Centre-Based Child Care

The establishment of new licensed early learning and child care centres will help meet the need for more licensed services for Manitoba families.

Groups and organizations can work with the Early Learning and Child Care Program to obtain information on licensing, funding, and how to open a new early learning and child care centre.

Opening a New Licensed Child Care Centre

If your group or organization is considering a new early learning and child care centre, consider the following steps:

  • visit existing early learning and child care centres and talk with operators to see and learn what’s involved

  • participate in an information session provided by the Early Learning and Child Care Program

  • conduct a community feasibility study

  • get informed about legislation requirements, including staffing requirements, zoning and fire requirements and public health requirements

  • assess financial viability

  • select a site and work on a design plan

  • establish budgeting and accounting practices

  • write policies and procedures

  • submit a licence application

Legislative Requirements

All licensed child care in Manitoba must follow The Community Child Care Standards Act. The Act defines the types of child care situations that need licensing. Its regulations ensure that child care in licensed centres and homes meets minimum standards.

For more information on legislation and requirements for operating an early learning and child care centre in Manitoba and information on recommended best practices, please review the Best Practices Licensing Manual for Early Learning and Child Care Centres.

Provincial Funding

Provincial funding may be available for community-based early learning and child care capital projects. The Early Learning and Child Care Building Fund provides capital funding support to projects that will build a new non-profit child care centre or renovate an existing centre for the purposes of adding licensed child care spaces. For more information, please view the Early Learning and Child Care Building Fund page.

The main grant provided to early learning and child care centres is the annual operating grant. Centres that are eligible for operating grant funding must be incorporated as non‑profit organizations or cooperatives, and must meet criteria of governance, board composition and financial accountability. Other grants that may be available include:

  • training grants for staff
  • start-up grants to purchase equipment
  • grants on behalf of children with additional support needs and the staffing needs related to their care

Information Session

All parties interested in opening a new licensed early learning and child care centre must attend an initial information session provided by the Early Learning and Child Care Program. To sign up for an information session, please call Child Care Information Services at 204-945-0776 or toll-free 1-888-213-4754 or email