Starting and operating a licensed centre-based program

The NWT's Early Learning and Child Care Act (Act), Early Learning and Child Care Standards Regulations and Early Learning and Child Care Funding Regulations set out the minimum standards that must be met in a licensed early learning and child care program (licensed program) to ensure the safety, well-being and developmental needs of children are met.

On May 1, 2023, amendments to the Early Learning and Child Care ActEarly Learning and Child Care Standards Regulations and new Early Learning and Child Care Funding Regulations came into force. Read an overview of the changes.

How to get a license

Under the Act, a license is required to operate a licensed program that provides care for 4 or more children.

To become a licensed child care provider in the NWT, contact the Early Childhood Consultant in your region. They will take you through the steps you need to prepare and apply for a license.

Early Childhood Programs Handbook

The Understanding the Child Day Care Regulations: A Handbook for Early Childhood Programs is for people who have or want to apply for a Child Day Care Facility License to operate licensed program. It provides guidance and information on:

  • how you can apply for or renew a child care license
  • what is involved in inspecting and monitoring a licensed child care program
  • terms used in the Act and Regulation
  • how to appeal or dispute a licensing decision
  • how to report incidents
  • other important information to assist you with being licensed

Rules for operating a licensed program

Funding for licensed centre-based programs

Forms for licensed programs

Contact us

Contact the Early Childhood Consultant in your region if you have questions about applying for and receiving a child care license.