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Information for parents

Types of child care

Parents can choose from licensed home-based child care, licensed centre-based child care or Informal (unlicensed) child care. Also find out about school age care.

For detailed information about child care and help with your daycare costs, please consult the Parent Guide to Licensed Child Care in Ottawa

Licensed child care

Licensed child care programs are offered in homes and in centres. These programs are licensed by the Ministry of Education and must meet specific provincial standards that provide for the health, safety and developmental needs of children.

Learn more about licensed home-based child care.
Learn more about licensed centre-based child care.

Search for licensed child care by:

  • Location;
  • Type of program (home-based or centre-based);
  • Age-group; and
  • Postal Code.

This provincial website also gives the results of inspections conducted by the Ministry of Education for any licensed child care home or centre.

Informal (unlicensed) care

Informal child care arrangements are made between the parents and a caregiver, such as a neighbour, relative or friend. Parents should be aware that informal caregivers are not regulated. This means they are neither licensed nor inspected. As a result, they are not required to meet provincial standards. It is up to parents to research, choose and monitor their child care arrangements. Child care subsidies are not available for informal care.

The Ministry of Education provides a Registry of Unlicensed Child Care Violations for reported violations. For example, a violation could be too many children in care or not following the approved ages in care.

Learn more about informal care by visiting the Child Care Providers Resource Network of Ottawa.

School age care

Learn about care for children attending elementary school such as before and after school hours, at lunch, during school breaks and on days when schools are closed. Many full-day kindergarten programs offer before- and after-school programs

To get information on attendance boundaries, visit the school board websites:

Find the right child care

For detailed information about child care and help with your daycare costs, please consult the Parent Guide to Licensed Child Care in Ottawa [ PDF – 835 KB ]

City of Ottawa Child Care Registry and Waitlist – An online system that allows parents to apply for licensed centre-based or home-based child care; low income parents can also apply to the Waitlist for a child care subsidy fee

The average rates for child care in the City of Ottawa by ward for Centre Based Child Care Services and Home Child Care Services (updated May 11, 2016)

Ministry of Education – Learn about child care choices in Ontario, how to find a child care provider, how to prepare your child for child care and much more

Ontario Early Years Centres – Find a centre in Ottawa where children up to the age of six and their parents and caregivers can take part in programs and activities together

Parent Resource Centre - Provides an Information Resource Line for child care and early learning professionals in Ottawa, and local data for community planning. Community profiles contain a wide variant of evidence-based information and indicators related to the status and living conditions of Ottawa children and their families that outline the factors that contribute to early childhood developmental outcomes  

School Boards – Ottawa-Carleton District School BoardOttawa Catholic School BoardConseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’OntarioConseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

Families attending the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board for English as a Second Language, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada or Literacy and Basic Skills classes can get free-on-site child care 

Licensed Home Child Care Network of Ottawa – For people who may be interested in providing licensed home care, or for parents interested in finding licensed home care

The New Child Care and Early Years Act “What Providers and Parents Need to Know” - Answers key questions about how the changes under the new Act will affect licensed and unlicensed child care providers in Ontario

City-operated child care

Among the hundreds of licensed child care homes and centres in Ottawa, the City of Ottawa operates eleven child care programs which are licensed by the Ministry of Education under the Child Care and Early Years Act:

Licensing reports for all centre-based licensed child care programs are available on the provincial licensed child care finder(link is external).

Municipal child care centres

  • 11 City-operated centres in a group setting for children 18 months to 5 years old
  • Open Monday to Friday
  • Services are available in English or French
  • Qualified staff provide educational programs with indoor and outdoor activities
  • Provide nutritious meals/snacks based on Healthy Eating and Active Living Guidelines from Ottawa Public Health
  • Help may be available to pay for child care costs

List of Municipal child care centres

To get more detailed information about a centre, contact a centre directly. To make an application to one of the centres, go to the online City of Ottawa Child Care Registry and Waitlist.(link is external)
 

List of Municipal child care centres
Name of Centre Ages/language Hours Contact us Google Maps
Borden Farm Child Care Centre 18 months to 5 years (English) 7:30 to 5:45
170 Chesterton Drive
613-224-1411
mccbordenfarm@ottawa.ca
Map
Charmian Craven Child Care Centre 18 months to 5 years (English) 7:30 to 5:45
2071 Jasmine Crescent
613-746-9286
mccharmiancraven@ottawa.ca
Map
Dr. E. Couture Child Care Centre 18 months to 5 years (English) 7:30 to 5:45
2185 Riverside Drive
613-731-2980
mccdrcouture@ottawa.ca
Map
Elsie Stapleford Child Care Centre 2 ½ to 5 years (English) 7:350 to 5:45

1000 Teron Road

613-592-5151

mccelsiestapleford@ottawa.ca

Map
Esther By Child Care Centre 18 months to 5 years (English) 7:30 to 5:30
1550 Caldwell Avenue
613-729-3242
mccestherby@ottawa.ca
Map
Foster Farm Child Care Centre 2 ½ to 5 years (English) 7:30 to 5:30
1056 Ramsey Crescent
613-829-8939
mccfosterfarm@ottawa.ca
Map
Huron Early Learning Centre 18 months to 5 years (English) 7:30 to 5:45
24 Capilano Drive
613-224-4878
mcchuron@ottawa.ca
Map
Centre éducatif Pinocchio 18 months to 5 years (French) 7:30 to 5:45
111 Sussex Drive
613-789-1027
mccpinocchio@ottawa.ca
Map
Centre éducatif Tournesol 18 months to 5 years (French) 7:30 to 5:45
194 McArthur Road
613-745-2729
mcctournesol@ottawa.ca
Map
St. Luke's Child Care Centre 18 months to 5 years (English) 7:30 to 5:45
110 Laurier Avenue West
613-234-3617
mccstlukes@ottawa.ca
Map
Woodridge Court Child Care Centre 2½ to 5 years (English) 7:15 to 5:45
230 Woodridge Crescent
613-820-3750
mccwoodridge@ottawa.ca
Map

Resources for parents

Quality indicators for early learning

Ministry of Education - Ontario's Pedagogy for Early Years - How does learning happen?

College of Early Childhood Educators

Child Care and Early Years Act 2014

Healthy living and parenting

Canadian Institute of Child Health - Dedicating to promoting and protecting the health, well-being and rights of children and youth through mentoring, education and advocacy; many great publications

Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa - committed to protecting the children and youth in our community from abuse and neglect

Ottawa Public Health - Provides public health programs and services to Ottawa individuals and communities while advocating for public policies that make our city and its residents healthier. Includes a wealth of programs and services like access to health and dental care; mental and emotional health; nutrition; sexual health; pregnancy and babies; and much more 

Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living - Guidelines and tips to get active

Community Health and Resource Centres

Parachute - A national, charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives 

Special needs

Ministry of Children and Youth Services - Provides parents with information about infant hearing programs, speech and language programs, infant development and more

Children’s Integration Support Services - Provides resources and funding so that children with special needs enrolled in licensed programs may get the extra help they need

Other resources

Canadian Child Care Federation - A valuable resource for educators, service providers, parents, policy providers, media, business, government and community leaders; may also fit on operators page

Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care - Advocate for universal, affordable, high quality, not-for-profit child care in Ontario

Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre - Serves Inuit children, youth and their children in partnership with parents and the community

Ottawa Neighbourhood Study - Provides detailed demographic information on Ottawa neighbourhoods and the people who live there

Universal child care benefit (UCCB) – A benefit for parents with children under 17 years of age