Skip to main content

Table 1 Provincial and territorial childcare legislation for physical activity and screen-viewing

From: Physical activity and sedentary behavior legislation in Canadian childcare facilities: an update

Province/Territory Name of Act and Regulation (Year) Type of Facility Legislated Age Groups Provider: Child Ratios PA Requirements SV Requirements Infrastructure – Indoors & Outdoors Playtime – Indoors & Outdoors
Alberta Child Care Licensing Act, 2008
Childcare Licencing Regulation 143/2008 (with amendments up to and including Alberta Regulation 152/2016)
Daycare centers 19 months to under 13 yrs Under 12 months: 1:3
12–18 months: 1:4
19 months to 4.5 yrs: 1:8
Over 4.5 yrs: 1:10
•Must keep up with the physical, social, creative, intellectual, and emotional needs of the child N/A Indoor play space: ≥  3.0m2 per child
Outdoor play space:
≥  2m2 for each child under 19 months
≥  4.5m2 for children over 19 months
Provide indoor and outdoor play materials
British Colombia Community Care and Assisted Living Act, S.B.C. 2002, Chapter 75
Child Care Licensing Regulation 332/2007, including amendments to B.C. Reg. 178/2016
Child Care Subsidy Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, Chapter 26; Child Care Subsidy Regulation 74/97.
Child Care BC Act, S.B.C. 2001. Chapter 4.
Group daycare centers
Preschools
Family childcare
Child minding
0–5 yrs
30 months to 5 yrs
0–12 yrs
1.5–12 yrs
1:4
1:10
1:7
1:8
•Opportunities for social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth
•Encourage development of large and small muscle skills
N/A Indoor play space: ≥  3.7m2 per child
Outdoor play space: ≥ 7m2 per child
•Provide periods for outdoor play (weather permitting)
Manitoba Community Child Care Standards Act, C.C.S.M. c. C158. (amended 67/2016)
Child Care Regulation, M.R. 62/86.
Child Care Worker Retirement Benefits Regulation, M.R. 20/2011
Childcare centers
Nursery school
School-age childcare
Family childcare homes
Group childcare homes
0–12 yrs and 0–18 yrs for children with disabilities 12 wks to 1 yr:
1:3
1–2 yrs: 1:4
2–3 yrs: 1:6
3–4 yrs: 1:8
4–5 yrs: 1:9
5–6 yrs: 1:10
6–12 yrs: 1:15
•Play activities must allow for daily large and small muscle activity N/A Indoor play space: ≥  3.3m2 per child
Outdoor play space: ≥ 7m2
•Provide space and equipment for a variety of activities including fine motor activities
•Provide time for outdoor play (weather permitting)
New Brunswick Early Childhood Services Act. 2010.
Family Services Act. 1980.
Family Services Act and Day Care Regulations, 83–85, as amended.
Daycare centers
Nursery Schools
School-age childcare centers
Community daycare homes
0–12 yrs Birth to 24 months: 1:3
2 yrs: 1:5
3 yrs: 1:7
4 yrs: 1:10
5 yrs: 1:12
6–12 yrs: 1:15
N/A •Television viewing is not part of the daily program Indoor play space: ≥  3.25m2 per child
Outdoor play space: ≥  4.5m2 per child
•Provide time for outdoor play (weather permitting)
•Provide equipment that promotes gross and fine motor movement
Newfoundland & Labrador Child Care Services Act. — SNL 1998, chapter c-11.1, amended 1999 c22 s6, 2001 c36.
Child Care Services Regulation 37/99, revised March 2007.
Childcare centers
School-age childcare centers
Family childcare
0–13 yrs 0–24 months: 1:3
2-3 yrs: 1:5
3–5.75 yrs: 1:8
4.75–7 yrs: 1:12
7–12.9 yrs 1:15
N/A N/A Indoor play space: ≥  3.3m2 per child •Must have access to an outdoor play area if in care for 4 + hrs
•Outdoor play areas not required for family/ home daycare
Northwest Territories Child Day Care Act and the Child Day Care Standards and Regulations 1988 (2013).
Child Day Care Standards and Regulations, R-053-2012, with amendments R-092-2014
Center daycare facilities
Preschool daycare
Out of school daycare
Family home daycare
0–11 yrs 0–12 months: 1:3
13–24 months: 1:4
25–35 months: 1:6
3 yrs: 1:8
4 yrs: 1:9
5–11 yrs: 1:10
•Facilitate and stimulate physical development
•Opportunity to participate in activities that promote physical fitness for 30 mins/day
N/A Indoor play space: ≥  2.75 m2 per child
Outdoor play space: ≥ 5m2 per child
•Provide daily outdoor play activities for each child
•Space should be developmentally appropriate for children
Nova Scotia Day Care Act. Chapter 120, of the Revised Statutes, 1989. R.S., c. 120. s. 1.41
Day Care Regulations Reg 193/2010, N.S. Reg. 226/2014 and including O.I.C. 2014–531 (December 22, 2014), N.S. Reg. 227/2014
Childcare centers
Family daycare homes
0–12 yrs Childcare centers
Infant: 1:4
Toddler: 1:6
Preschooler: 1:8
Family Daycare Homes
Infants: 1:3
School age: 1:8
•Provide opportunities for physical activity
•Activities must stimulate physical development
N/A Indoor play space: ≥  2.75m2 per child
Outdoor play space: ≥ 7m2 per child
•Provide outdoor playtime in the morning and afternoon (weather permitting)
Nunavut± Child Day Care Act and the Child Day Care Standards and Regulations 1988 (2013).
Child Day Care Standards and Regulations, R-053-2012, with amendments R-092-2014
Center daycare facilities
Preschool daycare
Out of school daycare
Family home daycare
0–11 yrs 0–12 months: 1:3
12–24 months: 1:4
25–35 months: 1:6
3 yrs: 1:8
4 yrs: 1:9
5–11 yrs: 1:10
•Facilitate and stimulate physical development
•Opportunity to participate in activities that promote physical fitness for 30 mins/day
N/A Indoor play space: ≥  2.75 m2 per child
Outdoor play space: ≥  5m2 per child
•Provide daily outdoor play activities for each child
•Space should be developmentally appropriate for children
Ontario Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, S.O. 2014, c. 11, Sched. 1
Ontario Regulation 137/15: GENERAL
Childcare centers
Licensed home childcare
0–12 yrs and 0–18 yrs for children with disabilities Indoors
Infants: 3:10
Toddlers: 1:5
Preschooler: 1:8
Kindergarten: 1 to 13
Outdoors
No reduced ratios
•Activities that promote gross and fine motor skills development
•Incorporate active and quiet play into daily programming
N/A Indoor play space: ≥  2.8m2 per child
Outdoor play space: ≥ 5.6m2 per child
•Provide 2 h of outdoor playtime for every 6+ hrs in care (weather permitting)
•Incorporate indoor and outdoor play into daily programming
Prince Edward Island Child Care Facilities Act. 1988.
Child Care Facilities Regulations. 1988.
The Social Assistance Act. 2003 (Dept of Community Services and Seniors)
Early childhood center
Family childcare
School-aged childcare center
Under 12 yrs Indoors
Under 22 months: 1:3
22 months to 3 yrs: 1:5
Over 3 yrs: 1:10
School-age: 1:15
Outdoors
Under 22 months: 1:3
22 months to 3 yrs: 1:7
Over 3 yrs: 1:15
School-age: 1:22
•Activities designed to enhance emotional, social, cognitive and gross and fine motor development
•Opportunities for active and quiet play
N/A Indoor play space: ≥  3.5m2 per child
Outdoor play space: ≥ 7m2 per child
•Provide outdoor play opportunities
Quebec Ministère de la Famille:
Educational Childcare Act (R.S.Q., chapter S-4.1.1).
Educational Childcare Regulation chapter S-4.1.1, r. 2
Ministère de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la recherche:
Règlement sur les services de garde en milieu scolaire. L.R.Q., c.I-13.3., a. 454.1; 1997, c.58, a.51; 1997, c.96, a.132.
Childcare center
Daycare center
Home or Family childcare
School-age childcare
0–14 yrs <  18 months: 1:5
18 months to < 4 yrs: 1:8
4 yrs to < 5 yrs: 1:10
>  5 yrs: 1:20
•Provide educational activities that promote physical development
•Programs which foster emotional, social, moral, cognitive, language, physical, and motor development
N/A Indoor play space:
≥  4m2 per child under 18 months
≥  2.75m2 per child over 18 months
Outdoor play space: ≥ 4m2 per child
•Provide daily outdoor play periods (weather permitting)
•Play equipment must meet Canadian safety standards
Saskatchewan Child Care Act. Bill 8, 1990 as amended by the Statutes of Saskatchewan, 2000
Child Care Regulations, Chapter C-7.31 Reg 1 (effective June 15, 2015) as amended by Saskatchewan Regulations 69/2015 and 49/2016.
Childcare centers
School-age childcare
Family childcare homes
0–13 yrs and 0–15 yrs for children with disabilities 1:15 N/A N/A Indoor play space:
≥  3.7m2 per infant
≥  3.25m2 per toddler, preschool, and school-aged child
Outdoor play space: ≥ 7m2 per child
•Provide materials for indoor and outdoor activities
•Provide outdoor play periods
Yukon Child Care Act, 1990/087
Child Care Center Program Regulations, 1995
Family Day Home Program Regulation, 1995
School-Age Program Regulation, 1995
Child Care Subsidy Regulation, 1995
Childcare centers
School-age childcare
Family day home
12 yrs and under and 16 yrs and younger for children with disabilities Infants to 18 months: 1:4
18 months to 3 yrs: 1:6
3–5 yrs: 1:8
School-age: 1:12
•Offer physical activities to promote large muscle development and physical competences (e.g., running and climbing)
•Promote small muscle development and physical well-being
•Provide opportunities for vigorous activities
N/A Indoor play space: ≥ 4m2 per child
Outdoor play space: ≥  5m2 per child
•Opportunity to play outdoors everyday (weather permitting)
•Outdoor equipment must be provided for large muscle activity
  1. PA physical activity, SV screen-viewing, ±follows same legislation as Northwest Territories, specific amount of time not specified. The childcare Acts and regulations for each province and territory are presented to provide information on the governing laws as well as any related prescriptive and enforcement documents