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Information for child care service providers

Information for daycare operators and child care professionals

The City of Ottawa is committed to providing and promoting licensed child care services that enhance opportunities for early childhood development. The following information is for licensed child care service providers operating within the City of Ottawa. 

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

Read about the City’s vision for child care as outlined in the 2016-2020 City of Ottawa Child Care Service Plan [ PDF - 1 MB ].

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

Funding information and applications for child care agencies

To access Funding Information and Applications for Child Care Agencies 

  • Wage Enhancement / Home Child Care Enhancement Grant
  • Consolidated Child Care Funding Application for 2016 was available June 1, 2015 to July 31, 2015
    • General Operating Funding (GO Funding)
    • Stabilization Initiative which includes:
    • Municipal Health and Safety Funding
    • GO Transition Funding
  • Emergency Bridge Funding applications are available by emailing your request to
  • Provincial Special Purpose and Retrofit Capital Funding Child Care Funding

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 ]. For frequently asked questions, please consult the Fee Subsidy FAQs [ PDF - 181 KB ] and the Funding and Contribution Agreements FAQs [ PDF - 148 KB]. 

Licensed child care average full fee daily rates

The following tables provide the average 2016 daily rates, as of January 1st, of licensed child care service providers located within the City of Ottawa.  The data was provided by licensed Child Care Service Providers who have a contractual agreement with the City of Ottawa.

Centre-based average daily rates
Age group Daily rate Number of sites
Infant $ 73.64 26
Toddler $ 58.96 86
Preschool $ 45.41 119
Kindergarten $ 32.13 7
Extended day $ 24.60 93
School age $ 20.86 100

 More detailed information related to the programs and number of sites by ward is available in the Centre-Based Child Care Services rates tables.

Home child care average daily rates
Rate (hours of care) Daily rate
A = up to 10 hours $ 43.96
B = up to 7 hours $ 35.32
C = up to 5 hours $ 28.84
D = up to 4 hours $ 23.75
E = up to 2 hours $ 17.17

For more information related to the average rates for licensed home-based child care programs by ward, please consult the Home Child Care Services rates.

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.
  • Parent Resource Centre: Provides an Information Resource Line for parents, and child care early learning professionals in Ottawa, and local data for community planning. Community profiles contain a wide variant of evidence-based information and indicators related to the status and living conditions of Ottawa children and their families. This information contributes to the early childhood development outcomes.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Special needs

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

Children's Integration 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 and Family Support Program Service Management and Funding Guideline (January 2016). For further information about funding and fee subsidy procedures, please consult the Child Care Provider User Guide 2016-2020 [ PDF - 1019 KB ]. 

For frequently asked questions, please consult the Fee Subsidy FAQ [ PDF - 181 KB ] and the Funding and Contribution Agreement FAQ [PDF - 148 KB ].

NEW – EarlyON Child and Family Centres – Request For Qualification – CLOSED

Child and family programs are free programs that provide opportunities for children ages 0 to 6 to participate in play and inquiry-based programs with parents or caregivers in attendance. These programs also offer workshops and pre- and post-natal supports that assist parents or caregivers in their roles, and facilitate access to information and specialized services.

Through this Request for Qualification process, interested service providers must demonstrate that they have met the eligibility requirements. Pre-qualified service providers then attend an information session and submit a Request for Offer application.

Thank you for your interest in EarlyON Child and Family Centres, however, we are no longer accepting applications.

NEW – 2018 Fee Stabilization Funding – CLOSED 

The Ministry of Education announced a new provincial investment called Fee Stabilization to:

  • Support improved wages for the licensed child care workforce
  • Support affordability of costs of care for families
  • Address potential fee increases in 2018

This investment was in addition to the existing provincial Wage Enhancement Grant funding.

This funding helped offset the cost of the minimum wage increase for any staff employed by child care service providers who were earning under $14 an hour prior to January 1, 2018.

Thank you for your interest in fee stabilization, however, we are no longer accepting applications for 2018.

2018 Wage Enhancement / Home Child Care Enhancement Grant 

The Ministry of Education has confirmed that provincial Wage Enhancement Grant (WEG) funding and the Home Child Care Enhancement Grant (HCCEG) will continue in 2018. Details regarding the WEG and HCCEG application process, guidelines and timelines will be posted soon.

The following are important process highlights for 2018:

  • The salary cap in 2018 has increased to $27.07 per hour for wage enhancement, and $270.70 per day for full HCCEG and $162.42 for partial HCCEG.
  • Centre and Home-based child care service providers that open or expand in 2018 will be eligible for wage enhancement/HCCEG once they begin operations.
  • Wage enhancement/HCCEG funding entitlements are based on 2017 data; however, wage enhancement payments should be provided to eligible positions for each hour worked in 2018.  An estimate of the number of hours/days worked is appropriate for Centres and Home-based child care service providers that open in the current year, or to account for 2017-2018 program/provider expansion.

If you have questions about the Wage Enhancement Funding, please contact 613-580-2424 extension 24100 or email

Child Care Funding Application - CLOSED

The City of Ottawa has opened the Child Care Funding Application process for licensed not-for-profit Child Care Service Providers and School Boards without an existing contribution agreement with the Children’s Services Branch for the following funding allocations:

General Operating Funding  

Intended to support the costs of operating licensed not-for-profit child care programs in order to reduce wait times and services fees, stabilize service levels, and improve access to high quality affordable early learning and child care services for children and their families.

Fee Subsidy Funding

Intended to support families most in need access high quality child care services.

Municipal Health and Safety Funding

Intended to maintain Ministry of Education licensing standards, address emerging health and safety needs and to maintain current child care capacity service levels.

Funding is subject to the availability of provincial child care funds allocated from the Ministry of Education to the City of Ottawa Children’s Services Branch.

For more information regarding General Operating Funding, Fee Subsidy Funding or Municipal Health and Safety Funding, please refer to the Child Care Provider User Guide 2016-2020 [ PDF - 1019 KB ].

To Apply: Please contact Children’s Services Branch at 613-580-2424 extension 24100 or by email at to begin the application process.

NOTE: Child Care Funding is only available to licensed not-for profit Child Care Service Providers and School Boards.

Thank you for your interest in Child Care Funding; however, we are no longer accepting applications for 2018.

Provincial Special Purpose Funding

The City of Ottawa, as the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM) is responsible for planning and managing early year’s services at the local level. Provincial Special Purpose funding has been made available with the intent of supporting licensed child care programs in three funding streams to support the delivery of high quality programs for children ages 0 to 12 through capacity building, repairs and maintenance and transformation activities.

The City of Ottawa will use a funding formula to equitably allocate Special Purpose Funding among eligible organizations and projects.  Applicants should be aware that, due to limited available funding and depending on the number of applications received, amounts awarded for successful projects may be less than requested.

Provincial funding grants are available to support licensed child care programs. Applications will be accepted::

  • from eligible organizations that are located within the boundaries of the City of Ottawa, have been in operation for at least two years, and are in good standing with the City of Ottawa.
  • for short term projects or initiatives (funding is not meant to support CORE funding of the organization);
  • to cover eligible activities and projects purchased between January to December 2017.
  • For more details, see the Ministry of Education Funding Guidelines 

Application Process

The 2017 Provincial Special Purpose Funding is now closed.

If you have any questions about the 2017 Provincial Special Purpose Funding application, please contact Children's Services by telephone at 613-580-2424 extension 24100 or by email 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 Branch 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 Branch no later than April 30th, 2017.

NOTE:  The launch deadline of April 30th 2017 is set in order to assess and add information to approved French-Language Designation programs on the Child Care Registry and Waitlist.  Thereafter, new applications will be assessed on an ongoing basis.   

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 Branch.