The provincial government is modifying the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, an Act that regulates the licensing of community-care facilities, including child-care and residential-care facilities, which offer assistance for seniors, those with developmental disabilities, mental-health and substance-use disorders, and brain injuries.
The act also oversees registration of assisted living residences, such as homes for adults, which offer some support with day-to-day needs, while allowing people to retain their independence.
Information on care facilities can be difficult to find, and a family may not know if there have been any substantiated investigations or complaints about the location or operator. In addition, there is no information posted about unlawfully operating facilities.
The amendments will make sure that information on all these facilities is posted at an easily accessible location online, and that information is consistent throughout all regions of the province. Information available will include summaries of inspection reports, as well as summaries of substantiated complaints.
The name of the operator, the name of the facility and the addresses of the facility will be posted, unless doing so would be a health and safety risk for the people in care.
For child-care providers, summaries of substantiated complaints and inspection reports will be posted for five years for both licensed facilities and facilities operating unlawfully. Currently, only high-level summaries of inspection reports for licensed facilities are posted.
High-level, substantiated complaint summaries are available at this time only for licensed seniors’ long-term care facilities. By policy, these are posted for a period of only two years.
For all residential-care facilities, both licensed and those operating unlawfully, summaries of substantiated complaints and inspection reports will be posted for five years for both licensed facilities and those operating unlawfully. High-level summaries of substantiated complaints reports are currently also posted by policy for two years for assisted-living facilities.
Under the amendments, they will be available for five years by law. Inspection reports will also be accessible for the same timeframe.
As part of the Province’s child-care initiative, an additional $2.09 million has been added to the Ministry of Health’s budget to boost the number of health authority licensing officers. These officers inspect and monitor care facilities, such as child-care places.
Information on child-care and residential-care facilities will be located on health authority websites. Information on assisted living facilities will be located on the Assisted Living Registry website. The revised websites with the new information are anticipated to be up and running by fall 2018.
- More information on the community care and assisted living proposed changes
- Child Care Resource and Referral – Sooke / West Shore
Licensed and unlicensed child care in British Columbia
Licensed child care
Licensed child-care programs provide care for three or more children. In B.C., licensed child care is regulated, which means it’s regularly monitored and inspected by local health authorities in order to ensure health and safety requirements are being met.
There are different kinds of licensed child-care programs:
- Group child care: Serves children from birth to 36 months, and children from 30 months to school entry.
- Group child care (school age): Serves school-age children, including kindergarten, who require care outside of normal school hours.
- Multi-age child care: Similar to group child care, but serves children from birth to age 12.
- Preschools: Serve children from 30 months to school entry. Preschools are part-day programs, typically operating on the school year, from September to June.
- Family child care: Offered in the child-care provider’s own home, and serves a maximum of seven children from birth to age 12.
- In-home multi-age child care: Offered in the early childhood educator’s own home, and serves a maximum of eight children from birth to age 12.
- Occasional child care: For part-time or occasional care only, available for children who are at least 18 months old. Care is for a maximum of eight hours a day and no more than 40 hours per calendar month.
Unlicensed child care
Unlicensed child-care providers, also known as licence-not-required providers, may care for only two children or a sibling group, as well as their own children. If they care for more children than this, they may be operating illegally.
There are several kinds of unlicensed child-care providers:
- Registered licence-not-required: These providers are registered with a child-care resource and referral centre. The registration process includes criminal record checks, references, a health-and-safety home inspection, and first aid. Registered care providers have access to support, training, resources and group liability insurance.
- Licence-not-required care: These providers are not required to meet any standards for health or safety. They are not monitored or inspected.
- In-own-home care: Parents may choose to arrange for someone (e.g., nanny or au pair) to look after their child in their own home. They are responsible for screening and hiring the provider.
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