Early Years and Child Care Services

Child Care Affordability Plan

Emergency Child Care for Health Care & Other Frontline Workers

The City of Hamilton has partnered with our three licensed home child care agencies to offer emergency licensed home child care to health care and other essential frontline workers during the pandemic free of charge. Eligible workers include those working in health care, police, fire, paramedics, Public Health, long-term care, HSR and correctional officers. To be eligible, families must either live or work in Hamilton.

Full list of workers eligible for Emergency Child Care

  • An individual who is,
    • a regulated health care professional, or
    • an unregulated health care provider working in health care delivery, either directly or indirectly.
  • A police officer as defined in the Police Services Act.
  • A member of a police force other than a police officer as defined in the Police Services Act.
  • An individual employed as a firefighter as defined in section 1 of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
  • An individual who is,
    • engaged in providing fire protection services as defined under section 1 of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, and
    • employed in a fire department as defined under section 1 of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
  • A paramedic as defined in the Ambulance Act.
  • A coroner as defined in the Coroners Act.
  • A worker in a correctional institution as defined in the Ministry of Correctional Services Act.
  • An individual employed in the Institutional Services Division of the Ministry of the Solicitor General, including a person employed in a correctional institution as defined in section 1 of the Ministry of Correctional Services Act.
  • An employee of Compass Group Canada Ltd. who works at or provides services in relation to the Cook Chill Food Production Centre.
  • An individual employed in the Ministry of the Solicitor General who performs one or more of the following functions for the Institutional Services Division or Community Services Division:
    • Performing electronic monitoring services.
    • Performing CPIC searches.
    • Preparing community supervision orders.
  • An animal welfare inspector appointed pursuant to the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019.
  • An individual employed in the operation of,
    • a place of secure custody designated under section 24.1 of the Young Offenders Act (Canada), whether in accordance with section 88 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) or otherwise, or
    • a place of secure temporary detention as defined in subsection 2 (1) of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017.
  • Persons employed in the Direct Operated Facilities Branch of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
  • An individual who performs work that is essential to the delivery of core services in a municipality or First Nation community, as determined by the municipality or First Nation. In Hamilton this includes:
    • individuals working in essential Public Health positions,
    • individuals working in essential City Contact Centre positions,
    • individuals providing essential Hamilton Water operations including drinking water, wastewater collection and treatment, and stormwater management,
    • individuals providing essential HSR service,
    • individuals providing essential services at Wentworth and Macassa Lodges, and
    • individuals supporting the Emergency Operations Centre, including individuals working in the Emergency Shelter System.
  • An individual who performs work of a critical nature in their service area or community, as determined by the Minister of Education or his delegate in consultation with the relevant service system manager or First Nation as those terms are defined under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
  • An individual who works in a child care centre authorized to operate pursuant to this Order.

The three agencies are Today's Family, Wee Watch Golfwood, and Wee Watch Galbraith. All agencies have providers who will provide child care in their homes to accommodate 12 hour shifts for children of staff aged 12 months to 12 years of age.  

All three agencies are required to have pandemic plans in place and are working closely with Public Health to mitigate possible exposure to COVID-19. These agencies have implemented these strategies:

  • Children and staff who are ill with fever and/or infectious respiratory symptoms are required to stay home
  • The consistent practice of good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene
  • Enhanced environmental cleaning of the facility
  • Families who have recently traveled out of province are required to stay home from child care for 14 days to ensure they are not ill

Spaces are limited and the enrollment process is streamlined to ease access for these essential workers. Eligible families are to identify themselves as essential health care or frontline staff when they contact the agencies.

For more information on how to access this service, contact:

Based on the advice of Public Health, the safest place for children during this time is to remain at home and adhere to physical distancing recommendations. Emergency child care services are reserved exclusively for children of eligible essential workers who have no other alternatives.

Licensed child care just got more affordable in Hamilton. The Child Care Affordability Plan is an initiative of the City of Hamilton funded by the Provincial Government to reduce the cost of child care for families.  

This initiative will reduce the rates for children 0-4 years of age (until eligible to start JK) to attend licensed centre based child care for a full day by $10 per day. The intent of this initiative is to reduce the cost of child care for families that do not qualify for child care fee subsidy. Families eligible for child care fee subsidy will continue to pay child care fees based on their income.

Ongoing sustainability of this initiative will be dependent on the Ministry of Education’s funding to the City of Hamilton. Therefore families should be aware that the reduction in child care rates will be discontinued at the end of this initiative. Child care centres will be provided reasonable notice of when the initiative will end so that families can be informed and plan accordingly. Currently this initiative has been extended to June 30, 2020.

How do I know if my child care centre qualifies?

  • Licensed centre based child care centres are eligible for child care spaces for children 0-4 years
  • The child care centre must have a funding agreement and Schedule “A” with the City of Hamilton;
  • The child care centre must operate a minimum of nine hours per day;
  • Families must sign a funding acknowledgement letter with their child care centre.

For more information speak to your child care centre.