Help with your daycare costs

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 ]. 

For frequently asked questions, consult the FAQs for Parents about Child Care Fee Subsidy [ PDF – 307 KB ]. 

What is a child care fee subsidy?
Who can apply?
How do I qualify for a subsidy?
How do I apply?
Who do I pay if I have a partial fee subsidy payment?
I am told I do not qualify for a subsidy, I disagree, how do I appeal this decision?
Can I transfer my child to a different child care service provider?
What do I do if my child is absent from their child care program?
What documents do I need for child care fee subsidy applications?
How do I submit my documents?
What is Ontario Works child care?

Child care fee subsidy

What is a child care fee subsidy?

  • A child care fee subsidy helps with the high cost of child care
  • A child care fee subsidy may cover all, or part of a family’s child care costs
  • The City has criteria for child care fee subsidy which prioritizes individuals that are most in need

Who can apply?

  • Families living in Ottawa 
  • Families with children 10 years and under 
  • Families with children 11 to 18 years, where special circumstances exist

How do I qualify for a subsidy?

To qualify for a subsidy, you must demonstrate a financial need and a reason for child care.

Financial need

The amount of subsidy provided is determined by a provincially mandated income test (line “236” from your Revenue Canada Notice of Assessment). Use the Child Care Subsidy Calculator to determine how much you will pay for child care.  

Reason for child care

The reason for child care includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Working (full-time, part-time, shift work or self-employed)
  • Going to school
  • Looking for work
  • Child has special needs
  • Parent has special needs
  • Referral by a professional agency such as the Children’s Aid Society

How do I apply?

Here are the steps you need to follow to complete your application:

  1. Go to the online Child Care Registry and Waitlist (this will take you to an external website outside of ottawa.ca).
  2. If you are a new applicant, create a new account and choose a passphrase (password).
    1. Returning users should log into their existing account.
  3. Complete the parent and child details information screens.
  4. Apply to the childcare programs that best meet your needs:
    1. Select the “Subsidy (I need help to pay my daycare costs)” button for each child who requires child care.
    2. Select the appropriate start date of care. For example, if you need before and after school care for the upcoming school year, enter September 1.
    3. Select the appropriate provider type (centre-based, home-based, school age or nursery) that meets your needs.
    4. Select the program type (full days, part days, before and/or after school, PD days etc.).
    5. Based on the care requirements selected, the Registry will provide you with a list of child care programs offered in the City of Ottawa. From the list, apply to the child care programs that best meet your needs.
  5. Prioritize your program choices; your number one choice should be your preferred child care service provider and program.
  6. You can estimate your monthly contribution towards the cost of care by entering the income from line 236 of the most recent Notice of Assessment in the Childcare Subsidy Calculator. The calculator is also available in screen 4 (Fee Subsidy) of the child details.
  7. Once you are finished your application, you will get a confirmation e-mail telling you that your application is either complete or incomplete. If your application is incomplete, log back into the online application and give the missing information.
  8. Complete, print and sign the Child Care Subsidy Program "Rights and Responsibilities/Consent" form [ PDF - 232 KB ]. Submit your consent form and other required documents within the prescribed time (see document checklist below). Your application will not be reviewed until all your documents have been received.
  9. The City of Ottawa will contact you to confirm the status of your application. Eligibility for child care fee subsidy does not guarantee a space at a child care centre. You will be contacted by a child care provider when a space becomes available at one of your preferred programs.
  10. For technical support with your application, e-mail Support@OneHSN.com  or call 1-888-722-1540.

Important: All parents on the Registry and Waitlist MUST log into their account every 60 days to update their information. This will ensure that child care service providers have the most current information to contact parents quickly when they have a child care space to fill. Parents who fail to log into their account after 60 days will get a reminder e-mail at 90 days and a final notice at 120 days. At this point, parents will have 72 hours to long into their account. Failure to do so will result in a final notification advising them that their applications for child care will no longer be active in the Child Care Registry and Waitlist

Start your online application for a subsidy

Who do I pay if I have a partial fee subsidy payment?

  • Starting January 1, 2016, there will be a change for families who pay part of their child care costs. Instead of paying their child care provider, parents will pay their part of child care fees directly to the City of Ottawa.
  • Parents have three payment options to choose from:
    • Pre-authorized bank debit
    • Pre-authorized credit card payments
    • In-person by the first of the month at one of the City's Client Service Centres (exception Walter Baker Sports Centre)
  • Contact the City’s Financial Services Unit at 613-580-2424 ext 24276 or e-mail FSU-Childcare@ottawa.ca if you:
    • Have questions about the new payment process
    • Need help to complete the forms or
    • Have misplaced your forms

I am told I do not qualify for a subsidy, I disagree, how do I appeal the decision?

A parent or guardian who does not agree with a decision about a fee subsidy can ask the City for an internal review. Consult the Parent Guide to Licensed Child Care in Ottawa [ PDF - 835 KB ] for information on this process. 

Can I transfer my child to a different child care service provider?

Parents can transfer their subsidy to a different child care service provider should they need to relocate their child from one program to another. This allows families to transfer as their needs for care change. Parents who wish to transfer must have an active profile on the Child Care Registry and Waitlist that lists their preferred care options. You will be contacted by a child care provider when a space becomes available at one of your preferred programs.

What do I do if my child is absent from their child care program?

Parents must contact the child care program directly to report an absence. Each child with a fee subsidy receives up to 36 allowable days each calendar year (January 1 - December 31) for absences. For more information about absences from your child care program, please consult the Parent Guide to Licensed Child Care in Ottawa [ PDF - 835 KB ] or contact a subsidy coordinator.  A request for additional days of absence can be made through a subsidy coordinator prior to exceeding all your child's allowable absent days.  Parents may complete the on line Paid Days Away Request Form or print and submit the request form by Fax or in person.

What documents do I need for child care fee subsidy applications?

You may print this Document checklist [PDF - 140 KB]

Submit the following documents. Your application for subsidy cannot be assessed until all required documents are received:

  • If your start date is within 6 months, you must submit your documents within 30 days.
  • If your start date is greater than 6 months, you must submit your documents within 6 months of your preferred start date.

There are six types of documents:

  1. Child Care Subsidy Program Rights and Responsibilities/Consent form
  2. Identification
  3. Where you live
  4. Legal custody or guardianship of child(ren)
  5. Tax information
  6. Reason for care
Child Care Subsidy Program Rights and Responsibilities/Consent form [ PDF - 232 KB ]
  • You can complete the form online but you must print and sign a copy to submit as part of your package. You can also get a copy of the form from any of the Community and Social Support Centres 
Identification (one of the following for all family members)
  • Canadian Birth Certificate
  • Canadian Statement of Live Birth
  • Canadian Passport
  • Indian Status Card
  • Driver's License

If you were born outside of Canada, you must provide at least one of the following documents:

  • Canadian Citizenship Card
  • Canadian Permanent Resident Identification
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence in Canada (IMM5292)
  • Record of Landing (IMM1000)
  • Protected Person Status
Where you live (one of the following to confirm you live in the City of Ottawa)
  • Lease or recent Notice of Rent Increase
  • Mortgage 
  • Property tax bill
  • Rent receipt with address
  • Letter from landlord
  • Two recent utility bills (from different companies)
  • Two recent government letters
Legal custody or guardianship of child(ren),(one of the following) where applicable 
  • Custody agreement
  • Court order
  • Guardian / Parental Declaration [PDF 164 KB]
  • Temporary care arrangement
Tax information (one of the following for the most recent tax year)
  • Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency for 2014 (for each parent), or
  • Canada Child Tax Benefit Notice (one document per family)
  • If you are a newcomer to Canada and have not yet filed your income tax, you must provide proof of your landing date in Canada

Note:  Income Tax returns and T4s are not accepted. To request a copy of your Notice of Assessment, please call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281, press "1" to request a Remittance Voucher or Proof of income Statement, also known as an “Option C" printout.

Reason for care
Working:
  • One month of pay stubs to verify the number of hours worked, or
  • A letter from your employer confirming the number of hours worked
  • If you are self-employed, a copy of your T1 General (Income Tax and Benefit Return)
Studying and/or Training:
  • School registration with class schedule
  • ESL (English Second Language), LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) or FSL (French Second Language) registration
  • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) assessment 
Ontario Works:
  • Active Participation Agreement with an approved activity
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP):
  • Proof of eligibility. If your spouse is not a person with a disability, proof of recognized need is required
Parent or child with special needs: 
  • If you, your spouse or your child has special needs, the City will provide you with a medical form to be completed by your doctor  

How do I submit my documents?

You can submit your documents by:

Fax: 613-580-2447
E-mail: CCRAW-RELAGE@ottawa.ca
In-person at or by mail to any of our four Community and Social Support Centres:

  • Central - 370 Catherine Street (near Bay Street), 2nd floor, Ottawa, K1R 5T5
  • East - Beacon Hill Shopping Centre, 410-2339 Ogilvie Road, Ottawa, K1J 8M6
  • South - 2020 Walkley Road (near Conroy Road), Ottawa, K1G 6S6
  • West - 100 Constellation Drive (near Baseline and Woodroffe), 2nd floor East, Ottawa, K2G 6J8

What is Ontario Works Child Care?

If you are employed and receiving Ontario Works, you may be eligible for help with your child care costs.

Ontario Works Child Care provides child care funds for participants to cover child care costs incurred while participating in an approved activity. It is a temporary child care option until you can access a subsidized child care space in a licensed child care centre or home child care program.

For more information about Ontario Works Child Care, please contact your Ontario Works case coordinator.