To ensure the quality of the services offered to your children, the staff of the Ministère de la Famille responsible for inspection conducts regular or spot visits in childcare centres (CPE) and daycare centres. They pay special attention to the children's health and safety and to compliance with the legal and regulatory requirements, which concern the following points in particular:
- the staff and the number of children per educator;
- the qualifications of the staff;
- verification that no impediment exists for staff members;
- access, premises and outdoor layouts;
- mandatory equipment in the service areas;
- healthy meals and snacks;
- medications and their administration;
- cleanliness and sanitation;
- storage of maintenance products and toxic products;
- contents of registration cards;
- list of emergency telephone numbers;
- the rules governing payment of the parental contribution.
Frequency and types of inspection in health and safety
The Ministère de la Famille inspectors conduct two types of health and safety inspections out of a concern for prevention and continuous quality improvement. The purpose of the inspections is to evaluate quality, identify problems, establish an action plan and provide the necessary assistance to the childcare centre (CPE) or to the daycare concerned so that the situation is corrected. These two types of inspections are:
Permit inspections, which are conducted:
- within 6 months after the first childcare centre (CPE) or daycare centre permit is issued;
- upon renewal of the childcare centre (CPE) or daycare centre permit, which generally has a five-year validity period.
Five inspections allow verification of compliance with all the elements of the Act and its regulation.
Spot inspections, which are conducted:
- in the course of dealing with a complaint formulated to the Ministère de la Famille and which, depending on its seriousness, may require a rapid intervention with the childcare centre (CPE) or the daycare centre concerned;
- in the follow-up of a permit inspection;
- when verification of compliance with elements of the Act or its regulations is necessary.
Since the children's health and safety is a priority for the Ministère de la Famille, the inspection process is very rigorous. The fact that a large number of elements are inspected explains why it is very rare for a childcare service not to show any breach during an inspection.
Out of a concern for information, transparency and continuous quality improvement, the Ministère de la Famille, since November 15, 2009, has chosen to make accessible the results of the health and safety inspections conducted in Québec childcare centres (CPE) and daycare centres.1These results will allow you to be informed regarding the compliance record of the educational childcare services that interest you.
You can access this information with the Childcare Establishment Locator.
Inspection policy for regulated childcare services and Home Childcare Coordinating Officers
This policy defines the guiding principles to guarantee compliance with the provisions of the Educational Childcare Act and its regulations, the established standards, and the directions and instructions ordered by the Minister of Families.
The policy pays special attention to the standards and conditions that could harm children's health and safety. It defines the nature of inspection of childcare services, the inspector's powers and the general inspection cycle. It specifies the roles and responsibilities of the different players in the inspection process.
- the inspectors and staff of the Ministère de la Famille.
- childhood centre (CPE) or daycare centre permit holders;
- the bodies approved as Home Childcare Coordinating Offices;
- the home childcare providers (HCP) recognized by a Coordinating Office. However, a Ministère de la Famille inspector intervenes with an HCP only is certain special circumstances and subject to the Coordinating Office's function to ensure compliance with the standards determined by the Educational Childcare Act and applicable to HCPs.
- The result of an inspection conducted to handle a complaint appears in the recapitulation only when the inspector has found a breach.
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