Child Care Operators

Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement

On March 28, 2022, the federal and provincial governments signed the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement (CWELCC) aimed at making child care more affordable for families and increasing the compensation for eligible child care staff.

The Ontario Ministry of Education’s goals under the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement are similar to the priorities for the Early Years System in Hamilton — affordability, accessibility, inclusion and quality.

Updates regarding the application status of licensed child care operators participating in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system in Hamilton is now available on www.hamilton.ca/affordablechildcare.

Download a copy of the interim guidelines for licensed child care operators participating in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system.

Timeline

  • July 25, 2022 to August 31, 2022 - Budget review and application process
  • September 1, 2022 - Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system opt-in/opt-out deadline
  • September to November 2022 - Fee Reduction funding issued to licensed child care providers 
  • September to November 2022 - Licensed child care providers issue rebates to families 
  • October to December 2022 - Workforce compensation issued to licensed child care providers to be distributed to eligible child care staff 

Frequently Asked Questions

For further details regarding this process, child care licensees are encouraged to read the Frequently Asked Questions. Don’t see your question? Feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Participating in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement

All licensees with programs serving children under the age of 6 (or turning 6 before June 30) in Ontario are eligible to apply to participate in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system through their Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM)/District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB).

Licensees not operating at the primary licensed capacity must report if they are using an alternate capacity. The Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM)/District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) will determine funding based on operating capacity. After funding is approved, the licensee must report any changes to operating capacity. We will determine whether this may result in a funding adjustment or recovery from the licensee.

The Ontario Ministry of Education is currently developing a new process to determine yearly funding amounts and will consult with key stakeholders in the coming months. We anticipate the 2023 funding guidelines to be released later this year.

The application will be made available in July and a decision will need to be made by September 1, 2022.

Prior to signing the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system with the City of Hamilton, you will be able to opt-out.

The budget review process will review all costs to determine if they are appropriate and work with you to determine what will be considered.

Audited financial statements are mandatory for participation in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system, audit costs will be reviewed as part of the administration budget.

Licensees will work with their Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM)/District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) to reconcile all Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system funding annually in accordance with the reporting and reconciliation documentation provided by the Ontario Ministry of Education.

No, if a licensee opts-in, there can be no further fee increases unless they have been communicated prior to March 27, 2022.

The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system is not based on household income. Families will be paying an average of $12/day after licensees have opted-in to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system. The child care fee subsidy program will continue.

Funding for the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system is an operating grant and cannot be used to support capital expenditures.  

As part of the year-end financial reporting process, where there may be excess funding provided to a licensee, this funding may remain with a licensee to support up to three months of operating funding as a reserve, so long as a licensee does not currently have a reserve in place. 

Yes, the budget review will be only for the eligible spaces. When a licensee operates eligible and non-eligible spaces, shared costs will be proportionately allocated to eligible child care spaces to determine the actual cost of child care.

Yes, however, if your other sites are in other municipalities/regions, you must also submit an application to those respective service system managers.

All licensees must notify the City of Hamilton if they choose to opt-in/opt out by September 1, 2022.

All Licensed childcare programs serving children under the age of 6 (or turning 6 before June 30, 2022) are encouraged to participate in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement so that parents can benefit from the fee reduction. Under O. Reg. 137/15, all child care programs licensed as of March 28, 2022, are required to notify parents and staff within 14 days of deciding whether or not they intend to participate in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement system.

Yes, for the remainder of 2022, all current funding will be maintained. For details on existing funding, please visit www.hamilton.ca/operating-business/child-care-operators.

Licensees must communicate their Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement enrolment status to all parents and staff within 14 days of the licensee being notified by the City of Hamilton of the results of their application.

The City commits to processing all Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement applications as soon as possible to ensure licensees can make timely refunds to parents.

Licensees choosing to opt out of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement will continue to operate under the existing provincial licensing and regulatory framework, City funding agreements and reporting requirements, if applicable.

Yes, licensees that operate for less than 12 months can opt in. The funding will be pro-rated based on the number of months of operating.

Unlicensed home child care providers are not eligible to participate in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Unlicensed providers that wish to participate in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement System may want to consider applying to a home child care agency to become part of the licensed system. For more information, please visit www.hamilton.ca/operating-business/child-care-operators.

Accountability

As previously communicated, the Market Rate Reduction ends on December 31, 2022. It will be applied after the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system 25% reduction is calculated. The approval process will include the calculation for the 25% reduction.

Operators will be compensated based on the actual costs of the rebates to families.

Administration costs include non-program staffing costs and costs for audited financial statements. Consolidated Municipal Service Managers (CMSMs)/District Social Services Administration Boards (DSSABs) will assess each licensee’s actual administration needs, based on individual circumstances. Further details will be provided during the application process.

All funding is currently allocated for 2022. New guidelines will be in place for 2023 funding and beyond. Currently, we are not aware of what will be available for 2023.

Yes, base rates will be reviewed for before and after school care for children up to the age of 6.

All municipalities/regions must determine a reasonable profit level to be achieved from the provision of child care for the eligible children portion of a licensee’s business. Consistent financial management practices regardless of auspice (e.g., not-for-profit, for-profit, directly operated by municipalities) will be considered when determining an appropriate profit level for each for-profit licensee that participates in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system.

We are currently working on a Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system application that will include details on undue profit. We anticipate the application will be ready in July 2022.

Licensees may be able to accumulate a reserve of up to three months of operating expenses to support any unforeseen operating expenses. The City of Hamilton will implement a reconciliation process which may result in a recovery of Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system funding.

Divisional staff are working with a number of neighbouring municipalities/regions to share information and establish consistency wherever possible.

Eligible and ineligible expenses will be standardized. Details will be included in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system application.

The fee caps for the City of Hamilton can be found under the Child Care and Early Years Act, Section 77.1.

Child Care Centre Daily Fees for Full-day Programs

Age Group Full-day Fee
Licensed Infant $73.96
Licensed Toddler $58.36
Licensed Preschool $53.25
Licensed Kindergarten $48.50
Licensed School $48.50
Licensed Family $58.36

Child Care Centre Daily Fees for Before and After School Programs

Age Before/After Daily Fee
Kindergarten $25.35
School Age $21.93

Home Child Care Daily Fees for Full-day Programs

Age Group Full-Day Fee
Younger than 2 years $52.77
2 to 3 years $45.62
4 to 6 years $47.69

Home Child Care Daily Fees for Before and After School Programs

Age Group Before/After Daily Fee
4 to 5 years $34.83
6 to 12 years $35.94

The Ontario Ministry of Education is currently developing a new process to determine yearly funding amounts and will consult with key stakeholders in the coming months. We anticipate the 2023 funding guidelines to be released later this year.

There will be a measured and phased approach for full funding agreements. The City will be in contact with licensees that have requested funding prior to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with next steps, as appropriate. Additional licensees will be considered once funding is available.

The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement application will include details on administrative caps. We anticipate the application will be ready in July 2022.

“Base fees” are defined as any fee that is charged with respect to a child for child care, including anything a licensee is required to provide under the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) or anything a licensee requires the parent to purchase from the licensee but does not include a non-base fee.

“Non-base fee” is defined as any fee charged for optional items or optional services, such as transportation or field trips, or any fees charged pursuant to an agreement between the parent and the licensee in respect of circumstances where the parent fails to meet the terms of the agreement (e.g. fees for picking up a child late, fees to obtain items that the parent agreed to provide for their child), as defined in the Child Care and Early Years Act.

Eligible and ineligible expenses will be included in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement application.

Fee Reduction

Under the Child Care and Early Years Act, there is no stipulation that a refund must be made in the form of a cash/cheque payment. Families may choose to receive their fee reduction refunds in the form of a credit. Families may also choose to apply the refund as a credit toward another sibling in care with the licensee. Families are encouraged to discuss their preferred method of refund with the supervisor or the licensee.

Yes, efforts must be made to reach all families to ensure they receive their respective refunds. It is recommended that licensees who are considering opting-in to encourage families who are exiting the program to keep their contact information up to date.

In this situation, there will be only one base fee. The rates would be calculated on the base fee and actual costs to parents and will be reviewed as part of the application process.

The 25% fee rebated to families will be based on actual costs made by licensees from families.

After opting-in to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system, licensees are required to refund parents within 60 days. The City of Hamilton commits to providing necessary funding in a timely manner. The City will consider issuing additional administrative funding to licensees, where applicable.

After opting into the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, the fee reduction payments will be based on the actual fees parents paid to licensees back to April 1, 2022. Additional details will be included in the application process.

Fee Subsidy

The fee subsidy program will continue to be an option for families who require financial assistance. The parental contribution that fee subsidy families pay will be reduced by 25% effective April 1, 2022.

We are currently reviewing how fee subsidy per diem rates are being calculated and will communicate once this has been determined.

Workforce Compensation

All current funding will be maintained for the remainder of 2022.

We will share updated information as it becomes available. At this time, only the wage floor of $25/hr in the Addendum to Ontario Child Care and EarlyON Child and Family Centres Service Management and Funding Guideline (2022) has been shared.

Workforce compensation funding must be used to fund the incremental amount required to bring the eligible staff wages to the wage floor. If the staff exceeds the wage floor currently, they would not be eligible for Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system funding in 2022.

To be eligible for an annual wage $1 per hour increase beginning in 2023, staff must be receiving wage enhancement funding, and their hourly wage including wage enhancement funding must be below the wage cap of $25 per hour on January 1 of each eligible year (i.e., base wage plus wage enhancement funding plus annual increase must be below $25 per hour).

Yes, supply staff are eligible to receive the funding. Funding will be allocated based on the application process and reconciled after year-end. Any surplus funding will be recovered. This will be a similar process that we are using for the Provincial Wage Enhancement Grant. More information will be provided as this component is implemented.

Licensees must opt-in to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and receive the wage enhancement funding to be eligible for its workforce compensation. Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) program staff, supervisors and home child care visitor staff are eligible if they are currently below the wage floor identified by the Ontario Ministry of Education chart below.

Yes, on page 42 of the Addendum to Ontario Child Care and EarlyON Child and Family Centres Service Management and Funding Guideline (2022), the Ontario Ministry of Education provides a chart with the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement Hourly Wage Floor for 2022 to 2026.

Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement Hourly Wage Floor for 2022 to 2026*

Year RECE Program Staff RECE Child Care Supervisors or RECE Home Child Care Visitors
2022 $18 $20
2023 $19 $21
2024 $20 $22
2025 $21 $23
2026 $22 $24

* In addition to the hourly wage, staff are required to receive benefits

Both the wage enhancement funding and the general operating funding for wages are included before applying Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement funding to the wage floor.

Yes. We recognize that many employers are paying above the wage floor and everyone should continue to do so. Workforce compensation funding must be used to fund the incremental amount required to bring the staff wages to the wage floor.

For example:

In 2022, a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a base wage of $15 per hour and wage enhancement funding of $2 per hour, and $0 in general operating for wages funding, would receive workforce compensation funding of $1 per hour.

To be eligible for the $1 per hour annual increase between 2023-2026, the staff’s wage must be equal to or greater than the wage floor and less than $25 per hour. Staff earning at or above $25 per hour are not eligible for the annual $1 per hour increase.

Workforce compensation funding includes up to 17.5% in benefits to support licensees in meeting their statutory benefit requirements. Additional details will be part of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement application process.

Child Care Expansion

In 2022, the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system prioritizes reducing fees for families and improving workforce compensation for staff. Phase two of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care agreement includes further details for childcare expansion.

Licensees participating in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system must maintain existing licensed spaces for children ages 0-5 (e.g., a licensed infant space must remain an infant space). Any revisions or use of alternate capacity must be reported to the City of Hamilton to determine whether this will impact funding.