Additional Child Care Operator Resources

Through various consultations with early years operators and the release of “How Does Learning Happen?” it has been identified that in order to provide an increasingly responsive high quality early childhood program, it was necessary to create a new approach to reflect and measure the individual goals of our centres, recognizing that each centre has a unique set of strengths and challenges.

System Priorities

System priorities can be described as a tool to identify a centre’s needs by reflecting on current practices and views and encouraging the adoption of new ideas. 

Licensed home and centre based child care programs are advised to use the document named “How Does Learning Happen?” as a resource for the purpose of guiding their programming.  As a result, we have aligned system priorities with the Early Years Community Plan to help operators identify areas in their program that can be improved through critical reflection, discussion and work towards achieving their organizational goals.

These four system priorities are to be used as a reference for operators:

High-quality early years child care programs that foster children’s learning and development is a key component that will establish positive, responsive relationships with children and their families.  Therefore, we expect that all contracted child care operators participate in the City of Hamilton’s Early Years Quality Program. 

The purpose of the quality assured priority is to help facilitate early childhood educators in developing high-quality programs that support children, parents and the early years environment and work toward achieving the goals for children’s learning, development, health and well-being.

Role of CMSM

  • Provide professional learning opportunities.
  • Develop quality initiatives based on best practices.
  • Monitor the Child Care Licensing System and work with operators to ensure compliance.
  • Determine funding allocations for child care operators.
  • Promote opportunities to engage with various organizations e.g. ASCY, College of ECE, Mohawk College.
  • Develop local policies that align with provincial legislative framework and meet local needs.
  • Provide understanding of what funding is available.
  • Work with Ministry of Education, Program Advisors to develop action plans in response to the Licensing Terms and Conditions.
  • Work collaboratively with operators to ensure professional learning opportunities align with work plan.
  • Inform and approve ASCY work plan.

Role of Operator

  • Recruit and retain highly skilled and qualified educators.
  • Participate in local quality initiatives.
  • Create a program statement that is consistent with the Minister’s policy statement on programming and pedagogy.
  • The document “How Does Learning Happen?” is to be used as the framework to guide and develop licensed child care programs.
  • Provide developmentally appropriate and evidence-based learning environments, resources, and curriculum
  • Follow provincial legislation, regulations and directives.
  • Notify City of Hamilton immediately when a provisional license is received.
  • Work with City of Hamilton to develop action plan.

Building a sustainable child care system ensures the City of Hamilton can continue to offer high quality child care programs with well-established community relationships and knowledge of local needs. Adapting to changing demographics and market demands requires research, planning and the development of a business and/or marketing plan that addresses potential barriers and opportunities for improvement. 

The purpose of the sustainability priority is to assist child care operators in re-evaluating their current business model and operations and to incorporate new ideas and strategies to build a sustainable business that is responsive to the needs in the community.  

Role of CMSM

  • Provide tools and training to support operators with: business planning, meetings, work plan templates.
  • Ensure operators know what funding they are eligible for (One-time, transformation, capital retrofits expense, health & safety etc.).
  • Monitor vacancy reports.
  • Create Early Years Community Plan.

Role of Operator

  • Adopt annual business plans that show demand for child care and quality that aligns with costs.
  • Have strong organizational governance.
  • Have strong financial management practices.
  • Be responsive to changes in the child care market.
  • Have a balanced budget.

An accessible child care program provides an early learning environment which minimizes the barriers for families accessing child care.  A child and family centred approach which is responsive to the local needs in the community creates a sense of inclusiveness that encourages operators and parents to participate in community initiatives.

The purpose of the accessibility priority is to assist child care operators in creating an early learning environment which minimizes the barriers for families accessing child care.

Role of CMSM

  • Provide an understanding of the demand for child care in the City of Hamilton to help influence decision making efforts (funding and contractual decisions).
  • Development of Waitlist Strategy.
  • Manage Special Needs Resourcing supports.
  • Lead and develop community initiatives that align with the Early Years Community Plan.

Role of Operator

  • Provide fee subsidized spaces.
  • Have an updated and current profile on the Hamilton Child Care Registry.
  • Minimize barriers to child care services for parents.
  • Provide inclusive early learning and care environments (e.g. AODA, Health and Safety Policies and Procedures, space for physical activity in/out doors etc.).

Building strong connections and partnering with other service providers across the early years system creates a strong integrated relationship.  By engaging parents and children and communicating with them using multiple means helps to establish and maintain positive reciprocal relationships.  This integrated approach requires the adoption of the Ontario Early Years Policy framework which moves towards an increasingly seamless service experience for children and families.

The purpose of the integration priority is to building strong connections and encouraging partnering with other services providers across the early years system.

Role of CMSM

  • Create opportunities and participate in consultation sessions and committees.
  • Help develop policies and procedures that support a seamless transition e.g. Referral pathways, school boards, special needs.

Role of Operator

  • Partner and link to other service providers across the early years system.
  • Engage parents/children.
  • Seamlessly transition children (home to child care to school).
  • Embrace and adopt the City of Hamilton Early Years Community Plan.
  • Participate in community initiatives (e.g. Children’s Charter, Parent Charter and Parent and Family Engagement Framework).

Early Years Quality Program

The Hamilton Early Years Quality Program is a framework and process to guide continuous quality assurance for organizations providing early years programs through Funding Agreements with the City of Hamilton.  The purpose of the program is to collectively make Hamilton the best place to raise a child and the best place to be a child, by cultivating high quality early years programs and services where children, families and educators are viewed as capable and competent.

The program consists of:

Participation in the new quality program is mandatory for all licensed child care and EarlyON child and family centre operators that currently have a funding agreement with the City of Hamilton.

For more information on the Hamilton Early Years Quality Program, please contact Supervisor of Child Care System Support at 905-546-2424 x 3091 or email

Special needs resourcing

Working together to deliver inclusive child care services in Hamilton

The City of Hamilton is committed to delivering inclusive services where everyone can be successful. To do this, the City uses Special Needs Resourcing funding to ensure that licensed child care sites across the city can deliver the appropriate level of service for children with special needs, including staff, equipment and supplies.

By working together with our licensed child care providers and community partners, we can all provide quality care and services to families and children with special needs. This means:

  • the child care provider, family and child are all included in the creation of a service plan
  • with the consent of the family, information is shared among service providers
  • special attention is paid to transition points (e.g. entry into child care, entry into school)
  • all current service providers provide regular input to Special Needs Resourcing planning meetings

Special Needs Resourcing funding supports children and families as well as Licensed Child Care Programs.

Licensed child care programs

Providing responsive, high quality, accessible and increasingly integrated early learning opportunities for children and their families.

Children and families

Accessing and experiencing early learning environments that encourage engagement, a sense of belonging, well-being and expression.

City of Hamilton Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre Early Words Community Living Hamilton Affiliated Services for Children and Youth
Supporting Children & Child Care Centres through:
  • Referral & Intake
  • Child Care Placement
  • Funding & Monitoring

Ph: 905-546-2424 ext. 4872

Supporting Children & Child Care Centres through:
  • Early Identification
  • Supporting Transitions
  • Capacity Building
  • Education

Ph: 905-521-2100 ext. 77696


Supporting Children & Child Care Centres through:
  • Preschool Speech & Language
  • Infant Hearing
  • Blind - Low Vision
    • Early Identification
    • Assessment
    • Consultation

Ph: 905-381-2828

Supporting Children & Child Care Centres through:
  • Resource Teachers
  • Support Facilitators
  • Consultation

Ph: 905-528-0281



Supporting Children & Child Care Centres through:

  • Training, resources  mentoring to Early Childhood Educators in licensed child care settings

Ph: 905-574-6876 ext. 224

For more information about inclusive child care email:

The Operator’s role is to work with the family, City of Hamilton staff and community service agencies to ensure that both the child and child care staff are comfortable with the new placement.

Every licensed child care program in the City of Hamilton has an assigned Community Living Hamilton Resource Teacher and Supervisor.

For contact information, please call Community Living’s Administrator at 905‐528‐0281 ext. 376.

Community Living Hamilton Resource Teachers will be available for on‐going consultation.

Additional consultation is available through:

  • Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre,
  • Community Care Access Centre,
  • Early Words Community Support Team,
  • Affiliated Services for Children and Youth
  • Other services involved with the child.

Once a child is enrolled in the child care program, and Community Living Hamilton has received a referral from the City of Hamilton, the Resource Teacher can help to develop the child’s Individual Support Plan (ISP) if one is required.

Once the ISP has been applied for a minimum of 30 days, child care staff can make a request for enhanced classroom support.

The Resource Teacher will arrange a time to complete the Enhanced Classroom Support

Identification Tool (ECSIT). This tool determines the amount – if any – and length of time enhanced classroom support will be provided by a Support Facilitator.

During the Support Facilitator’s involvement with your program, the Support Facilitator and

Resource Teacher will work with you to help plan for when the enhanced classroom support is no longer required.

If further support is still needed, you will be required to submit a request to your Resource Teacher for the ECSIT to be completed again. The results will determine if the ECSIT will continue and for how long.

Serious occurrences

All licensed child care programs are required to report all serious occurrences as defined by the Ministry of Education within 24 hours of the occurrence as outlined in the Children Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA).

Operators will report online using the Child Care Licensing Portal (One-Key Portal).

All serious occurrence reports will automatically be forwarded to the City of Hamilton child care services management once submitted to the child care licensing system.  Child care services management staff will follow up with operators as deemed necessary.

View reporting requirements Serious Occurrence Fact Sheet.

Provisional licenses

When a provisional license is issued child care operators are to notify the City of Hamilton child care services management and review the plan for compliance and City of Hamilton will assist and support development.

Starting a licensed child care program

To learn about how to set up a licensed child care program in Ontario visit the Ministry of Education website to learn more about licensing requirements.

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.

To find out more information about child care services in Hamilton contact Alexandra Madjercic, Supervisor of Child Care System Support at phone 905-546-2424 Ext. 3091 or email to discuss a needs assessment.

Once your program has been licensed you may be interested in applying for a Funding Agreement with the City of Hamilton.  Funding agreements enable your program to provide child care to families receiving fee subsidy and entitle your program to apply for various funding opportunities. Please note the City is not entering into new funding agreements.

Learn more about how to apply for a funding agreement.

Average daily rates

The City of Hamilton has Funding Agreement with over 77 organizations who operate approximately 208 centre based licensed child care programs. The City conducts an annual review with these operators - part of that review is a salary survey and a per diem rate review. 

Position Description Average hourly base rate* Average hourly rate with wage subsidy**
Supervisor Holds administrative and/or teaching duties, and is the approved supervisor by the Ministry of Education (EDU). $20.10 $23.40
Registered Early Childhood Educator Meets the requirements determined by the College of Early Childhood Educators and is registered as such with the College. $15.34 $18.68
Other classroom staff Holds classroom duties, but is not a registered ECE. $13.87 $15.66

*Base Rate: The hourly rate a child care organization pays to an employee without subsidies or benefits included.
**This includes General Operating Funding to Support Wages and Memorandum of Settlement (MOS) Pay Equity. It does not include the new provincial wage enhancement grant.  Information collected as of June 2016.

Age group Average market rate* Average municipal rate*
Infant full day $61.35 $59.68
Toddler full day $47.42 $46.23
Preschool full day $40.78 $39.22
Kindergarten full day $39.81 $38.12
Kindergarten before and after school $21.03 $19.78
School age before and after school $19.28 $18.76
School age full day $37.44 $36.62

*Information collected as of June 2016

Early Years Community Plan

The Hamilton Early Years Community Plan (EYCP) 2016-2020 outlines the strategic priorities and recommended goals for the Hamilton early year system over the next five years.  It builds on a decade of collective leadership in planning and implementing a comprehensive system of services and supports for children and families.

Community Resources

Local Networks & Organizations

Key information

Program & Curriculum Supports

Professional Learning for Child Care Operators

Professional Learning in the child care sector are coordinated and facilitated by Affiliated Services for Children & Youth (ASCY). To learn more about Professional Learning opportunities visit ASCY Professional Learning Calendar.

Public Health Resources and Workshops

Learn more about the resources and workshops offered:

Upcoming Workshops


Supporting a Healthy Eating Environment in Child Care Settings
Nov 30, 2017
Time: 6:30-8:30 pm
Location: 526 Upper Paradise Rd, Hamilton Facilitated by Public Health Dietitians
Cost: $10.00 Members - $20.00 Non-members
To register email or call 905-574-6876 Ext. 222

At this interactive workshop for ECEs, supervisors, cooks and other child care staff, participants will:

  • Get tips on how to help children learn to enjoy a variety of foods
  • Find out how to avoid mealtime battles
  • Discover how the classroom setting can promote healthy eating
  • Learn about tools to help parents determine their child’s nutrition risk
  •  Pick up helpful resources

For more information visit Supporting a Healthy Eating Environment in Child Care Settings Workshop November 30.

The Hamilton Child Care Registry Operator Resources

Operators with a Funding Agreement with the City of Hamilton can visit the Hamilton Child Care Registry Administration Site to access resources to assist in navigating the registry and manage centre waiting lists.