Care Plans
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What is a care plan?

A care plan specifies the care a child requiring extra support needs to develop socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually while they are in your care. The purpose of a care plan is to ensure that children who require extra support get that support in a systematic and predictable manner.

Why does a child need a care plan?

Early childhood experiences have a profound impact on the overall health and well-being of children throughout their lifetime. All children deserve the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to become productive, happy and healthy adults. The Licensing program promotes an inclusive care environment for all children regardless of age, developmental level, or physical abilities. Well-designed care plans meet the individual needs of a child who requires extra support and maximizes the benefits from a child care facility’s activities and services.

Does every child in care require a care plan?

Not every child needs a care plan. A child with developmental delays or a diagnosis of a physical, emotional, or intellectual impairment that requires extra support needs a care plan to detail how extra support is to be provided. There may be circumstances in which a child who has not been diagnosed with a specific impairment requires additional help to function successfully at your child care facility. In these circumstances it may be helpful to seek information and resources from local services to design and document a child’s needs and the staff’s response to them in a care plan. For example, a child on a wait list for a speech and hearing assessment may benefit from a care plan.

How is a care plan developed?

Care plans are as unique and as individual as each child. Remember the goal of a care plan is to ensure the child has safe and successful experiences that promote physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development. The plan describes the child’s needs and how you and your staff can best meet those needs. It may be as simple as a paragraph or it may be complex and require multiple pages.

Information for a care plan will come from observing and working with the child and discussions with:

  • the child’s parents, 
  • other caregivers, 
  • medical practitioner(s), 
  • early childhood intervention services¹ or other health care professionals

Steps

Gather information such as:

  1. What are the challenges? 
       a. Possible solutions? 
       b. What supports and services does the child have or need?
       c. c. How will staff be assigned to support the child? 
       d. What special equipment and supplies are needed?
  2. List the medical, safety, and emergency considerations.
  3. Outline how a child will be accommodated each day at your daycare.
  4. Identify short and long term goals.
  5. Provide a copy of the plan to the child’s parents and others who are involved in the day-to-day care of the child.

How do I know if the care plan is working or if it needs to be changed?

Reviewing a care plan is the best way to assess if it is working or needs to be changed. It is a good idea to review the initial care plan within three months of its being implemented. In general, evaluate the plan at least once a year (or earlier if the needs of the child change significantly). Discuss your findings with the child’s parents and anyone the parents’ request, which may include early childhood intervention services¹. Evaluation can include asking:

  • How has the child progressed? 
  • What is working? 
  • What is not working? 
  • How can it be changed? 
  • Is the child happy? 
  • What do staff need?

Remember - parents are often the best source of information about their child. Work closely with staff and other agencies that provide specialized services and that can act as a resource when concerns or questions arise.

¹Early childhood intervention services may include Infant Development Programs (IDP), Aboriginal Infant
Development Programs (AIDP), Supported Child Development (SCD), Aboriginal Infant Development (ASCD) and Early Intervention Therapies (EIT).

Who can I talk to about this?

For more information, please contact Licensing Direct at:

   PPhone : ​1-877-980-5118
8:30am - 4:30pm PST, weekdays excluding statutory holidays
    Email :​ Contact us by email
       Fax :​ ​250-868-7760
​       Mail :

505 Doyle Avenue
Kelowna, BC
V1Y 0C5

Are care plans a requirement?

Yes, Section 58 of the Child Care Licensing Regulation requires a licensee to have a current care plan for each child requiring extra support. The Child Care Licensing Regulation defines a child requiring extra support as a child who, for physical, intellectual, emotional, communicative or behavioural reasons, requires support or services that are additional to, or distinct from, those provided to other children.

Note: This information is not to be regarded as a substitute for the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and regulations or legal advice. If you require legal advice about the issues discussed here please contact independent legal counsel.

Reference: Ministry of Health Services - March 2008

MoH     PCQO