Finding child care information

Browse creative ideas to help parents find child care information in their community.

ABC children blocks

The problem

Finding reliable information about available child care is a challenge for Ontario families. We recognize that:

  • demand for child care, particularly for children under four years of age, is higher than the number of licensed child care spots available
  • parents in Ontario struggle to access affordable child care
  • some families may not know about the financial supports available to help them pay for licensed child care

We believe that Ontarians should be able to choose from a range of high-quality child care programs that work best for their family at a reasonable cost.

We want to give Ontario’s children the best possible start in life. Although we’ve removed wait list fees, expanded before and after school programming for 6-12 year olds, and committed to helping 100,000 more children, aged 0-4, access affordable, quality licensed child care over the next five years, what new solutions or tools could we put in place to help parents find child care information more easily?

Who we're trying to help

We want to help parents and families:

  • understand the benefits of child care programs
  • find information about child care services, including:
    • how they can apply for fee subsidies
    • what is available in their local communities so they can make informed decisions that meet their child/children’s needs
    • inspection and violation information on child care providers

What we’re doing/have done

More money in the child care system

Over the next five years, we’ve committed:

  • to help 100,000 more children, aged 0-4, access licensed child care
  • to spending $1.6 billion dollars to support the creation of 45,000 new spaces in schools, and communities

Telephone help desk

We have two help desks that parents and child care operators can call if they have questions about licensed or unlicensed child (opens in a new window) care in Ontario. You can, for example:

  • find a list of child care locations and operators near you
  • learn how to become a licensed child care provider
  • report a complaint about a child care provider
  • ask any other questions you might have

Online resources

We have a number of online tools, including a:

We have also information online about:

Talking to families

In Fall 2016 and Winter 2017, we went out across Ontario to get feedback on the child care and early years system (opens in a new window). We spoke to families, child care providers and other key partners to learn more about the challenges of finding child care and ways to transform the child care system.

This feedback was used to create our 7 point plan to modernize the child care system (opens in a new window).

We’ve updated legislation

On August 31, 2015, the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (opens in a new window), came into force.

This legislation supports the health, safety and well-being of the province’s children and sets the rules child care operates must follow, such as:

  • staffing and group sizes
  • nutrition
  • any health and medical issues (for example, allergies)

Learn more

Visit the Ministry of Education website (opens in a new window) to learn more about child care in Ontario.

78 ideas submitted to Childcare


Universal Care for Families

I would like to see the Government create child care equality for ALL families in Ontario. I live & work in Chatham.

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Created on October 24, 2017 by LisVil.

Daycare at Workplace Initiative

As a Senior Director and General Manager, I travel extensively across the planet. In my recent visits in Asia, I noticed a very interesting trend.

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Created on October 24, 2017 by Dr Kaveh Kahen.  1 comment

Grants for Licensed Home Care

There should be a grant for licensed home care providers, who have the required ECE diploma or related experience/education, to allow them to provide quality affordable child care to families.

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Created on November 3, 2017 by melissag.

Feed School Children Hot Lunches

Canadian children need a hot lunch at school. Let's see Canadian schools offer free lunches like European countries!

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Created on November 3, 2017 by ValG.  1 comment

Capping maximum daycare and before and aftercare fees

The cost of both daycare and before/aftercare is insane in Toronto. The minimum wage and caregiver to child ratio in Ontario is the same everywhere, yet an infant spot in Toronto is currently going for $2,200 per month vs.

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Created on October 27, 2017 by Julia Pt.

Study the need for access to child care in our communities

Please conduct research into how many families struggle to find care for their children. It’s tough. It’s stressful. And it seems to be part of life in Ontario.

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Created on October 20, 2017 by Elgrimsby.

Helping families

We need to have better subsidized childcare. A system where everyone pays a certain amount per day per child and the rest is subsidized. The system now is not helping everyone who needs it.

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Created on October 23, 2017 by Jenn McDonald.

Extended-Hours Child Care in Shopping Mall

My idea is for the Government of Ontario to open ministry licensed childcare centres in vacant store fronts in shopping malls. The mall is under strict guidelines to open at 9 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.. If you are not open at 9 a.m.

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Updated on October 30, 2017 by JSugar.  1 comment

more space and cheaper cost needed for Day Care in Ontario

Right now the average day care rate is 2100 per month, equal or more than most mortgage payments.

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Created on October 22, 2017 by Julie Fraser.

Create more childcare co-operatives

Create more child-care co-operatives.

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Created on October 23, 2017 by Multipass.