Daycare options

What child care programs are available to me?

Licensed child care may be found in a child care centre setting or in a private home. In either case, these programs are licensed by the Ministry of Education and must meet the requirements of the Day Nurseries Act.

Why should I send my child to a licensed care provider?

Licensed child care programs have to meet and maintain provincial standards. These standards help the program providers to meet the health, safety and developmental needs of your child. Staff from the Ministry of Education makes unannounced inspections of all licensed child care programs to make sure these standards are being met.

It is illegal to take care of more than five unrelated children under the age of 10 without a licence or to provide private-home child care at more than one location without a licence.

The Ministry of Education has a searchable list of all licensed programs in Ontario. Search for licensed child care.

City of Ottawa care options

Municipal Child Care Centres

The City of Ottawa operates 17 child care centres that provide quality child care for children between the ages of six weeks and 10 years of age. The centres are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. They offer both full fee and subsidized spaces.

The centres provide planned, supervised indoor and outdoor activities as well as nutritious meals. Professionally trained staff provide individual attention within a group setting including support to children with special needs who are integrated into our programs.

Municipal Home Child Care

Municipal Home Child Care program is a bilingual child care program operated by the City of Ottawa and is licensed under the Day Nurseries Act. The program offers quality child care in the provider's home. Qualified early childhood educators monitor the provider's home, on a monthly basis to ensure that children are learning and developing to their maximum potential. The program offers subsidized child care for children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age. Full time and part-time child care arrangements are available including flexible hours such as early morning, evening and weekend care.

For more information on the program call 613-580-2424, ext. 24104.

Ontario Works Child Care

Ontario Works Child Care (OWCC) provides bilingual assistance in helping parents make an informed child care choice and fulfill their Ontario Works participation agreement. OWCC provides funding for child care arrangements for the participant’s children who are six weeks to 12 years.

Ontario Works clients, who are involved in an activity approved by their Case Coordinator (school, training, community placement, job search or employment), are informed of the child care options in the community, such as subsidized child care, on-site child care, community centre programs or OWCC funds to make a private arrangement.

To access OWCC, you must contact your Ontario Works Case Coordinator at the Social Services Centre.

Other options

Nursery schools

Nursery schools are licensed programs under the Day Nurseries Act. They provide individualized part-time child care for pre-school children between two and five years of age as well as many different models to support children with their development.

A list of schools is available online.

Unlicensed child care

Informal care is a private informal arrangement between the parent and a non-licensed provider, perhaps a neighbour, relative or friend. The provider is not monitored by an agency. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure they are comfortable with the standard of care that their child will receive from the provider. Child care subsidies are not available for informal child care settings. Visit the Child Care Providers Resource Network for more information.