Child Care Operators

Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement

On March 28, 2022, the federal and provincial government 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.

Licensed child care providers in Hamilton will have the opportunity to opt-in to the agreement through an application process that will be developed by the City of Hamilton and shared in July 2022.

Timeline

  • July to Sept 2022 - Opt into Funding Agreement
  • July to August 31, 2022 - Applications Open
  • September 1, 2022 - Application 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 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

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 Agreement.

We are currently working on a Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement 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 Agreement 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 Agreement 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

After opting into the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, 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

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 Agreement 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 Agreement 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.