Frequently asked questions

General questions about child care

I need help paying for child care. How can I apply for a subsidy?
You can qualify for the child care subsidy if you are the parent and your child:

  • is under 12 years old (or up to 18 years old if your child has special needs)
  • is in a licensed child care program, or
  • is a school-aged child enrolled in a recreation program.
  • is in a before- and after-school program in a school that offers full-day kindergarten.

The amount you pay for child care depends on your family's income. To apply for a subsidy or for more information, contact your Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM) and District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) that manages fee subsidies for your region.

You may also qualify for grants and subsidies that are available from the provincial and federal governments to help you pay for child care. Learn more.

What rules or legislation regulate child care?
Licensed child care programs must meet and maintain specific provincial standards, set out in the Day Nurseries Act. These standards provide for the health, safety and developmental needs of the children.

Learn more about the provincial licensing requirements for child care.

Where can I find information about local child care programs?
Check out the Licensed Child Care Website to find licensed providers near you. In addition, your local Ontario Early Years Centres or Parenting and Family Literacy Centres may be able to provide information about local child care programs.

Learn more about finding the right child care for your family.

Informal child care

I want to look after children in my home. Can I care for more than five children if I hire another person to help me?
Even if there are two adults present, anyone who cares for more than five children under the age of 10 must be licensed by the Ministry of Education. Learn more about licensed child care.

I think my neighbour is caring for more than five children without a licence. What should I do?
Please go to the registry of unlicensed child care violations to find out if there have been any violations against this individual. You can also call our toll free number 1-844-516-6263 (Monday-Friday, 8:3 AM-5 PM to report a complaint or ask about a violation in the registry.

What happens if a caregiver is providing care for more than five children without a licence?
The ministry may prosecute providers who are providing care for more than five children without a licence.

I look after five children and my neighbour looks after five other children. Can we get together with the children for playdates at each other's homes?
No. If you are providing care for more than five children under the age of 10, even if there are two adults present, you need to be licensed by the Ministry of Education. Learn more about licensed child care.

I would like to report a complaint or ask about a violation about a child care provider. How would I do that?
To report a complaint or ask about a violation, call toll-free 1-844-516-6263 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-5 PM).

The impact of full-day kindergarten on child care

Will my child care fees increase as full-day kindergarten is introduced?
Child care fees vary across the province for a variety of reasons. As costs change, operators may adjust their fees for child care services.

The government continues to provide fee subsidies to low-income families accessing child care.

The gradual implementation of full-day kindergarten will allow our government to work closely with our municipal partners so that families continue to have access to affordable child care.