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Child Care Centres

The following is designed to familiarize prospective operators of Child Care Centres with the City’s Zoning Bylaw requirements. The City of Saskatoon does not require a business license for the operation of a Child Care Centre or Family Child Care Home.


Child Care Centre

An establishment providing for the care, supervision and protection of children, but does not include the provision of overnight supervision.

Family Child Care Home

A child care facility which is an accessory use to a one-unit dwelling, two-unit dwelling, mobile home, semi-detached dwelling or townhouse where the occupants of the dwelling provide childcare services.

Permitted Child Care Centres

Child Care Centres accessory to a place of worship, school, community centre or community centre conversion are permitted in most residential areas.

Family Child Care Homes with no more than eight children, including children under the age of 13 residing in the home, are permitted in all residential areas.

Discretionary Child Care Centres

Child care facilities not meeting the above requirements and having more than eight resident and non-resident children at any one time in a dwelling are subject to Discretionary Use approval by City Council.

Discretionary Use Applications are evaluated according to locational and site specific guidelines:

  1. Prospective operators should demonstrate that there is a need for the proposed facility, and that it will not adversely affect the enrollment of similar facilities in the immediate area.  
  2. Facilities should not front along arterial roadways unless:
    1. on-site outdoor play spaces are suitably screened or segregated from such roadways;
    2. the site offers suitable access that will not impede arterial roadway traffic; and,
    3. off-street pick-up and drop-off areas are provided.
  3. Facilities should not be situated upon sites which may be adversely affected by major roadways, railway lines, fire halls, noxious uses, sloughs and other poorly drained areas, air pollution exposure areas or similar hazards.

Child Care Centre Development Standards

The following regulations apply to all day care centres:

  • An on-site outdoor play area of 3.5 square metres for each child must be provided.
  • This outdoor play space should be protected by fencing; located in a rear yard unless the particular lot configuration dictates otherwise; and, segregated from any parking, drop-off/pick-up areas or other areas used by vehicular traffic.
  • One parking space plus one additional parking space per ten children enrolled in the facility is required. Furthermore, one off-street loading space may be required. Required parking spaces may be located in a required front yard.
  • In a residential district, signage displaying the name of the child care business is not permitted. Only a single name plate indicating the name and address of the occupant can be displayed. The name plate shall not exceed 0.1 square metres. On a corner lot, two name plates can be displayed, one facing each street.

Building Code Requirements

In order to verify compliance with safety standards, a building permit is required prior to the operation of any child care facility in the city. A building permit is also required if a building which either contains a child care facility or in which a child care facility is proposed to be established, is to be altered, expanded or upgraded. For information on Building Code requirements and building permits for Child Care Centres contact Building Standards.


A business license from the City of Saskatoon is not required for a Child Care Centre. However, prospective operators must obtain a license to operate a Child Care Centre from the Provincial Ministry of Education, Early Learning and Child Care Program. In order to obtain provincial licensing, prospective operators will require a building permit from the Community Services Department, City of Saskatoon.

For information regarding the establishment of Child Care Centres, prospective operators should contact the Early Years Branch.