Developing a childcare centre
The City helps create high quality, licensed childcare facilities throughout Vancouver.
Staff work with developers, architects, landscape architects, and early childhood educators to make sure that every new center includes urban design best practices, and contributes to a child’s mental and physical development.
Steps for establishing a childcare centre
- The City can help you create a safe and supportive early learning environment that also conforms to provincial guidelines.
- Meet with Vancouver Coastal Health’s Community Care Facility Licensing (CCFL) department to review your facility’s interior space and playground, and apply for an operating license.
- Submit a ‘change of use’ development permit application to City Hall. You can streamline the process by including details of your VCH application, operational plan, completed permit application form and payment.
- Work with the City and CCFL staff to incorporate the City’s building code and development permit requirements into your final design, to ensure your new childcare space is safe and healthy.
- Get final approval to start building your center, by submitting a completed building permit application form, owner’s undertaking letter, and copies of detailed working drawings.
- While you are building or renovating your centre’s interior, work with VCH to create an outdoor playground design that encourages children’s mental development and physical fitness.
- After all of your construction is done, have the City do a final inspection to ensure that your space is safe, and designed to support healthy child development. Once you pass your inspection, apply for your occupancy permit.
- Once the City has given your space a green light, VCH will inspect it to make sure all of their requirements have been met, then issue your final license.
Note: To save you time and disappointment later, we recommend that you start by developing a viable facility and business plan to make sure your project is feasible.
If you are ready to start planning a daycare facility, begin by downloading the City's complete guidelines and checklists, which will guide you through the entire development process:
- Read the complete "Steps for Establishing a Childcare Facility in an Existing Building"
- Get the Childcare Development Permit checklist
- Get the Childcare Design Guidelines
- Get the Childcare Technical Guidelines
After reviewing the documents, please contact the Enquiry Centre for help putting your plans into action.