Canada-Ontario Early Years and Child Care Agreement

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Ontario entered into a Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care agreement and signed a $13.2 billion agreement with the Government of Canada that delivers savings and relief to families.

This includes lowering fees to an average of $10 per day for children five years and younger in licensed child care by September 2025.

The Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) agreement will:

  • give families access to more affordable and high-quality child care options
  • help lower child care fees for parents of children five years of age and under
  • increase child care spaces
  • support the early years workforce

Licensed child care providers can choose to participate in the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System to help reduce fees. If your licensed child care provider does not participate, your fees will not be reduced. Camps and Authorized Recreation programs are not eligible to participate in this program.

 What this means for parents

Parents or guardians of children five years of age and younger do not have to apply to receive a child care fee reduction.

You may be eligible for reduced fees if:

  • you pay more than $12 per day for child care and your child is:
    • five years of age and younger
    • six years old and enrolled in a licensed preschool, kindergarten or family age group or a licensed home child care premises, until June 30
    • your licensed child care provider chooses to enroll in the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System

The amount that you will save depends on the current fees your child care provider charges and may vary by region.

It will require some time for your child care program to enrol in the new system. The fee reduction will be retroactive to April 1, 2022. This means that you will be eligible to receive a refund for the higher fees you have paid after your program is fully enrolled.

Your child care provider will be in touch with you as to whether they enter an agreement with the CWELCC and when you can expect to receive your retroactive fee reduction payment if they have enrolled in the program.

 What this means for child care providers

Licensed child care providers can choose to participate in the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System. As a licensed child care provider, you must apply to participate to help lower average fees for parents. 

Child care providers who participate will receive funding to reduce fees and must operate under specific guidelines. Contact your local service system manager for more information and to apply.

Child care providers who do not participate in the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System must continue to follow the rules and requirements for operating a licensed child care program. They will not receive funding to reduce child care fees.

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