Child care service providers

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Early childhood educators

Every day, early childhood educators (ECEs) provide Ontario’s children with safe, responsive, and caring interactions that build a strong foundation for their development and well-being.

Children who participate in high-quality learning environments experience increased verbal communication, reading, math, and science skills, as well as a host of other benefits.

Uncover the facts about the many ways ECEs benefit children, their families, and the growth of our economy.

    woman and child holding hands

    High-quality licensed child care provides Ontario’s children with safe, responsive, and caring interactions that build a strong foundation for development and well-being.

    When children are nurtured in environments where their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical health is considered, they thrive in countless ways.

    90% of adult brain development occurs between birth and age five.

    High-quality licensed child care helps children develop vital skills during their first five years, which marks a critical developmental period in a child’s life.

    Early childhood educators (ECEs) provide children with the foundation they need to grow into future leaders. ECEs use their extensive knowledge of learning and child development to create high-quality learning opportunities through play and exploration. Educators are trained to:

    • Understand brain development and how to support healthy growth
    • Identify children’s developmental stages and capabilities in social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic, and physical domains
    • Build partnerships with families to support children’s well-being
    • Plan activities that promote learning and build on children’s current abilities and interests

    Participation in high-quality learning environments, can help support children and their communities and to improve social, health, and academic outcomes.

    Benefits for children

    1. Improved physical and mental well-being
    2. Decrease in chronic health problems
    3. Increased self confidence
    4. Improved outcomes in literacy, math, and science
    5. Higher rates of completing high-school
    6. Increase in conflict resolutions skills

    Benefits for communities

    1. Increases the number of women in the workforce
    2. Decreases the need for social assistance
    3. Increases household income
    4. Decreases participation in criminal activity

    Information for child care service providers and child care professionals

    Child Care and Early Years System Planning Advisory Group

    The mandate of the Child Care and Early Years System Planning Advisory Group is to provide advice and guidance to the City of Ottawa on the planning and management of a high quality, affordable, accessible, and inclusive child care and early years system in Ottawa for all children and families.  For more information, please contact

    Child Care Registry and Waitlist

    The Child Care Registry and Waitlist is an online, centralized application used by parents to find and register for licensed child care in Ottawa. Parents can also apply for help to pay for their child care costs (fee subsidy). It is also used by child care providers to effectively manage their waitlists for both full fee and subsidized child care. Families can access the list of providers that have opted-in to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) System through the Child Care Registry and Waitlist Application (CCRAW).

    If you are a new licensed child care service provider in Ottawa and would like to add a profile of your child care agency to the Child Care Registry and Waitlist, please email

    Planning and research

    • Ottawa Neighbourhood Study: Provides data on strengths and challenges for each neighbourhood in Ottawa. Compare neighbourhoods on child care services, social services, food resources, determinants of health, and more.
    • geoOttawa: Find out which child care facilities are in your neighbourhood. Search by address, intersection, street segment or by facility. Interact with this web-based software by zooming in and out, by adding additional layers of information or by printing a current view of the map.

    Starting / opening a licensed child care centre

    To find out how to set up a licensed child care program in Ontario, prospective child care service providers can visit the Ministry of Education website.

    Start and operate a not-for-profit

    For information about applicable laws, as well as grants and financial support available to not-for-profits, go to the Ontario government web site.

    Individuals with special needs

    The Ministry of Education, through the City of Ottawa, provides funding for programs including individuals with special needs. 

    Providers are encouraged to work with Children’s Services to develop a plan to ensure eligible children who receive fee subsidy and children with special needs have access to child care programs between September 1, 2022, and January 1, 2025.  For more information,  email

    Children's Inclusion Support Services provides supports, in English and in French, to licensed child care programs (nursery schools, child care centres and home child care agencies) that include children with special needs, between 6 weeks to 10 years of age, within the City of Ottawa. The services provided by CISS include: 

    • Consultation support through various consultant roles 
    • Enhanced staff support funding 
    • Professional development opportunities 
    • A newsletter for operators/parents/guardians  
    • Toys, equipment, DVDs 
    • Reference books 

    Quick links and resources

    Key information

    Funding information and applications for child care agencies

    If you have any questions about available funding programs, contact