Information for Families


Information for Families

Parental Responsibilities in Canada

Parenting can be as diverse as there are individual families and as such there are few generalities that can be made about parenting in Canada. Basic human rights are a guiding principle of parenting in Canada. In addition, Providence also adheres to Christian principles as it relates to raising families including respect for each of its individual members. International students who come with their families may want access to parenting information that comes from a Canadian perspective if only to allow comparison of cultural differences.

School for your Children

In Manitoba, the school year starts at the beginning of September and ends at the end of June. There is a two-week break for Christmas in December and a one-week “Spring Break” at the end of March. Children can enter kindergarten if their fifth birthday is before January 1 of the current school year.

The Manitoba school system is made up of public schools, independent schools, and home schools. These are described as follows:

  • Public schools are operated by the Manitoba government. All Canadian citizens and permanent residents residing with a parent or legal guardian in Manitoba have the right to attend public schools.
  • Independent schools are affiliated with a specific religious or denominational groups and have their own governing bodies. Independent schools are eligible for provincial funding if they implement the Manitoba curriculum and meet certain requirements. Non-funded independent schools may not follow provincial curricula but must deliver a similar standard of education as that provided in a public school.
  • Home Schooling refers to teaching children at home, which is an option parents and/or legal guardians have in Manitoba provided certain learning requirements are met.

*Note: In Manitoba your children have a choice between attending English or French language schools.

Finding a School Near You

If you decide to live in Otterburne or on the Providence campus you can send your children to either St. Pierre-Jolys (French instruction), or to Niverville (English instruction). There is school bus transportation provided from both the Otterburne townsite and the Providence Campus to Niverville and to St. Pierre-Jolys. To help you find a school and assist in your children’s enrollment please speak with the International Student Services Coordinator.

Immigration Requirements for Children to Attend School

If your Study Permit is valid for at least one year and you are enrolled at Providence, your minor children (18 years of age and younger) are eligible to attend elementary and secondary school as if they were Canadian residents. You will need the following documentation for each child to enroll them in a primary, elementary, or secondary school:

  • Passport

  • passport stamp, Visitor Record, or a Study Permit indicating the day your child entered Canada

  • immunization documents

  • birth certificate

  • copies of the last two years of school report cards/marks/evaluations

  • copy of the parents' Study or Work Permits

Work Permits for Spouses

Spouses of full-time students at Providence are eligible for an open Work Permit. You may apply for this Work Permit as you enter at the Canadian “port of entry” or the Providence International Student Services Coordinator can assist you.

Kids College

Kids’ College is a Providence run program for mothers and preschoolers. The program takes place every Thursday morning during the fall and winter semesters from 9:30AM to 11:30AM in the Providence gym. Children are supervised by University College students and are invited to participate in games, crafts, Bible lessons, music and snack time. During the children’s program, moms are invited for tea, coffee, cookies and a time of fellowship with other moms. For more information, contact the International Student Services Coordinator.


Manitoba Government regulations ensure that childcare is provided in licensed centres and homes that meet proper standards such as having staff that are certified to care for children. Licensed child care can be in large centres, which look after many children, or in private homes. Non-profit organizations, parent co-operatives, private companies, or individuals operate all centres and homes. The government provides subsidies for child care fees to licensed facilities for eligible families who choose licensed childcare. Licensing through the government is not required when a childcare home has no more than four children under 12 years of age in care.


If you and your spouse have young children, there are plenty of young people in the community and/or Providence students that are willing to babysit so they can earn some money. In Manitoba, the law requires that children less that 12 years old cannot be left unattended at home without reasonable provision. A babysitter (12 years of age or older) may take care of children for short periods of time. Most babysitters will tell you how much they want to be paid depending on their age and the number of children to be looked after. You have the responsibility to ensure the safe arrival and safe return of your babysitter to her/his own home.


10 College Crescent
Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
Phone: (204) 433-7488 or (800) 668-7768
Fax: (204) 433-7158
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