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Indigenous-led child care

Indigenous-led child care

Licensed child care and early years services play an important role in children’s development and provide valuable supports to families with young children.

Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) organizations working with young children and families provide holistic services for Indigenous families living in Ottawa. These organizations connect with the wider First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities to support and strengthen the child’s identity and the relationships with Indigenous families.

Learn about the different Indigenous-led types of care that offer culturally relevant programs and services for Indigenous families. This includes:

  • Indigenous licensed child care centres
  • Indigenous licensed home child care
  • Licensed Aboriginal Head Start programs
  • Indigenous EarlyON programs
  • Indigenous Early Years Circles

Medicine wheel inside a dreamcatcher
Métis people flag painted on brick wall
Inukshuk with dusting of snow at sunset

Indigenous licensed child care centres

  • For children from birth to 6 years old
  • Includes full-day care
  • Provide culturally relevant child care programming
  • Located in stand-alone buildings and community centres
  • Licensed and inspected by the Ministry of Education to meet provincial health, safety, and developmental standards

These Indigenous-led organizations offer culturally relevant licensed child care programming. To apply for one of these programs, go to the Child Care Registry and Waitlist. For more information about Indigenous child care or help with your child care application, visit the following websites:

Makonsag Indigenous Child Care
1770 Courtwood Crescent, Ottawa

  • For First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children from birth to 6 years old

Tumiralaat - Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families
224 McArthur Avenue, Ottawa

  • For Inuit children 18 months to 6 years old

Visit the Ontario’s Ministry of Education’s website to learn more about licensed centre-based child care.

Indigenous licensed home child care

  • For children from 4 months to 6 years old
  • Located in a private home approved and monitored by an Indigenous licensed organization
  • Home care providers must follow Ministry of Education guidelines
  • Home Visitors provide training and support to home care providers
  • Licensed and inspected by the Ministry of Education to meet provincial health, safety, and developmental standards

This agency provides quality care for Indigenous children in Indigenous homes. This care is a shared responsibility between the parent(s), the caregiver, and the agency. To apply for this program, go to the Child Care Registry and Waitlist. For more information about Indigenous child care and or help with your child care application, visit the following website:

Sweetgrass Home Child Care Agency - Odawa Native Friendship Centre
815 St. Laurent Boulevard, Ottawa

  • For First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children 4 months to 6 years old

Visit the Ontario’s Ministry of Education’s website to learn more about licensed home-based child care.

Licensed Aboriginal Head Start programs

Aboriginal Head Start programs provide free licensed child care spaces. These programs:

  • Provide a holistic approach to education
  • Emphasize the needs of child within Indigenous families, through the Six Head Start Principles of Education: culture, language, caregivers’ involvement, social support, health promotion and nutrition

These Indigenous licensed organizations offer culturally relevant Aboriginal Head Start programming. For more information about Aboriginal Head Start child care and or help with your child care application, visit the following websites:

Makonsag Aboriginal Head Start
297 Olmstead Street, Ottawa

  • For First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children 2.5 to 6 years old

Sivummut Head Start - Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families
230 McArthur Avenue, Ottawa

Indigenous EarlyON programs

Young child clapping hands
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Indigenous EarlyON Child and Family Centres offer free, high-quality programs for families and children to culturally relevant early years services and supports for Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) children from birth to 6 years old, households, and caregivers. Services include:

  • Engaging Indigenous households and caregivers
  • Supporting early learning and development
  • Making connections for Indigenous families

Indigenous organizations collaborate with partners like Ottawa Public Health to determine complementary health services such as breastfeeding support.

These Indigenous organizations offer EarlyON programming that reflects and respects the language and culture of Indigenous families. For more information about Indigenous EarlyON, visit the following websites:

Nitawigin EarlyON - Makonsag Aboriginal Head Start Inc. (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis)
1770 Courtwood Crescent, Ottawa

Nitawigin EarlyON - Minwaashin Lodge the Aboriginal Women's Support Centre in partnership with Makonsag Aboriginal Head Start Inc.
1155 Lola Street, Ottawa

EarlyON - Odawa Native Friendship Centre (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis)
815 St. Laurent Boulevard, Ottawa

Ilagiinut Kativvik EarlyON - Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families (Inuit)
224 McArthur Avenue, Ottawa

Illipalialisaaqtilugu EarlyON - Tungasuvvingat Inuit (Inuit)
1071 Richmond Road, Ottawa

Early Years House - Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis)
271 Bradley Avenue, Ottawa

Indigenous Early Years Circle

The Indigenous Early Years Circle (IEYC) is a collaborative multi-organizational group that works together to provide holistic, culturally relevant, and culturally safe programs and services to Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) families with children from birth to 12 years old. IEYC helps develop a sense of self and well-being and provides support to families and the larger Indigenous community. 

Membership to IEYC is open to all Indigenous organizations that provide services to Indigenous households with children from birth to 12 years old or provide services to the Indigenous community in the city of Ottawa.

“The Indigenous Early Years Circle is committed to continue partnering with the City of Ottawa to ensure programs and services are respectful, safe, and recognize the strength of Indigenous cultures, languages and communities for our children and households.”

The IEYC is a partnership between the City’s Children’s Services and the following six Indigenous organizations:

Young child with many colourful hula hoops in the grass

Contact us

The City’s Children’s Services is responsible for the planning and management of licensed child care and early years programs and services for children from birth to 12 years old. This includes coordinating and planning at the system-level to ensure services are responsive to the needs of families. Read about the City’s vision for child care and early years in the 2019-2023 Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan.

Learn more about the City's Reconciliation Action Plan and the Aboriginal Working Committee.

To contact Children’s Services:

  • Email at childrensservices@ottawa.ca or
  • Phone at 3-1-1 (select language and option "4" daycare) Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm