. 
  • Families attending a licensed centre are eligible to apply for fee subsidies up to the maximum per diem rates through the Child Care Subsidy program.  
  • Family Home Centre providers are eligible to apply for grant funding such as the Capital grants, Infant Incentive grants, Training grants and the Quality Enhancement grant.
  • Family Home Centre operators are eligible to apply for funding such as the Special Needs Grant.
  • Family Home Centre operators are eligible for support through centre visits from the Early Childhood resource team.
  • Operators can participate in networking opportunities with other family child care providers.
  • Care givers are able to participate in child care training and other professional development opportunities.
  • Operators have access to the Early Learning and Child Care registry.

How many children can a home based child care operator care for?

Licensed
In a licensed Family Home Centre an operator can provide care for up to eight children, aged infant to school age, at any one time, given the following ratios:  

Age of Child Indoor Ratio Outdoor Ratio
Under 22 months 1:3 1:3
22 months - 3 years 1:5 1:7
Over 3 years - school entry 1:10 1:15
School-age 1:15 1:22

Unlicensed
A person may operate a centre without a licence where the person does not provide services at the centre to more than:

  • five children, including those of the operator, where the group includes an infant or infants, provided that the group does not contain more than two infants;
  • six children, including those of the operator, where the group consists solely of preschool children or a combination of preschool children and school-age children; or
  • seven children, including those of the operator, where the group consists solely of school-age children.

Does a home based child care operator include their own children in the allowable numbers?

Yes.  In both licensed and unlicensed home based child care the operator’s own children aged ten and under are counted in the number of children.

Can an operator care for more children if more than one adult is present?

Licensed
A licensed family home centre can care for up to 8 children provided they follow the ratios set out in legislation as listed above. This means that a licensed family home centre could have 3 infants and 5 preschoolers or older if there are two caregivers in the centre. Even with two caregivers in the home, the maximum children under care is still 8.  

Unlicensed 
The maximum number of children allowable in an unlicensed premise is 7, regardless of the number of adults on site.

What financial supports are available to family child care providers?

There are a number of grants to which family child care providers may make application.  
Click on each grant for further information and applications.

Capital Grants
    Capital Improvements – up to $15,000 
    Infant Programming Equipment – up to $5,000
    Family Home Centre Program Improvement – up to $5,000
Quality Enhancement Grants:
    Quality Enhancement – up to $8,000 annually
    Infant Care Incentive – up to $2,000 annually
Alternate Hours Grant:
    Alternate Hours – up to $ 75/day
Operational Requirements Training Grants:
    Emergency Child Care First Aid and CPR – up to $100
    Standard Child Care First Aid and CPR – up to $100
    Food Safety Course – up to $100
Early Childhood Education Training Grants - up to $3,900 for tuition and books

Who is responsible for licensing early learning and child care programs?

The PEI Early Learning and Child Care Board is responsible for licensing and license renewal of early learning and child care programs, including family home child care, according to the Early Learning and Child Care Act.  

Who can I contact?

Questions about licensing:  

Contact the Early Childhood Programs Administrator at degillis@gov.pe.ca or by phone at 902-368-6518.

Questions about Family Home Centres and grants:  

Contact Janice Pettit at jspettit@gov.pe.ca or by phone at 902-368-6337.

 

Published date: 
November 21, 2018