The City of Hamilton enters into funding agreements with licensed child care operators in order to assist eligible families with their child care costs and for the purpose of distributing funding to eligible operators.
Funding agreements ensure:
- child care operators are in compliance with Municipal and Provincial guidelines and legislation.
- the City has quality child care options for Hamilton families.
All child care operators in a funding agreement with the City of Hamilton are required to accept families in receipt of child care fee subsidy and be receiving services with Community Living Hamilton to ensure equitable access to high quality child care programs across the city. Access to child care is managed through the Hamilton Child Care Registry therefore operators must have an updated and current profile on the registry.
The Hamilton Early Years Quality Program ensures continuous quality assurance for organizations providing early years programs in the City of Hamilton. Through the Funding Agreement it is an expectation that all contracted child care operators participate in the Quality Program. In addition operators with a Funding Agreement are required to notify the City of Hamilton on any changes to operating capacity, provide reporting on vacancies, provisional licences, plans to expand or reconfigure and must participate in the annual service contract review.
The annual service contract review is used to ensure that operators are meeting their annual contractual obligations with the City of Hamilton. Child care operators with a Funding Agreement are subject to random auditing to ensure compliance.
Applying for a Funding Agreement
To align with the Ministry of Education’s direction the City’s current focus is on expanding child care spaces with not for profit operators with existing funding agreements. At this time the City of Hamilton is not entering into new funding agreements.
For more information contact:
Supervisor of Child Care System Support
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 3091
Expansion or reconfiguration of an existing contract
- Contracts with the City of Hamilton are not transferrable.
- Operators should not enter into any agreement to sell, purchase, merge or transfer ownership/control (through the sale of share or assets) of a centre with an existing contract unless a request for a new contract has been approved.
- Operators who want to expand their program to serve additional age groups must contact the City of Hamilton before expansion to review their current Funding Agreement for fee subsidy.
- Operators who want to expand their program with new sites must contact the City of Hamilton to apply for a revised Schedule A.
When reviewing requests for service expansion, the City will consider the following:
- Child care license history
- Program budget and financial history
- Expenses funded by the City of Hamilton related to reconfiguration cannot be included in current or future operation budgets as amortization cost.
- Funding entitlement for the balance of the year will be reassessed.
- Any increases to a program will not be eligible for additional funding until the following calendar year.
- Any extra funding previously approved prior to program changes is to be returned to the City or to be used as otherwise deemed appropriate by the City.
Funding agreement defaults
The goal of the child care services management is to maintain funding agreements with child care programs. However, there may be occasions when an operator finds they are in default of their funding agreement. The following will explain what a potential default is and what action the City of Hamilton will take to fix it.
The following events shall constitute funding agreement defaults:
- Knowingly providing false or misleading information
- Breaching any material requirements of the Agreement
- Changes to operations which effect eligibility requirements
- Changes in ownership or centre closure
- Arrangement for the benefit of creditors is made
- An event of Force Majeure has continued for a period of 60 days or more
Child Care Services Management will work with programs to ensure that required standards are realized by providing the child care operator with an opportunity to fix the default. The City will inform the operator of the particulars of the default and provide a period of time in which to fix the situation.
If any of the above defaults have occurred the City may at any time take one or more of the following actions:
- Initiate any action necessary in order to facilitate the continuation or provision of services
- Suspend payment of funds
- Reduce amount of funds
- Demand repayment of funds
- Terminate agreement
Termination of the Funding Agreement
Either party may terminate the funding agreement in whole or part with respect to the delivery of any particular service upon 90 days’ written notice to the other party. If the agreement is terminated in part, all obligations with respect to delivery of all other services continue in full force and effect.
Any decisions made by child care system support may be appealed by writing to the Director of Children’s and Home Management Services. The child care operator should specify the reasons why they do not agree with the decision. The Director will review the appeal and respond in writing within 10 days of receiving the written appeal.
Appeals are to be submitted to:
Child Care System Support Team
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The annual service contract review is used as a tool by the City of Hamilton to determine child care fee subsidy per diems, maintain accurate records in the Ontario Child Care Management System (OCCMS) and to ensure that operators are meeting their annual contractual obligations with the City of Hamilton. The annual service contract review is required annually and must be accompanied by the appropriate financial statement.
- The annual service contract is to be submitted within four months of an organization’s fiscal year end along with required financial statements.
- For operators submitting their annual service contract review package between January to June approved increased will be effective July 1st.
- For operators submitting their annual service contact review package between July to December approved increased will be effective January 1st of the following year.
Reporting changes to program
Prior to making any program changes, operators are to consult and receive written approval from the City.
The following is to be submitted prior to per diem rates being approved for program changes:
- Copy of license or confirmation from the ministry
- Details regarding the new program (start date, operating capacity, rate, hours of operation, location)
- How program will be integrated into existing program
- Demonstrated need/demand for the program at your location
- Annual service contract review outlining per diem rates for new program and projected expenses and revenue with the added program into your budget
The annual service contract review package is to be submitted along with:
- Service Providers who receive the following in general operating funding for wages:
- $100,000 or more are required to submit audited financial statements that include third party special purpose report
- between $30,000 to $99,999 are required to submit either a review engagement or audited financial statements and include third party special purpose report
- less than $30,000 are required to submit financial statements signed by board chair or agency authorized signee/owner
- Organizations with a Board of Directors are also required to submit the board approved budget for the next fiscal year
- Must maintain valid license from Ministry
- Provide verification of Insurance with minimum $2 million per occurrence for liability coverage and aggregate limit of $4 million. The City of Hamilton must be indicated as additional insured.
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