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Statutes of Newfoundland 1998


CHAPTER C-11

CHAPTER C-11.1

AN ACT RESPECTING CHILD CARE SERVICES IN THE PROVINCE

(Assented to June 5, 1998)

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Non-application

4. Regional director

5. Provincial director

6. Child care service

7. Licence

8. Refusal to issue

9. Violation orders

10. Suspension and cancellation

11. Alterations

12. Inspectors

13. Inspection

14. Search with warrant

15. Telewarrant

16. Regulations

17. Fees and forms

18. Protection from liability

19. Offence

20. Transitional

21. SN1995 cP-37.1 Amdt.

22. RSN1990 cD-2 Rep.

23. Commencement

Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Child Care Services Act.

Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "agency" means a Family Child Care Agency established under subsection 7(2);

(b) "board" means a regional health and community services board constituted under the Health and Community Services Act or a board constituted under the Hospitals Act to which responsibilities under this Act are delegated;

(c) "child" means a child under the age of 13 years;

(d) "child care" means the care and supervision of a child for a part of a day by a person other than

(i) the child’s parent,

(ii) the child’s guardian,

(iii) the child’s relative,

(iv) the child’s caregiver as defined in the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, or

(v) a person employed by the parent, guardian, relative or caregiver referred to in subparagraphs (i) to (iv) to care for the child in the child’s home;

(e) "department" means the department presided over by the minister;

(f) "director" means a regional director appointed under section 4;

(g) "inspector" means an inspector appointed or designated under section 12;

(h) "licence" means a licence issued under section 7;

(i) "licensee" means a person or an agency which holds a licence under section 7 of this Act;

(j) "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;

(k) "operator" means a person who directs and manages the daily operations of a child care service described in paragraph 6(1)(a); and

(l) "provincial director" means the Director of Child Care Services appointed under section 5.

Non-application

3. (1) This Act does not apply to

(a) a teaching program operating under the Schools Act, 1997;

(b) a person who provides child care to not more than 6 children at a time for not more than 9 hours a week;

(c) a person who operates a program to provide an activity or instruction of an educational, craft, artistic or sport related nature;

(d) a person who provides child care for not more than 6 hours a day for fewer than 8 weeks in a 12 week period;

(e) a person who provides child care in his or her own home at any one time to not more than 4 children or to not more than 3 children, where all 3 are under the age of 24 months; and

(f) another person or activity that may be prescribed by regulation.

(2) A child care program for children of school age which is licensed under this Act but takes place in a school operated under the Schools Act, 1997 is exempt from requirements under this Act to undergo periodic fire and environmental health inspection.

Regional director

4. A board may, for the region represented by the board, appoint a director of child care services to exercise the powers and perform the duties given to a director.

Provincial director

5. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council may appoint an employee of the government of the province to be the provincial director of child care services who shall be responsible for

(a) reviewing and establishing province wide policies, programs and standards for child care services;

(b) monitoring, evaluating and researching policies, programs and standards with respect to child care in the province;

(c) reviewing and establishing standards and qualifications for child care licensees, operators and their employees; and

(d) reviewing and establishing the structure and standards of child care licencing and for child care facilities in the province.

(2) Where the provincial director believes that a director designated under section 4 is not providing service in accordance with this Act, the provincial director may direct the board which employs the director to take remedial or other action that he or she considers appropriate, and the board shall comply with the provincial director’s direction.

(3) Where a board does not appoint a director under section 4 or where a board does not comply with a direction made under subsection (2), the powers and duties of a director under this Act shall vest in the provincial director for the purpose of administering this Act and child care services in the region for which that board is responsible.

Child care service

6. (1) For the purpose of this Act, a child care service is a service where

(a) not fewer than 7 nor more than 60 children may receive child care; and

(b) not more than 6 children, of ages which shall be determined by regulation, receive child care in the home of the person providing the child care.

(2) A person shall not operate or be held out as operating a child care service except in accordance with this Act.

(3) A child care service referred to in paragraph (1)(a) shall be licensed under subsection 7(1).

(4) A child care service referred to in paragraph (1)(b) shall be

(a) licensed under subsection 7(1); or

(b) operate under the supervision of an agency which is licensed under subsection 7(2).

Licence

7. (1) A person may apply to a director for and the director may issue to that person a licence to operate a child care service where he or she is satisfied that the person

(a) meets the requirements of this Act with respect to references and security clearances;

(b) has the educational, employment experience and other qualifications required by this Act;

(c) has undergone a medical examination as required by this Act;

(d) intends to operate the child care service from premises which comply with health, safety and other standards required by this Act or another Act of the province;

(e) is a qualified operator or, where not qualified, has delegated to a qualified operator the authority necessary for the effective and efficient management of a child care service and its employees;

(f) has provided the documents or other information required by regulation; and

(g) has paid the required fee.

(2) A corporation incorporated for a charitable or non-profit purpose may apply to a director for a licence and the director may issue a licence to that corporation which shall be considered to be a Family Child Care Agency, provided that the director is satisfied that the Family Child Care Agency will supervise, in accordance with the regulations, persons operating child care services referred to in paragraph 6(1)(b) who do not have a licence issued under subsection (1).

(3) A director may, in accordance with the regulations, grant different types of licences and a licence may be granted subject to terms and conditions which may be prescribed by regulation.

(4) A licence issued under this section may be renewed in the same manner as for an application for a new licence under this section.

(5) A licensee, operator or a person operating a child care service under the supervision of an agency shall

(a) permit a parent, guardian or care giver who uses the child care service access to the premises and information that is prescribed by regulation; and

(b) keep as confidential information with respect to users of the child care service unless that information is by law required to be disclosed.

(6) A licensee or a person providing a child care service under the supervision of an agency shall, in a prominent and visible place, display this Act and regulations made under this Act, the licence and terms and conditions under which the licence has been issued.

(7) A licence is not assignable between premises, licensees, agencies or other persons.

(8) Notwithstanding paragraph 3(1)(e), a person described in that paragraph may apply for a licence under subsection (1) or may be supervised under subsection (2) and where either occurs, this Act shall apply to that person.

Refusal to issue

8. (1) A director may refuse to issue a licence to a person or agency where he or she is satisfied that

(a) the child care service which is the subject of the application would not be maintained and operated in accordance with this Act;

(b) a person has made a false or misleading statement in the application for a licence or in documents submitted in support of that application; or

(c) the persons or corporation applying for a licence for an agency would be unable to supervise child care services as required under this Act.

(2) Where a licence is refused under subsection (1), the director shall, in writing, immediately notify the applicant for that licence of that refusal and shall provide to the applicant the reasons for the refusal.

Violation orders

9. (1) Where a director is satisfied that a child care service licensed under this Act does not comply with the requirements of this Act, he or she may, in writing, order the licensee and where applicable, the operator of that child care service to take the remedial action that the director considers necessary to bring that service into compliance with this Act.

(2) Where a director is satisfied that an agency licensed under this Act does not comply with or is not able to carry out its duties and functions under this Act, he or she may order that agency to take the remedial action necessary to bring that agency or a child care service provided under the supervision of that agency into compliance with this Act.

(3) An order made under subsection (1) or (2) shall be served upon the licensee and the operator or person who provides the child care service in the manner and time required by regulation.

Suspension and cancellation

10. (1) Where in the opinion of a director, a child care service or an agency licensed under this Act is not being operated in accordance with this Act or as ordered by the director, the director may order, in writing, the suspension or cancellation of the licence issued with respect to that child care service or agency.

(2) Where a director suspends, cancels or refuses to renew a licence, he or she shall, in the manner required by regulation, notify the licensee and the operator or person who provides the applicable child care service of that decision.

(3) A licensee and an operator of a child care service whose licence has been suspended or cancelled under this section shall immediately after being notified of that suspension or cancellation cease to operate the child care service to which the suspension or cancellation applies.

(4) Where an agency licence has been suspended or cancelled under this section, the child care services operating under that agency shall, immediately after being notified of that suspension or cancellation, cease to operate a child care service.

(5) The director may suspend a licence for not more than 30 days after which time the director shall renew the licence, with or without conditions, or shall cancel the licence.

Alterations

11. A licensee or an operator of a licensed child care service shall not add to or alter a building or premises where the child care service is located unless he or she first submits to the director the proposed addition or alteration plans and receives from the director an approval of those plans.

Inspectors

12. (1) A director may appoint persons or designate employees of the applicable board as inspectors for the purposes of this Act.

(2) An inspector appointed or designated under subsection (1) shall have the qualifications and experience that may be required by regulation.

Inspection

13. (1) Where it is reasonably necessary to ensure compliance with this Act and the terms and conditions applicable to a licence, an inspector may

(a) at reasonable times enter a child care service premises and inspect the premises, the child care service and the condition of children found there;

(b) require the production of books, records or other documents applicable to that child care service and may examine those books, records or documents or remove them for the purpose of making copies of them;

(c) perform tests, take photographs or make audio and audio-visual recordings with respect to that child care service; and

(d) inquire into all matters relating to the child care service, its employees, former employees and volunteers.

(2) Where an inspector removes books, records or other documents under paragraph (1)(b), he or she shall give to the person from whom those items were taken a receipt for those items and shall immediately make copies of those items and return the originals to the person who was given the receipt.

(3) A director may require an inspection of a child care service annually or more frequently where he or she considers that inspection necessary and may require annual or more frequent inspections of child care services for health, safety, fire and other reasons by inspectors or other officers operating under another Act of the province.

Search with warrant

14. (1) Where an inspector or another person acting under this Act believes on reasonable grounds that a person is contravening or has contravened this Act, or where entry onto a child care service or other public or private premises where a contravention of this Act is believed to occur or have occurred is refused or denied, the inspector may, with a warrant issued under subsection (2), enter those premises and do all those things referred to in section 13.

(2) A provincial court judge or a justice of the peace who is satisfied on oath or affirmation that there are reasonable grounds for believing that a contravention of this Act has occurred or that entry onto a child care service or other public or private premises has been refused or denied, may issue a warrant authorizing the inspector or other person named in the warrant to enter the child care service or other public or private premises, including a dwelling house, and search for and inspect anything that will provide evidence with respect to a contravention of this Act and to do all those things referred to in section 13.

(3) The licensee, owner or operator of premises referred to in this section and section 15 and a person found there shall give the inspector or other person reasonable help to enable the inspector or other person to carry out his or her duties and functions under this Act and shall provide the information that the inspector or other person may reasonably require.

Telewarrant

15. (1) Where, in the opinion of a director or an inspector it would not be practical to appear before a provincial court judge to apply for a warrant, the director or inspector may make the application by telephone, facsimile or other means of telecommunication.

(2) Where the information on which an application for a warrant is submitted by telephone, facsimile or other means of telecommunication, the information shall be given under oath or affirmation, and the oath or affirmation may be administered by telephone, facsimile or other means of telecommunication.

(3) The information submitted by telephone, facsimile or other means of communication shall include

(a) a statement of the circumstances that make it impracticable for the director or inspector to appear personally before a provincial court judge;

(b) a statement of the director’s or inspector’s grounds for believing that a person has contravened this Act or that entry onto public or private premises where a contravention of this Act is believed to occur has been denied; and

(c) a statement that a less intrusive course of action is not available or would be detrimental to children who are being provided with child care.

(4) The sworn or affirmed information submitted by telephone, facsimile or other means of telecommunication by a director or an inspector shall specify the name of the person giving evidence, the facts ascertained and the manner and location in which evidence was received, and a record of that information shall be filed by the provincial court judge with the clerk of the court over which the judge presides.

Regulations

16. The minister may make regulations

(a) respecting the premises, equipment and standards required for child care services caring for differing ages of children;

(b) respecting the standards and other criteria to be met before being granted a licence;

(c) establishing and describing different types of child care services and types of licences and prescribing different procedures and requirements for different child care services and licences based upon the age of the children, the child care service provided and the type of premises and whether the child care is provided for a group or is a family home child care service and including the length of time for which a licence is to be in effect;

(d) respecting the duties and functions of an agency and respecting the number of child care services which an agency may supervise;

(e) respecting the qualifications and duties of inspectors appointed or designated under this Act;

(f) respecting the conduct, management, appointments, program content and standards of operation necessary to operate a child care service including standards of safety, nutrition, staffing and emergency procedures;

(g) requiring inspections at prescribed times by inspectors and by other health and safety personnel operating under another Act of the province;

(h) describing the duties, responsibilities and obligations of a child care service with respect to children in its care, parents and guardians of those children, employees of the service and the department or a board which is responsible for the child care service;

(i) prescribing the hours of operation of child care services;

(j) respecting terms and conditions applicable to licences issued under this Act;

(k) prescribing the staff requirements for child care service operations and prescribing the educational and other qualifications required by operators, staff, employees, care providers and volunteers for different types of child care services;

(l) prescribing the maximum number of children to which child care may be provided in a child care service based upon the type of service and the ages of children cared for by that service;

(m) approving education, training and courses of instruction for agencies, operators and persons employed with child care service operations;

(n) respecting requirements for admission of a child to a child care service;

(o) respecting child care service premises including the renovation, alteration, construction, size, sanitation, safety and health requirements;

(p) respecting the records to be maintained by a child care service;

(q) respecting insurance requirements for child care services;

(r) respecting the conditions, terms and manner in which claims for funds may be made to the department or to a board and respecting the manner in which claims for those funds are to be calculated and paid out;

(s) prescribing the powers and duties of a director and inspectors with respect to the issuance of warnings and orders for remedial action to child care services;

(t) respecting telewarrants; and

(u) generally to give effect to the purposes of this Act;

Fees and forms

17. The minister may set fees and establish forms for the purposes and administration of this Act.

Protection from liability

18. A person is not liable for anything done or omitted to be done in good faith in the exercise or performance of a power, duty or function conferred by or under this Act.

Offence

19. A person who does not comply with or contravenes this Act or makes a false statement in an application, return, form or record required under this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction

(a) for a first offence to a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $2000 or to imprisonment for not more than 60 days or to both a fine and imprisonment; and

(b) for a subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $2000 and not more than $5000 or to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or to both a fine and imprisonment.

Transitional

20. A day care licence issued under the Day Care and Homemaker Services Act shall continue in force as if it were a licence issued under this Act until that licence expires, is to be renewed or one year after the coming into force of this Act, whichever occurs first.

SN1995 cP-37.1 Amdt.

21. Paragraph 4(4)(c) of the Health and Community Services Act is repealed and the following substituted

(c) Child Care Services Act;

RSN1990 cD-2 Rep.

22. The Day Care and Homemaker Services Act is repealed.

Commencement

23. This Act comes into force on a day to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

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