Daycare options

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. 

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: