Answers to Your CNC Questions

  • Our organization has us sign an offence declaration once a year, can this be used instead of a criminal records check every 3 years?
    The CNC Requirements were updated in February 2016 and now indicates that all CNC staff and volunteers must have a criminal records check (CRC) for the vulnerable sector every 5 years.  If your current check is older than 5 years you must have a new CRC completed. In the years where a CRC is not needed, an offence declaration must now be completed. Please note this also includes a child abuse registry check, where available, within the legislated timeframes. (For example, Nova Scotia needs one every 3 years)
  • What is the purpose of the Child Profile?
    The Child Profile is an opportunity to gather information about long-term children that will help you in meeting their individual needs.  It should allow parents the opportunity to provide you with additional information about the child’s health, nutrition, development and any other information that is unique to the child.While you must complete the form within one week of the child starting the program you should continue to document information and changes over time.  CNC Staff can use the information to guide their planning individual children.  The Child Profile is intended to gather information to help you better care for the child. See CNCR requirements 1-2.5, 6,7,8, 3-2.1.b
  • Can I combine toddler, preschool and school age children in a mixed age group?
    When you care for children in a mixed age group, you must follow the ratio for the youngest child, therefore when toddlers, preschool and school aged children are in the same group together, the ratio is 1:5 and the maximum group size is 10.
  • When the ratio can be met by one staff, does the second staff have to be in the room?
    When only one qualified staff member is required to meet the ratio.  The second adult, with volunteer qualifications, can be working directly with the children or must be accessible without delay to assist with the care of the children as necessary.  If the second staff is not working directly in the CNC space, they must be aware of the need to be available, physically close enough to arrive quickly, and able to be interrupted from their substantive duties to attend to a child’s needs and assist the staff.   See CNC requirement 5-3.6.b and Glossary page 6
  • What ratio, age range and group size do we have to follow in the Atlantic Provinces?
    The CNCR has one set of ratios, age ranges and group sizes for all the provinces. Please review Appendix 7 for staff: Child Ratio and Group Size.
  • I would like to have a toddler/preschool mixed age group of 12 children, and my space can accommodate this.  What staffing requirements would I need with Combined Care for this group?
    While your space may be able to accommodate 12 children, the maximum group size for a mixed group of Toddlers and Preschoolers is 10.  This would be the maximum number of children you can take in one group.The number of staff you need will depend on the number of short-term children you are planning to take.  If more than 20% of the children attend short-term, then you must follow the 1 to 5 ratio for toddlers and have an additional staff.  If only 20% or fewer of the children are short-term you do not need the additional staff, but would follow the 1 to 5 ratio.
  •  Should all CNC staff have a Child Abuse Registry check?
    The Child Abuse Registry check is not available in all regions. If it is available in your region, then it should be included in your Background Check Policy and the CNC staff should have one completed as part of their Background Check.
  • Do we need to get information on the children’s immunizations if they are in Short Term care?
    The SPO is not required to have proof of immunization on file for children attending Short Term. The SPO needs to provide the parents with information on immunization Requirement: 4-6.1
  • I am planning to have Combined Care for a mixed group of toddlers and preschoolers. Do the Short Term spaces have to be identified and reserved specifically for either toddlers or preschool children?
    You must identify the number of short-term spaces for children in a Combined Care program.  When offering care for a mixed age group, the short-term spaces will not be specifically identified as toddler or preschool.
  • What supports are available for the administrator regarding the CNCR?
    On the CMAS website, you’ll find a section called CNC Operations, where you will find the CNC Guide, CNC Requirements, Supporting Documents and Helping You Meet Requirements articles. The CNC Guide is set up in sections, with each section containing supporting documents, policy and procedure samples and form templates. Your consultant is also available to speak with you directly regarding any questions you may have.
  • What information is required in the daily written record? Is a template available? Do parents have access to this written record?
    The daily written record is required for Long Term or Combined Care, and should include any changes to the program or unusual events.  You can find information on what to include in the daily written record in the CNC Guide: Getting Started, Daily Log Book section.   There is no template for the record.  It is up to each SPO to choose how they will keep a daily record.   CMAS has copies of a blank “Daily Log Book” that can be used for this purpose.  Please contact your consultant or the office to request one.  Each SPO will need to decide if parents will have access to the daily written record.   Maintaining confidentiality is essential, so once you decide what will be recorded in the daily written record, you can then decide if parents should have access.  Be sure to follow your written procedures to maintain confidentiality according to CNCR 1-5.1.a
  • What is the difference between the Staff with Designated Responsibility (SDR) and the Person in Charge?
    Every site must have an SDR who is responsible for the overall operation of the CNC program.  The SDR may be responsible for more than one CNC program.  The Person in Charge is a person who remains in the program that is assigned responsibility for the program when children are present.  The SDR may be the Person in Charge when they are on site. Information on the requirements around Staffing Patterns is found in the requirements in section 5-3 and in the CNC Guide in the Staffing and Supervision: Staff Patterns-Assigning Responsibilities section.
  • Does the staff need to update their TB?
    You should consult your local public health office to find out if they expect your staff to have a TB test and  how often they recommend TB testing. Requirement 5-1.3.a.b.
  • I’ve chosen Combined Care.  As an administrator, what are my first steps?
    The first step is to become familiar with the CNC Requirements and review the Care for Newcomer Children: A Step-by-Step Guide for New Programs for initial steps gathering the members of your organization together to develop your implementation plan.  Combined Care affects more than one adult program and requires an organizational commitment to be successful. You will need to discuss how to determine who has priority for use of the individual CNC spaces, plan a CNC schedule, and identify how many spaces will be dedicated to each type of care. You will also need to develop a marketing plan that includes both internal and external stakeholders.  The key to using the space effectively is to ensure everyone is aware of the availability of CNC space.  It may take a bit of time and effort to remind people that CNC is available. As an organization, it will also help to schedule review meetings throughout the first year to ensure that practices are effective and the team members, children and families are all participating and having a positive experience.
  • Should I give our philosophy to clients at the time of registration?
    There is no requirement that asks for you to distribute you philosophy to parents, but your program philosophy statement is an important tool to help parents and others understand what they can expect from your program. Choosing to share it with parents will help to engage them in the care you provide.  There are many ways you could do this, including posting it on a parent information board, or including it in a parent information package.
  • Can I continue to employ staff who do not have level 1 or level 2?
    Yes, you may continue to employ staff without these qualifications.  You must first ensure you have sufficient qualified staff to meet the requirements.  The remaining positions can then be filled by staff without a level 1 or 2. See the Requirements in section 5-4 and Appendix 6 
  • Who conducts the orientation for administrators and the SDR?
    It is up to each organization to decide who will conduct Orientations for staff working in or having responsibility for CNC.  Information on the types of Orientations and what should be included can be found in the CNCR in the appendix section and there are sample orientations on the website.  In the Staffing and Supervision section of the guide you will find information such as a sample checklist for orientation. See Requirement 5-2.3,4,5,6 and Appendix 3 and 4  and speak with your consultant for details.
  • I am the SDR for 3 different locations. Can I also be the Person in Charge in each of these locations?
    The Staff with Designated Responsibility (SDR) can oversee multiple programs but can only act as the person in charge for the location at which they are present.  When the SDR is not present during the operation of the CNC program, a person in charge must be assigned.  Requirements 5-3.1.2.and 5-3.5.
  • When is my program considered short term and when is it considered long term?
    The type of care you provide is determined by the amount of time that the care will be offered to individual children. Short term CNC is care that is provided for children who participate occasionally, on a one-time basis or at intervals over a period of time. Long term CNC is care provided for children who participate regularly, often daily over an extended period of time.
  • Do we need to include an emergency contact on the child registration?
    The emergency contact is no longer required to be included on the registration form.  The necessary items to be included are identified in the requirements.  Because there is no longer a mandatory registration form, your organization can include additional information as you wish.  Requirement 1-2-2
  • When do I need to complete a CNC Space Approval Form / Space Safety Checklist?
    Space Approval Form must be completed on 3 different occasions:
    1. Before you offer CNC
    2.When you make changes to the space, and
    3. At least annually thereafter.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Space Safety Checklist is used by CNC staff to ensure the space is safe. Factors that will affect the frequency of Space Safety Checklist completion include: the type of care you provide, and the space where care is being offered.  In space used by others, you will need to complete the Space Safety Checklist more frequently than in a permanent space where only CNC takes place. See the requirements in section 2-2,and 2-3 Appendices 1 and 2
  • What needs to be on the attendance form?
    The attendance form must contain a number of elements that were designed to ensure that sufficient information was available to CNC staff in an emergency.  Procedures such as parents signing their child in and out are part of the requirement.  You can find the details of what should be included in the CNCR and sample attendance forms for both long and short term care can be found on the CMAS website under sample forms. Requirement 1-3
  • Can I have a mixed group of 10 toddlers/preschool children?  If so, what staffing do I need? 
    Mixed ages groups are allowed under the CNCR.  The staff child ratio is 1 to 5 so you would need 2 staff for this mixed age group if you are offering Long or Short Term care.  If you are offering Combined Care, you might need an additional staff.  Requirements 5-5.3. and Appendix 7         
  •  I am a little confused about the mixed age group vs. the family group. 
    A mixed age group means that you are caring for children of more than one of the age groups as set out in the CNCR.  This could be a combination of toddlers and preschooler, preschoolers and school age etc.  When providing a mixed age group, the ratio for the youngest age group must be followed. Please note that infants can never be included in a mixed age group.
    Family grouping is a group of children from multiple age groups and is only used when the SPO cares for five or fewer children.  You may include up to 1 infant in a Family Group. There can only be one family group at each site.  Requirement 5-5.4 and Appendix 7
  • I have a mixed toddler/preschool group. Are we able to use the 20% rule for under age children?
    The 20% rule allows you to care for children who are either over or underage in a same age group.  This means that the children in the group must all be of the same age range (infant, toddler, preschool, or school-age).  For example, you could include a 17 month old infant in your toddler group OR a 32 month old preschooler. Because this requirement is for same age groups only, it cannot be applied when you offer care to a mixed age group.  Requirement 5-5.b
  • Will the CNC Requirements be available in hard copy form?  
    The requirements can be found on and can be downloaded for printing. No hardcopy of the requirements will be provided to programs.