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Information for daycare operators and child care professionals

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 – 2018 Fee Stabilization Funding

The Ministry of Education has announced a new provincial investment called Fee Stabilization in order to support improved wages for the licensed child care workforce, affordability of costs of care for families, and to address potential fee increases in 2018.  This investment is in addition to the existing provincial Wage Enhancement Grant (WEG) funding.

The intent of this funding is to help 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.  The City of Ottawa encourages all eligible child care service providers to take into consideration the Fee Stabilization funding prior to implementing fee increases to families.

This funding will be available to eligible not-for profit and for-profit licensed child care service providers through an application process in early 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 communicated in early 2018.

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

2016 Child Care Funding - closed

Please review the Child Care Provider User Guide 2016-2020 [ PDF - 1019 KB] for detailed information about child care funding: 

  1. General Operating Funding (GO Funding)
  2. Stabilization Initiative Funding
  3. Municipal Health and Safety Funding

The General Operating Funding (GO Funding) is the provincial funding for licensed not-for-profit child care service providers. The GO Funding is intended to support the costs of operating licensed child care programs in order to reduce wait times and fees for services, stabilize service levels, and where funds allow, improve access to high quality affordable early learning and child care services for children and their families. The GO Funding may be used for ongoing costs, including:  staff wages and benefits, lease and occupancy costs, utilities, administration, transportation for children, resources, nutrition, supplies, maintenance.  Ministry funding can only be used to offset salary costs over and above the operator's regulatory requirements for minimum wage and mandatory benefits. The City requires that operators use operating funding allocations to support a stable ongoing operating and wage base.

The Stabilization Initiative Funding is comprised of transition funds from municipal child care reserves. The Stabilization Initiative will help to provide additional funding to child care agencies that will experience a reduction in total provincial funding due to their new funding allocation. Funds will be available to eligible licensed child care programs from 2015 through 2020. Two envelopes of funding are available within the Stabilization Initiative: *Emergency Bridge Funding and GO Transition Funding.

Municipal Health and Safety Funding is allocated to licensed not-for-profit child care operators. The funding is available in order to:  maintain quality early learning child care environments as per Ministry of Education licensing standards, address emerging health and safety needs, increase access to high quality affordable early learning and child care, and maintain current child care capacity or service levels.

For detailed information about Licensed Child Care Average Full Fee Daily Rates, please consult the Home Child Care as well as the Centre-based child care rates tables.

Application process

The 2016 Child Care Funding Application closed July 31, 2015. For more information, please call 613-580-2424 extension 24100 or email

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