School daycare service

School daycare service
Many schools offer a daycare service for children who stay in school outside school hours. Find out how it works.

Most elementary schools offer a daycare service for children outside school hours. It’s open before school starts in the morning, during lunchtime, and at the end of the day.

How it works

If you choose to use the daycare service, you’ll need to register your child, ideally before the start of the school year. Schools often provide the necessary papers for this when you enrol your child in kindergarten, either in June or in early August.

You can leave your child at daycare in the morning (usually from 6:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.), at lunch, and after school (usually until 6 p.m.). Your child can attend the school daycare on a regular basis, meaning for at least two periods each day (morning, lunch, or after school). For the 2023–24 school year, the cost set by the government for this service was a maximum of $9.20 per day.

If you’d like to send your child to daycare for only one period per day (e.g., after school only), you have the option to do so. For the 2023–24 school year, the cost for this service is based on a maximum hourly rate of $3.05.

Your child’s group

In daycare, the number of children per educator should not exceed 17 for 4-year-olds and 20 for 5-year-olds. Your child will take part in a variety of developmental activities, such as arts and crafts, free play, and schoolyard activities.

Your child’s group will most likely include kindergarten students only. In a small school where there are fewer students, however, kindergartners may be mixed with first-grade students.

Things to keep in mind

  • Most elementary schools offer a daycare service to children who stay in school outside school hours.
  • Your child can attend their school’s daycare on a regular basis or only occasionally.
  • Your child’s daycare educator spends time with your little one every day. Don’t hesitate to talk to them if you have questions about how your child is doing.
Naître et grandir

Scientific review: Mélanie Lemieux, Educational Development and Daycare Technician, Centre de services scolaire des Bois-Francs
Research and copywriting:
The Naître et grandir team
Updated: January 2024

Photo : Nicolas St-Germain

Useful links and resources

Please note that hyperlinks to other websites are not updated regularly, and some may have changed since publication. If a link is no longer valid, use search engines to find the relevant information.


Books for parents

  • Homework and Studying, M.-C. Béliveau, Éditions du CHU Sainte-Justine, 2010, 68 pp.
  • LessonsLearned: The Kindergarten Survival Guide for Parents, J. Podest, Balboa Press, 2014, 108 pp.
  • Ready For Kindergarten!: From Recognizing Colors to Making Friends, Your Essential Guide to Kindergarten Prep, D. J. Stewart, Adams Media Corporation, 2013, 224 pp.
  • The Littlest Learners: Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten, D. R. Roginski, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2017, 160 pp.

Books for kids

  • Dad’s First Day, M. Mohnoutka, Bloomsbury Press Agency, 2015, 32 pp.
  • How to Be Kind in Kindergarten: A Book for Your Backpack, author: D. J. Steinberg, ill.: R. Hammond, Penguin Young Readers Group, 2021, 32 pp.
  • How Will I Get to School This Year?, author: J. Pallotta, ill.: D. Biedrzycki, Scholastic Canada, 2013, 32 pp.
  • Kindergarten Countdown!: 10 more sleeps until school starts,author:M. Blain Parker, ill.: S. Borrows, Streling Children’s Books, 2017, 32 pp.
  • Our Class is a Family, author: S. Olsen, ill.: S. Sonke, 2020, 28 pp.
  • Ready, Set, Kindergarten!, author: P. Ayer, ill.: D. Arbour, Annick Press, 2015, 24 pp.
  • School Rules, author: R. Munsch, ill.: D. Whamond, Scholastic Canada, 2019, 32 pp.
  • The King of Kindergarten, author: D. Barnes, ill.: V. Brantley-Newton, Penguin Young Readers Group, 2019, 32 pp.
  • The Night Before Preschool, author: N. Wing, ill.: A. Wummer, Penguin Young Readers Group, 2016, 22 pp.