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Apply for child care

Emergency child care

Emergency child care is free of charge, for children 0 to 12 years old of eligible health care workers and other essential frontline workers.

  • Esther By Child Care Centre (1550 Caldwell Avenue)
  • Centre Éducatif Tournesol (194 McArthur Road)
  • Dr. Ernest Couture Child Care Centre (2185 Riverside Drive)
  • Andrew Fleck - Overbrook Child Care Centre (557 Queen Mary Street)
  • Andrew Fleck – George Street Child Care Centre (185 & 195 George Street)

Home-based emergency child care is provided by Andrew Fleck Children’s Services across the city.

Ottawa Public Health considers the safest option for families is for children to remain at home, if possible. Emergency child care centres are following strict Ottawa Public Health guidelines to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all families, children and employees.

This service is reserved for workers in the Province of Ontario’s list of workers eligible for emergency child care.

Families who meet the criteria for emergency child care must complete an online application. The child care service provider will contact families if a space is available. A signed ‘Consent to Accept Risk and Release of Liability’ form is needed when a placement is accepted.

As space is limited, the City will prioritize child care spaces for frontline health care workers on a first come first served basis.

For questions about emergency child care, email or call 613-580-2424 ext. 24100 and leave a message.

Ottawa child care registry and waitlist

The Ottawa Child Care Registry and Waitlist is an online application for parents looking for licensed child care. Parents can:

  • Choose from home-based care, centre-based care, school care and or nursery/pre-school care.
  • Apply for full fee (Registry), subsidy (Waitlist) or both by completing just one application.

How to apply for licensed child care referred to as the Registry?

  1. Go to the online Child Care Registry and Waitlist.
  2. If you are a new applicant, create a new account and choose a passphrase (password).
    • Returning users should log into their existing account.
  3. Complete the parent and child details information screens.
  4. Apply to the child care programs that best meet your needs:
    1. Select "Full Fee".
    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 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. Once you are finished your application, you will get a confirmation email telling you that your application is either complete or incomplete. If your application is incomplete, you will need to log back into the online application and give the missing information.
  7. A child care agency will contact you directly once a space is available.
  8. For technical support with your application, email 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 email at 90 days and a final notice at 120 days. At this point, parents will have 72 hours to log into their account. Failure to do so will result in a final notification advising them that their application(s) for child care will no longer be active in the Child Care Registry and Waitlist.

Start your online application for licensed child care (this will take you to an external website outside of