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Information for child care service providers

Child Care Reopening

All licensed child care providers must follow new provincial operational guidance. This guidance includes enhanced health and safety protocols, as well as the advice of local public health units, to ensure the safety of child care staff and children.

Information for daycare operators and child care professionals

Read about the City’s vision for child care and early years as outlined in the online version of the 2019-2023 Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan [ PDF - 9 MB ]

Learn how Ontario is modernizing child care. Visit the Ministry of Education - Child Care Modernization and Early Years Integration website.

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

Quality indicators for early learning

Ministry of Education - Ontario's Pedagogy for Early Years - How does learning happen?

College of Early Childhood Educators

Child Care and Early Years Act 2014

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 day 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.

If you are a new licensed child care operator and would like to add the 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.
  • Statistics Canada Census Data: Search the City of Ottawa’s population, by age groups.
  • The Budget Benchmark Data provides child care agencies the ability to compare their budgets to industry bests to identify areas within their budget that may require investigation and/or possible change to become more financially viable.

Starting/opening a licensed day care

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

  • Review an Orientation Package
  • Learn about the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 and key questions to answers about the new Act in a document called "What Providers and Parents Need to Know"
  • Refer to the Ministry’s Planning and Design Guidelines for Child Care Centres
  • Login or register for Ontario’s Child Care Portal and Child Care Licensing System using the ONe-key login page to submit an application for a license, and much more.

For information about providing licensed child care in your own home, visit the Licensed Home Child Care Network of Ottawa.

For zoning information on a property, a prospective operator can call the City at 3-1-1 to connect with a Development Information Officer.

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.

Special needs

The Ministry of Education, through the City of Ottawa, provides funding for Special Needs Programs. 

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
  • Subscription to the newsletter for operators/parents/guardians 
  • Toys, equipment, DVDs
  • Reference books as well as a limited number of child care subsidies

If you are an operator and are enrolling a child with special needs in your program, contact Children’s Integration Support Services (CISS) to confirm eligibility for support.  

Quick links and resources

Key information

Program/curriculum supports

Local and provincial networks and associations

Where to find students for placement experiences

Funding Information and Applications for Child Care Agencies

For information on Provincial funding, please consult the Ontario Child Care Service Management and Funding Guideline 2019

For frequently asked questions about fee subsidy, please consult the Fee Subsidy FAQ [ PDF - 181 KB ].

Child Care Wage Enhancement Grant

The Ontario government provides a Wage Enhancement Grant (WEG) and Home Child Care Enhancement Grant (HCCEG) to support wages for child care professionals working in licensed child care settings. These two grants help support access to stable, high-quality child care programs for children living within the City of Ottawa to:

  • Close the wage gab between Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) working in publicly funded enducation system and those in the licensed child care sector.
  • Stabilize child care operators by supporting their ability to retain RECEs and non-RECE program staff.
  • Support greater employment and income security.

The City of Ottawa administers the WEG/HCCEG funding to licensed child care operators and agencies on behalf of the Ministry of Education.


All licensed child care centres and home child care agencies are eligible to apply for WEG/HCCEG funding


The application period for 2020 is now closed.

If you have any questions or require a 2020 WEG/HCCEG application, please contact or 613-580-2424 ext. 24100.

Provincial Special Purpose Funding

Application Information

The City of Ottawa, Children’s Services, as the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM), administers the Provincial Special Purpose funding.

Child Care Service Providers – Funding is intended to increase access and affordability to licensed child care programs and supporting the delivery of high-quality programs for children ages 0 to 12 through capacity building, repairs and maintenance, and transformation activities.

2019 Ontario Child Care Service Management and Funding Guideline

EarlyON Service Providers – Funding is intended to support EarlyON Child and Family Centres in the delivery of high-quality programs for children ages 0-6 and their families through professional learning and capacity building.

EarlyON Child and Family Centres Business Practices and Funding Guideline for Service System Managers

The 2019 Provincial Special Purpose Funding that the City has been allocated includes four separate funding envelopes:

  • Capacity Building Funding
  • Repairs and Maintenance Funding
  • Transformation Funding
  • EarlyON Funding

Applications were accepted until September 30, 2019

Contact Information

If you have any questions about any of the 2019 Provincial Funding opportunities, please contact Children’s Services by telephone at 613-580-2424 ext. 24100 or by e-mail at

French language designation of child care programs and services

As Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM), the City of Ottawa is the delivery agent responsible for managing child care services in Ottawa. Under provincial legislation, CMSMs are required to meet the specific requirements of the Francophone community as outlined in their service plan agreement. This responsibility includes identifying available French-language Child Care programs and services.  As part of this role, the City of Ottawa Children’s Services is launching a modernized French-Language Designation Application and Renewal Process to update and/or determine new Child Care Service Providers offering programs in French.
As part of the modernized French-Language Designation of child care programs and services launch, Child Care Service Providers (CCSP) with centre-based and/or home child care programs must submit an application or a renewal document per program seeking a French-Language Designation of programs and services through the following document:                         

Formulaires de demande et de renouvellement de Désignation de programmes et de services de garde d’enfants autorisés en français

Once completed, the CCSP must print, sign and forward a scanned copy of the application and/or the renewal document along with mandatory supporting documents to at the City of Ottawa, Children’s Services.

IMPORTANT: CCSPs have the responsibility to report any changes associated to their approved French-Language Designation Certificate to ensure accurate designation status is identified in the Child Care Registry and Waitlist.  All changes must be sent to at the City of Ottawa’s Children’s Services.