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 ] or the printed version of the 2019-2023 Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan document [PDF 16.017 KB).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quality indicators for early learning
Ministry of Education - Ontario's Pedagogy for Early Years - How does learning happen?
Child Care Provider User Guide 2016-2020
For detailed informed about all available funding and fee subsidy procedures, please consult the Child Care Provider User Guide 2016-2020 [ PDF - 1019 KB ].
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 email@example.com.
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.
- Business Plan: Child care agencies can use this business plan as an internal tool to help set their strategic direction.
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.
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
- Ontario Child Care and Family Support Program Service Management and Funding Guideline (January 2018)
- Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014
- Canadian Child Care Federation
- College of Early Childhood Educators
- Serious Occurrence Reporting
- Ministry of Education ONe-key Licensing System
- City of Ottawa Fire Inspection Information
- Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa
- How does learning happen
- Early Childhood Community Development Centre
- Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development
- Childcare Canada - Resource and Research Unit
Local and provincial networks and associations
- Association of Day Care Operators of Ontario
- Licensed Home Child Care Network of Ottawa
- Child Care Providers Resource Network of Ottawa
- Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario