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Day Cares

New Regulations for Day Cares and Day Cares, Residential

New regulations for Day Cares and Day Cares, Residential were approved on April 25, 2022. 

The following is designed to familiarize prospective operators of Day Cares with the City’s Zoning Bylaw requirements. The City of Saskatoon does not require a business license for the operation of a Day Cares or Day Cares, Residential.


Day Care

An establishment providing for the care, supervision, protection, or support of individuals of any age who require care or support on a regular, periodic, or temporary basis, and includes child care centres as defined by The Child Care Act, 2014, but does not include the provision of overnight supervision.

Day Care, Residential

A day 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 Day Cares

Day cares accessory to a place of worship, school, community centre or community centre conversion are permitted in most residential areas. Day cares are also permitted in the M3, M4, B3, B4, B4A, B4MX, B5, B5B, B5C and B6 Zoning Districts and in the FUD District when accessory to a dwelling. 

Day Cares, Residential with no more than twelve individuals of any age, including individuals who are resident in the home, are permitted in all residential areas.

Discretionary Day Cares

Day care facilities not meeting the above requirements and having more than twelve resident and non-resident individuals 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. required 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.

Day Care Development Standards

The following regulations apply to day cares:

  • 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.

The following outdoor play space regulations apply to day cares with children under the age of 13 present in the facility:

  • An on-site outdoor play area of 7 square metres for each child must be provided. A minimum of 3.5 square metres for each child must be located on-site and fenced. The remaining may be located at a nearby location provided that written approval by the Ministry of Education has been granted. 
  • 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.

Building Code Requirements

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

Provincial Licensing

A business license from the City of Saskatoon is not required for a Day Care. However, prospective operators must obtain a license to operate a child care facility 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 facility, prospective operators should contact the Early Years Branch.