A daycare center which is also called day nursery, nursery school, or crèche (French: “crib”), is an institution that provides supervision and care for infants and young children during the daytime, particularly so that their parents can hold jobs.

Available data shows that currently, there are approximately 950 daycares called centres de la petite enfance (CPEs) in Quebec. The cities with the lowest fees for infant care in Quebec are Gatineau, Laval, Montreal, Longueuil, and Quebec City, and the median fee is the provincially-set fee of $179 CAD a month. Winnipeg is the next most affordable city with a provincially-set fee of $651 CAD a month.

Steps on How to Start a Daycare Business in Quebec, Canada

  1. Conduct Market Research

If you intend to start a daycare business in Quebec, Canada, then you must make sure you conduct thorough market research.

Your aim of conducting market research for your daycare is to get an in-depth analysis of information, generate new questions, concepts, and understanding of the market space and what you are going to be up against. With successful market research, you will be able to explore the unknown and unlock new possibilities in the industry you want to start your business.

a. Who is the Target Market for Daycare Business?

The target market of a day care is parents with children who are under 4 years.

b. Is Daycare a Profitable Business, in Quebec, Canada?

Absolutely, owning a daycare in Quebec is very profitable. As a matter of fact, owners of daycare centers profit an average of $37,000 per year. While some owners of daycare centers report earning well over $37,000 per year.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

Yes, there are existing niches when it comes to day care services and they are;

  • Daycare for children under 4 years old
  • Adult day care
  • Daycare for children with special needs.
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Centre De La Petite Enfance La Frimousse
  • Garderie en Folie
  • La Villa Montessori – Québec
  • Centre de la Petite Enfance de la Colline
  • Centre De La Petite Enfance Le Clin D’Oeil
  • Petite École Abc Preschool Campus Sainte-Foy
  • Quebec City English Daycare
  • Garderie Diane Lacasse
  • Les Explorateurs Montessori inc 1-2
  • Petite École ABC Preschool Campus Lebourgneuf
  • Cpe La Petite City – Installation Small Campus
  • CPE Montessori De Quebec
  • CPE Jardin Bleu Quebec
  • Nursery Minibraves
  • Nursery La Maison Des Enfants
  • Centre de la petite enfance du Village Inc.
  • School Montessori De La Colline
  • Centre L’Univers des Amis des Saules
  • Nursery Les Primevères
  • Le Monde Des Frimousses.
e. Are There County or Province Regulations or Zoning Laws for Daycare Business in Quebec, Canada?

Yes. Zoning laws require day care operators in Quebec to follow specific rules and regulations, including some that apply only to home day cares. These laws are designed to address the unique circumstances of a business operating in a residential area.

Many laws seek to minimize the negative impact on the community, which can be affected by increased vehicle traffic and neighborhood noise. Other laws regulate how properties are altered, including the addition of business signage and the construction of fencing and playground equipment.

Zoning laws also provide special requirements designed to address special circumstances related to these businesses. Please note that in many communities, zoning laws require daycare providers in Quebec to apply for a permit from the city.

This application process allows the city’s zoning department to determine whether the home day care meets the zoning rules for the community. Permits also ensure that all day cares are properly licensed with the province agencies. Interestingly, you can run a home daycare out of your home in Quebec as long as your home meets the requirements for such business.

f. Is There a Franchise for Daycare Business in Quebec, Canada?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for day care. Here are some of them;

  • Little Kids Daycare Center
  • Preschool Canada.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Daycare Business in Quebec, Canada?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • A Well-Equipped Day-Care Facility
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Supplies (Detergents, Toiletries, Disinfectant, Hand Gloves and more)
  • Employees
  • Startup and Working Capital
  1. Memorable Daycare Business Names for Quebec

  • Saint-Hyacinthe® Day Care Center
  • Granby® Day Care Center
  • Sainte-Jerome® Day Care Center
  • Drummondville™ Day Care Center
  • Chicoutimi® Day Care Center
  • Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu® Day Care Center
  • Lady Annie® Day Care Center
  • Trois-Rivieres® Day Care Center
  • Sherbrooke® Day Care Center
  • Ronald Magdalene® Day Care Center
  • Maria De La Rosa® Day Care Center
  • Levis™ Day Care Center
  • Saguenay™ Day Care Center
  • Longueuil® Day Care Center
  • Gatineau® Day Care Center
  • Laval Community® Day Care Center
  • Quebec City© Day Care Center
  • Montreal City™ Day Care Center
  • C’est Moi™ Day Care Center
  • Petite École ® Day Care Center
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Day Care Center?

Even though there are four options when it comes to the business structure of a daycare center in Canada, the one that most players in this line of business consider is a sole proprietorship. This is because registering a sole proprietorship is easier and cheaper than registering a corporation.

Please note that all businesses in Canada must register their business names in their respective provinces or territories except for sole proprietorships that use only the owner’s legal name with no additions (except in Newfoundland and Labrador where no sole proprietorships or partnerships need to register their names).

b. Steps to Form a Business in Canada
  • Choose a Name for Your Business
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Day Care?
  • Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) license.
  • Child Care License
  • Child Care Permit.

You can contact the Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF) to get the detailed license and permits you would require to operate your private daycare facility in Quebec. The Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of child care services for Canadian children and families.

CCCF includes 16 regional affiliate organizations, independent members, and other partner organizations. The CCCF website provides a wide range of information on child care.

d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Daycare?

You will need one-year ECE certificate programs of between 750 and 1,800 hours or an attestation of college studies (ACS) or a university certificate in Québec. No equivalency is granted for graduates of other early childhood programs comprising less than 750 hours of training.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Daycare?

These are some of the basic legal documents you are expected to have to legally run a day care in the United States of America;

  • Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST)
  • Council Permit
  • Early Education License or Child Care License
  • Business and Liability Insurance
  • State Permit and Building Approval
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Insurance Policy
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting a day care, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Daycare?

When it comes to starting a daycare business in Quebec, the startup costs vary. It could range from $80,000 (if you are opting for a franchise) to over $250,000. This is because the startup inventory is on the high side.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Daycare?
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $3,300.
  • Marketing, Branding and Promotions – $5,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $5,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $150,000.
  • Other start-up expenses include, commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($2,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
  • start-up inventory – $15,000
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $4,750
  • Furnishing and Equipping – $80,000
  • Website: $600
  • Miscellaneous: $5,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Daycare?
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The type of facility
  • Additional services offerings
  • The number of children they want to admit
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the daycare business
  • The cost for furnishing and equipping the daycare business
  • The cost for insurance policy covers
  • The cost for registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

Actually, it is not compulsory to build a new facility for your day care business in Quebec, Canada, but if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility for your day care will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Daycare?
  • Rent and lease
  • Cost of stocking up supplies such as first aid medications, toiletries, disinfectants, sanitizer, hand gloves and beddings, et al
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage and software renewal fees et al)
  • Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Head of Day Care (President) – $45,000 Per Annum
  • Day Care Administrator – $36,034 Per Annum
  • Account Officer – $35,000 Per Annum
  • Early Childhood Educators – $33,300 Per Annum
  • Front Desk Officer – $28,000 Per Annum
  • Cleaners and Nannies – $22,000 Per Annum
  • Security Guard – $22,000 Per Annum
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Day Care?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

St. Granby® Day Care Center is a registered and standard for-profit day care that will be based in Granby – Quebec, Canada. Our day care center is designed to provide care and early childhood education for children between the ages of 0 to 4 years during the day. Our programs are designed to offer relief to family members and caregivers, allowing them to go to work, handle personal business, or just relax while knowing their children are well cared for and safe.

b. Products and Service
  • Day care services
  • Early education services
  • Meal services
  • Transportation services
  • Play activities.
c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to build a highly successful day care center that provides community-based day care services and early childhood education for children under 4 years old.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to create an international model for the day care center industry in Quebec, Canada.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a daycare center are to provide quality care and early children hood education for children under the age of 4.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Head of Daycare (President)
  • Daycare Administrator
  • Account Officer
  • Early Childhood Educators
  • Front Desk Officer
  • Cleaners and Nannies
  • Security Guards

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis

The strength of the daycare facility lies in the fact that they have a team of qualified professionals including early childhood educators manning various job positions in the organization. So also, the location, the business model they will be operating on, well-equipped facility, and their excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for the daycare facility.


The day care is a new business which is owned by an individual (family), and they may not have the financial muscle to sustain the kind of publicity that will give the business robust visibility and also to attract some of the highly experienced hands in the day care services industry in and around Quebec.


The opportunities that are available to day care facilities are unlimited considering the fact that the province has loads of children under 4 years old and of course busy, working-class parents.


Just like any other business, one of the major threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. It is a fact that an economic downturn affects purchasing or spending power. Another threat that may likely confront a daycare business is the arrival of a newer and bigger day-care facility in the same location where your facility is.

b. How Do Day Cares Make Money?
  • Charge for enrichment programs.
  • Expand “other fees” you charge.
  • Limit “discounts” and “credits”.
  • Consider new ways to offer specials.
  • Ensure regular tuition increases.
  • Take advantage of Food Program money.
  • Government grants.

Please note that in general, all types of child care in Canada (except Quebec) are primarily paid for by parents, with some provinces/territories paying some direct operating costs of regulated child care (which reduces parent fees).

c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards/Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
  • Payment via bank draft
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and educational related magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community-based events/programs for kids and parents alike
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your facility
  • Install your Bill Boards in strategic locations all around your city or state
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Contact households, businesses, and every parent in the neighborhood where your day care will be located informing them about your business.
  • List your day care in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise your day care on your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
  • Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions where your day care is located.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your school buses are well branded with your company logo.

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?

In Quebec, the cost of subsidized daycare is $8.35 a day. At a non-subsidized daycare, the daily fees can range from $35 to $60. The Quebec Ministry of Finance has a tool that will calculate the daily cost of daycare after applying provincial and federal tax benefits and deductions.

b. How Much Profit Do Day Care Business Owners Make a Year?

It depends, but the available report shows that owners of daycare centers in Quebec, Canada profit an average of $37,000 per year. While some owners of daycare centers report earning well over $37,000 per year.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the day care
  • The location of the day care is covering
  • The management style of the day care
  • The business approach and model of the day care
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the day care.
  • The number of years the day care is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Day Care?

Child day care businesses tend to have really high gross margins, on average around 96%. This might mean that it’s easy for business owners to scale their day care operations. Please note that some day cares operate as nonprofits hence they are not expected to make profits.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for a day care. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in Quebec, Canada;

  • First Fiscal Year: $240,000
  • Second Fiscal Year:  $350,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $480,000
  1. Set Up your Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Day Care?
  • The demography of the location especially as it relates to young parents and children between the age of 0 to 4 years old
  • The demand for day care services in the location
  • The purchasing power of residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of day cares in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What City is Best to Open a Day Care Business in Quebec, Canada?
  • Montreal, Canada.
  • Quebec City, Canada.
  • Laval, Canada.
  • Gatineau, Canada.
  • Longueuil, Canada.
  • Saguenay, Canada.
  • Levis, Canada.
  • Sherbrooke, Canada.
  • Trois-Rivieres, Canada
  • Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada
  • Chicoutimi, Canada
  • Drummondville, Canada
  • Saint-Jerome, Canada
  • Granby, Canada
  • Saint-Hyacinthe, Canada.
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Day Care?

When starting opening a daycare, you will need early childhood educational materials, first aid kits, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, an emergency preparedness kit, and an emergency plan, among other things. In setting up a small office, you will need a computer, printer, software apps, telephones, pager, photocopier, scanner, and fax machine.

  1. Hire Employees

As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision. When it comes to starting a standard daycare facility on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals; the head of daycare (you can occupy this position), day care administrator, early childhood educator, front desk officer, security guards, and cleaners and nannies.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In recent times, no day care opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.

The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the day care, you will be able to officially inform people in your city that your day care is open for business.

a. What Makes a Daycare Business in Quebec, Canada Successful?
  • Stellar Reviews.
  • A Caring, Stimulating Environment with Happy Kids.
  • An Interesting and Varied Schedule or Curriculum.
  • Qualified Caregivers Who Really Care.
  • Safety, Safety, Safety.
  • Low Child-to-Caregivers Ratio and Low Employee Turnover.
  • Established Policies and Consistent Rules.
  • Licensed (and Maybe Accredited)
  • Disciplined and dedicated workforce
  • The heart to serve
  • Good facility and ambiance
  • A good relationship with stakeholders
  • Good care and early childhood teaching techniques and programs.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Daycare Business in Quebec, Canada?
  • The day care is open for the day
  • The facility is cleaned and prepared to welcome the children
  • Students are welcomed
  • Students are provided with special care, nursing and other supervision, assistance in daily living and feeding et al
  • The school is closed for the day and family members come to pick their wards
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Daycare Business in Quebec, Canada?
  • Enthusiasm
  • Patience
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity
  • Good managerial and human development skills
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Problem solving ability.
  • Experience working as an Early Childhood Educator
  • Experience in the day care industry
  • Experience in day care administration.