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Department of Community Services

License to Operate a Child Care Centre
Early Chidhood Development Services

Who Needs This Licence?
Anyone who wants to care for more than:
1.  Six (6) children of any age (including their own);
2.  Eight (8) school-age children (including their own).
Issuing Department / Agency:
N.S. Department of Community Services
Where can you get this Licence and / or further information?

Early Childhood Development Services Section
Family and Children's Services Division
NS Department of Community Services

Toll-Free Telephone: 1-877-223-9555

E-mail enquiries:

Office Location:
Nelson Place
5675 Spring Garden Road
5th Floor
Halifax, NS B3J 1H1

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 696
Halifax, NS B3J 2T7

The Day Care Act -

Day Care Regulations -

Application Process:
  1. In order to obtain a license to operate a child care centre you must submit the form proposal to operate a child care facility (ecds-801). You may download this form, the guide how to start a child care centre and the child care facility proposal recommendation (ecds-802) form to assist you in meeting all requirements to apply for a license. You can also request these be sent via email.
  2. Upon receipt of the child care facility forms, an early childhood development consultant (ecdc) will be assigned to assist you throughout the proposal process for a new facility.

After reviewing the complete application, the licensing officer who is assigned to your facility will complete an initial inspection of the facility. If all requirements are met, a license will be recommended.

Waiting Period:
It may take up to 3 months to complete the application process, including all the required inspections.

After all requirements are met, final inspections and final processing of an application can take
1-2 weeks (on average).
Expiry & Renewal:
The initial license to operate a child care centre is issued for no more than six months. Before the expiry date, an application for renewal form is sent to the operator. Your Licensing Officer will inspect the facility. If all requirements of the Day Care Act & Regulations are met, the license may be renewed for five years.  
No Cost
Related Requirements:
Additional Information:
Legislative Authority:
Day Care Act (Chapter 120 of the Revised Statutes, 1989) and Day Care Regulations (made under Section 15 of the Day Care Act R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 120 O.I.C. 79-1556 (November 27, 1979), N.S. Reg. 195/79 as amended up to O.I.C. 2004-363 (September 8, 2004), N.S. Reg. 202/2004.

Last Updated: December 2009
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