Early Years and Child Care Services

Apply for Financial Support for Child Care

Emergency child care for designated essential service workers

As Ontario schools are closed for in-person learning following the April break as part of the Ontario Government broader efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Education and the City of Hamilton is providing targeted free emergency child care for the school aged children of designated essential service workers effective April 19, 2021.

During this period, emergency child care services is available for designated essential workers as defined by the Provincial eligibility requirements, who are not able to accommodate their school-aged child’s learning or care at home.

Emergency child care is being provided by the three licensed home child care agencies in Hamilton. For more information on accessing this care, please contact one of these agencies:

Licensed child care programs, including licensed centre based, home childcare care and child care located in schools, for children aged 0 to 3.8 years will continue during this period.

  • Health care workers, including but not limited to doctors, nurses, health care providers and those who work in long-term care and retirement homes, as well as individuals who manufacture or distribute medical/pharmaceutical supplies
  • Individuals performing work in relation to the administration, distribution or manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines
  • Child care workers, including those staffing the emergency child care programs
  • Grocery store and pharmacy workers
  • Public safety (police, fire, paramedics, provincial inspection/enforcement), justice/court and correctional system workers
  • Frontline staff in Children's Aid Societies and residential services
  • Individuals working in developmental services, violence against women services, victims' services, anti-human trafficking and those engaged in interpreting or intervenor services for persons who are deaf or deaf-blind
  • Individuals working in a homeless shelter or providing services to homeless persons
  • Food safety inspectors and individuals working in the processing, manufacturing or distribution of food and beverages
  • OPS staff employed in Radiation Protection Services
  • OPS staff performing critical tasks related to environmental monitoring, reporting and laboratory services
  • Certain federal employees, including RCMP, Canada Border Services, Canadian Armed Forces and Canada Post
  • Power workers
  • Non-municipal water and wastewater workers
  • Workers involved in the collecting, transporting, storing, processing, disposing or recycling of any type of waste.
  • Education staff who are required to attend schools to provide in-person instruction and support to students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning
  • Employees of a hotel or motel that is acting as an isolation centre, health care centre, vaccine clinic or housing essential workers.
  • Truck drivers and transit workers
  • Construction workers
  • Any individual whose child was registered in an emergency child care program delivered by a Consolidated Municipal Service Manager or District Social Service Administration Board during the time period beginning on April 6, 2021 and ending on April 16, 2021.

Families can apply for financial support for child care costs for children ages 0 to12 years. Depending on your circumstances, you may be put onto a wait list. Wait times will vary depending on your priority and funding availability. Learn more about the wait list.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility is based on income and reasons for needing child care. 

You must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Live in Hamilton, be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, Refugee, or have a valid Work Permit.
  • Working or attending school a minimum of 20 hours/week
  • Participating in an approved employment assistance activity through Ontario Works
  • Received approval through the child care referral process

A family is no longer eligible when any of the following occur:

  • No longer financially qualify
  • No longer have an approved reason to need child care (i.e. no longer in school, employment ended, child care referral ends)
  • Child(ren) turn 13 years of age
  • Move out of the Hamilton (subsidy is not transferable)

Child care subsidy calculator

Use the Child Care Subsidy Calculator to verify if you qualify and to see an estimate of the total monthly amount your family would pay for all children to attend licensed child care.

How to apply

Complete the Online Application Form to apply for Child Care Subsidy. To qualify for subsidy, your child care provider must have a contract with the City of Hamilton. Review the list of approved child care providers below. All applicants must require child care within the next three months to be eligible to submit an application.


  • Ancaster Little Gems Children's Centre
  • Ancaster Meadow Children's Centre
  • Ancaster Small Fry Co -op Pre-School
  • Annunciation of Our Lord B&A School Program
  • Awesome Beginnings Co-op Nursery School Inc.


  • Balaclava
  • Bellmoore
  • Blessed Sacrament Before and After School Program
  • Blossoms Child Care Centre Inc.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton - Prince of Wales
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton - Strathcona Site
  • Boys and Girls of Hamilton - Parkdale Site
  • BrightPath LEAP
  • BrightPath Waterdown


  • Canadian Martyrs Before and After School Program
  • Cathedral Children's Centre
  • Cathy Wever
  • Central Day Care
  • Childventures Early Learning Academy
  • City of Hamilton Recreation- Bernie Morelli
  • City of Hamilton Recreation- D. A. Riverdale Community Centre
  • City of Hamilton Recreation- Dundas Memorial Community Centre
  • City of Hamilton Recreation- Valley Park Community Centre
  • City of Hamilton Recreation- Westmount Recreation Centre
  • City of Hamilton Recreation-Ancaster Rotary Centre
  • City of Hamilton Recreation-Huntington Park Recreation Centre
  • City of Hamilton Recreation-Ryerson Community Centre
  • City of Hamilton Recreation-Sir Allan MacNab Community Centre
  • City of Hamilton Recreation-Winona Community Centre
  • Cornerstone Preschool
  • Corpus Christi Before and After School Program


  • Dundas Central Children's Centre
  • Dundas Valley Co-op Preschool
  • Dundas Valley Montessori School


  • Elizabeth Bagshaw
  • East End Scholars


  • Fan-Tastic Scholars Child Learning Centre
  • Farmer's Dell Co-operative Preschool
  • First Class Children's Centre
  • Flamborough Family  YMCA Child Care Centre


  • Garside Day Care Centre
  • Gatestone Children's Centre
  • Glen Echo Children's Centre
  • Gordon Price Children's Centre
  • Guardian Angels Before and After School Program


  • Hamilton Downtown YMCA Child Care Centre
  • Hamilton Early Learning Centre
  • ​Hamilton East Kiwanis - Boys and Girls Club ELCC
  • Hamilton East Kiwanis - Parkdale Site
  • Hamilton East Kiwanis - Prince of Wales
  • Hamilton East Kiwanis - Queen Mary Site
  • Hamilton East Kiwanis - Strathcona Site
  • Hamilton East Kiwanis - Viscount Montgomery
  • Hamilton Hebrew Academy
  • Helen Detwiler Children's Centre
  • Heritage Green Child Care
  • Heritage Green Mount Albion
  • Heritage Green St. James
  • Heritage Green Tapleytown
  • Hillcrest Children's Centre
  • Holy Name of Jesus Early Learning and Care Centre
  • Holy Name of Mary Before and After School Program


  • Imagineer’s Early Learning Centre
  • Immaculate Conception Before and After School Program
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Early Learning & Child Care Centre
  • Infant Jesus Day Care Waterdown
  • Infant Jesus Kindergarten & Nursery


  • Jacks & Jills Co-op Preschool of Ancaster
  • James MacDonald Children's Centre
  • Jamesville Bennetto Community Care
  • Jamesville Children's Centre


  • Kids and Company Hamilton
  • Kinderseeds
  • Kindertown Child Care Centre


  • La Garderie le Petit Navire
  • Lawfield Children's Centre
  • Le Ballon Rouge de Hamilton
  • Les Chater YMCA Child Care Centre
  • Little Angels Infant & Toddler Centre
  • Little Learning House - Fennell
  • Little Learning House Child Care Centre - Locke St
  • Little Learning House Infant and Toddler Centre
  • Little Mountaineers Co-operative Preschool
  • Little Peoples Day Care Centre
  • Lucky Day Nursery


  • McMaster Children's Centre
  • McMaster Students Union Day Care Centre
  • Meadowlands Preschool Inc.
  • Memorial Children's Centre
  • Michaelle Jean
  • Millgrove Majors Children's Centre
  • Mother Goose Co-operative Preschool
  • Mount Hope
  • Mountain Nursery School
  • Mountain View (Stoney Creek)
  • Mountain YMCA Child Care Centre
  • Mountview Children's Centre


  • Niwasa Early Learning and Care Centre
  • Noah's Ark Children's Centre
  • Notre Dame YMCA Child Care


  • Our Lady of Hope
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Before & after School Program
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  • Our Lady of Peace Before and After School Program
  • Our Lady of the Assumption Before and After School Program


  • Paramount Family Centre
  • Parkside Daycare Inc.
  • Pavillon de la Jeunesse avant et apres l'ecole
  • Peter Pan Co-operative Pre-school
  • Pied Piper Co-operative Preschool
  • Pumpkin Patch Day Care Centre
  • Pumpkin Patch Infant Centre


  • Queensdale Children's Centre


  • Ray Lewis Children's Centre
  • Red Hill Family Centre
  • Regina Mundi Before & After School Program
  • Rosedale


  • Sacred Heart of Jesus Before and After School Program
  • Sir Isaac Brock
  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier Children's Centre
  • Sir William Osler YMCA Child Care Centre
  • Spencer Valley
  • St Ann - Ancaster Before & After
  • St Ann Early Learning and Care Centre
  • St Bernadette Early Learning and Care Centre
  • St David Early Learning and Care Centre
  • St Eugene Before and After School Program
  • St Francis Early Learning and Care Centre
  • St Vincent de Paul Children’s Centre
  • St. Clare of Assisi Before & After School Program
  • St. Gabriel Before & After School Program
  • St. James Co-operative Nursery School of Dundas
  • St. Joachim Children's Centre of Ancaster
  • St. John Paul II Before & After School Program
  • St. Joseph Before and After School Program
  • St. Kateri Tekakwitha Before and After School Program
  • St. Luke Before and After School Program
  • St. Margaret  Mary  Before and After School Program
  • St. Mark Before and After School Program
  • St. Martin of Tours Before/After School Program
  • St. Martin's Manor Early Learning Centre
  • St. Matthew Child And Family Centre
  • St. Matthew's Children's Centre
  • St. Michael Before and After School Program
  • St. Patrick Before and After School Program
  • St. Paul Before and After School Program
  • St. Peter's Children's Day Care Centre of Hamilton
  • St. Peter's Day Care Before & After School Program (Adelaide Hoodless)
  • St. Teresa of Avila Before and After School Program
  • St. Teresa of Calcutta School Aged Program
  • St. Therese of Lisieux Before and After School Program
  • St. Thomas More Children's Centre
  • St. Thomas Waterdown Before and After School Program
  • St. Timothy's YMCA Child Care Centre
  • Stoney Creek Child Care Centre Inc.
  • Stoney Creek Co-operative Pre-School
  • Stoney Creek YMCA Day Care Centre
  • Sts. Peter and Paul Before and After School Program
  • Sunshine Daycare
  • Sunshine & Rainbows Christian Day Care Centre


  • Tansley YMCA Child Care
  • Tapawingo Day Care
  • Temple Playhouse Enrichment School
  • Templemead Children's Centre
  • The Millgrove Children's Centre
  • The Millgrove Children’s Centre - Satellite
  • The Nesting Nook
  • Tiny Hoppers Early Learning Centre Stoney Creek Rymal
  • Tiny Hoppers Early Learning Centres Stoney Creek Paramount
  • Today's Family - CB Stirling
  • Today's Family - Franklin Road
  • Today's Family - George L. Armstrong
  • Today's Family - Saltfleet
  • Today's Family - St. Augustine's
  • Today's Family - Tiffany Hills
  • Today's Family -St Paul's Before and After School Program
  • Today's Family Children's Centre, Hamilton
  • Today's Family Licensed Home Child Care
  • Today's Family R L Hyslop Before and After School Program
  • Today's Family R.A. Ridell School Age Program
  • Today's Family-Huntington Park Before and After School Program


  • Village Children's Centre of Waterdown
  • Village Treehouse Childcare Inc.


  • Waterdown District Children's Centre
  • Waterdown District School Age - Guy Brown
  • Waterdown District School Age Program-Mary Hopkins
  • Wee Watch Child Care Galbraith
  • Wee Watch Child Care Golfwood
  • Wellington YMCA Child Care Centre
  • Wesley Child Care Centre
  • Wesley School Age Program - Dr. Davey School
  • Wesley School Age Program – Rockton School
  • Wesley School Age Program-Hess Street Site
  • Wesley School Age Program-Lake Avenue School
  • Westdale Co-operative Preschool
  • Winona Children's Centre
  • Winona Elementary School


  • YMCA  Queen Victoria
  • YMCA - Brant Child Care Centre
  • YMCA Camp - Southgate
  • YMCA Kindercare & SACC - A.M. Cunningham
  • YMCA Kindercare & SACC - Billy Green School
  • YMCA Kindercare & SACC - Janet Lee School
  • YMCA Kindercare & SACC - Richard Beasley
  • YMCA Kindercare & School Age - Holbrook
  • YMCA Kindercare &SACC - Norwood Park School
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - Allan A. Greenleaf
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - Cootes Paradise
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - Earl Kitchener School
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - Frank Panabaker North
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - Frank Panabaker South 
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - Highview
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - Pauline Johnson
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - Ridgemount
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - Rousseau School
  • YMCA School Aged Child Care - Spring Valley
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - W.H. Ballard
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - Westwood
  • YMCA School Age Child Care - Yorkview School
  • YMCA School Age Child Care- Chedoke
  • YWCA Child Care Centre - Hamilton Downtown (MacNab St)
  • YWCA Hamilton - Buchannan Park Before and After School Program
  • YWCA Hamilton - Central Before and After
  • YWCA Hamilton - Green Acres School Age Program
  • YWCA Hamilton - Memorial Site before/after
  • YWCA Hamilton - St. John Before and After School Program
  • YWCA Hamilton West Mountain Child Care Centre
  • YWCA Lisgar Before and After School Program

Next steps after applying

Applicants that are not subject to the waiting list will be contacted to submit required documentation and scheduled an intake appointment to verify their eligibility. Applicants subject to the wait list will be sent a letter confirming waitlist placement. You will be contacted when an opening for the program is available.

It is important to notify our office if you have a change in address or phone number so that we can reach you when an opening for the program is available.

1. Proof of your status in Canada for all family members (only required at initial appointment or if status changes)

  • Canadian birth certificate; or
  • Valid Canadian passport; or
  • Permanent resident card; or
  • Work Permit; or
  • Record of Landing; or
  • Refugee papers’ or
  • Letter from Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) verifying permanent resident status or application for status

2. Proof of your income (one of the following for all adults in the family)

  • Canada Child Benefit Notice
  • Current Federal Notice of Assessment
  • Ontario Child Benefit Notice
  • Families receiving Ontario Works/ODSP support do not need to verify income
  • Review the chart to confirm the tax year to submit: 
July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020 2018 Tax Year
July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 2019 Tax Year

3. Proof of the reason for needing child care (one of the following for all adults in the family)

  • One month of current paystubs or a letter from employer verifying hours working each week
  • Verification of school enrolment i.e. OSAP Assessment, class schedule, including confirmation of start and end dates
  • For self-employed applicants one of the following: Master Business License; OR Business Name Registration; OR Official document stating HST number; OR Certificate of Incorporation and your most recent Federal Notice of Assessment. All self-employed applicants must also complete a Self-Employment Questionnaire (PDF, 47 KB). One questionnaire is to be completed for each self-employed applicant.  If both applicants are working for the same business only one questionnaire is required.

4. Proof of your current address

  • Recent utility bill
  • Lease or mortgage papers
  • Letter received from recognized institution such as bank, credit card or school

5. Proof of custody arrangements (if applicable and only required at initial appointment or if/when custody changes)

  • Legal documentation, divorce papers, separation agreement, mediation report or other written agreement verifying custody arrangements

Due to high sensitivity of information and for your protection, we do not accept any documentation by e-mail in the form of attachments, scans or photos. Do not submit original documents. Copies of the following supporting documents must be faxed, mailed or hand delivered to the following address.

City of Hamilton
Child Care Subsidy Program
Mail: Lister Block, 6th Floor, PO Box 2040, Hamilton, ON, L8P 4Y5
Hand Deliver: Lister Block, 28 James St. N., 6th Floor, Hamilton, ON, L8R2K1
Fax: 905-546-3064
For new applicants submit to the Attention: Intake

Everyone has the right to appeal an eligibility decision. Appeals must be submitted in writing with any new information relevant to your situation. All appeal decisions will be sent by mail to your home address. Appeal Form (PDF, 128 KB)

Child Care Referral

If child care is required due to the special needs of your child or if you are unable to care for your child due to illness, disability or high-risk family situation then a child care referral is required.

Referrals end when a child is eligible to attend full day kindergarten. To request a child care referral package call 905-546-2424 ext. 7133 or email [email protected] with the name and fax number of your referring agent. The referral can be completed by one of the following approved professionals:

  • Family Physician
  • Pediatrician
  • Specialist
  • Shelters
  • Public Health
  • Resource Teachers
  • Children’s Aid Society Caseworkers
  • Speech and Language Pathologist

It is your responsibility to contact your referring agent to complete the referral. If approved you will be contacted by a Subsidy Eligibility worker to discuss next steps and if denied your referring agent will be notified.

Contact us

Phone: 905-546-4870
Fax: 905-546-3064
Email: [email protected]

Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday
8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Physical Address
Child Care Subsidy
Lister Block Building
28 James Street North, 6th Floor
Hamilton, Ontario L8R 2K1

Mailing Address
City of Hamilton
Healthy and Safe Communities
Child Care Subsidy
Lister Block Building, 6th Floor
P.O. Box 2040
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5