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Paying for child care

Paying for child care

Every centre- and home-based child care provider is responsible for setting their own fees. You may qualify for government grants and subsidies to help you pay for child care:


Child care subsidy

Ontario's child care subsidy helps eligible families pay for child care. The Ontario government, municipal governments and First Nations communities share the cost of the program.

Who can apply?

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, or
  • 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 adjusted net income. Your adjusted net income equals:

  • The net income amount on line 236 of the Canada Revenue Agency personal income tax form

  • Any federal Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) payments. (The UCCB is not considered in determining a family's child care fee subsidy).

How to apply

The ministry provides funding for fee subsidies to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers (CMSMs), District Social Services Administration Boards (DSSABs) and First Nations. You can apply for the child care subsidy or get more information about this program by contacting your local CMSM / DSSAB. For First Nations, please contact your local band office administrator.

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Other supports for families

There are grants and other supports available from the provincial and federal government that can help families with the cost of raising children.

Ontario Child Benefit

The Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) is financial support that low-income families – whether they are working or not – may receive to help provide for their children.

Who can apply?

There is no application for the OCB. Depending on your family income, you may qualify for the OCB, if you:

  • are the primary caregiver of a child under 18;
  • are a resident of Ontario;
  • have filed and had assessed your previous year's income tax return, and so has your spouse or common-law partner; and
  • have registered your child for the federal Canada Child Tax Benefit.

Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families

The Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families is a tax-free monthly payment that helps families pay for the costs of raising children under seven years of age, born prior to July 1, 2009. With the introduction of the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) in July 2008, OCCS payments are reduced, in part or in whole, by the OCB amount received.

When the OCB benefit level reached $1,100 in July 2009, most two-parent families were no longer entitled to OCCS benefits.

The program helps families who:

  • are low-to-middle income single- or two-parent families
  • have one stay-at-home parent, or
  • have one or both parents studying or in training.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you:

  • live in Ontario
  • receive the (federal) Canada Child Tax Benefit
  • have children under age seven, born prior to July 1, 2009
  • have the appropriate income level or have qualifying child care expenses
  • are not receiving fully subsidized daycare

Learn more about the Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families

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Universal Child Care Benefit

The Government of Canada's Universal Child Care Benefit helps Canadian families pay for child care costs. It gives families $100 each month for each child under the age of six.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you have a child under the age of six.

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Canada Child Tax Benefit

The Canada Child Tax Benefit is a tax-free monthly payment. It helps families pay for the costs of raising children under the age of 18.

Who can apply?

For more information and instructions on how to apply, visit the website of the Canada Revenue Agency.

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