Early Years and Child Care Services

Finding Child Care

Emergency child care for designated essential service workers


As Ontario schools remain closed 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, 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.

The Hamilton Child Care Registry makes finding licensed child care providers simple. You can browse child care options by location and age group. You can also view details about a child care program, hours and type of care being offered.

Explore your child care options

To find child care near you, enter an address into the search box in the map.

Hamilton is a community rich in quality child care and families are encouraged to research child care choices as options vary. All licensed child care programs with a Funding Agreement with the City of Hamilton participate in Hamilton’s Early Years Quality Program.

Learn more about Hamilton's Early Years System and Quality Program

Licensed Child Care

Licensed child care is governed by the Child Care and Early Years Act. The Ministry of Education provides standards around health, safety and quality experiences for children. Licensed child care is regularly monitored and inspected to ensure they are following Ministry standards.

Learn more about the difference of Licensed Child Care

Licensed Centre-Based Child Care

Licensed Child Care Centres care for infants and toddlers, as well as pre-school and school-aged children. They include nursery schools, full-day care, extended hours care, and before and after school programs. Child care centres operate in a variety of locations including workplaces, community centres, schools and places of worship.

Ministry of Education staff inspects child care centres at least once a year to make sure the programs meet specific provincial standards for the health, safety and developmental needs of the children.

Benefits of Licensed Centre-Based Child Care

  • Staff are certified Early Childhood Educators
  • Promotes play based learning, physical and outdoor activity
  • Support early detection and intervention
  • Access to special needs resourcing
  • Supports smooth transitions to school
  • Links to other community programs and supports
  • Child Care Fee Subsidies available

Learn more about Licensed Centre-Based Child Care 

Licensed Home Child Care

Licensed home child care is provided in the home of a child care provider that is contracted with a licensed home child care agency. There are three licensed home child care agencies that have a Funding Agreement with the City of Hamilton. Home child care providers with a licensed home child care agency are supported by a home child care visitor with a background in Early Childhood Education (ECE) who meets Ministry of Education requirements.

Benefits of Licensed Home Child Care

  • Offers home-like environment
  • Flexible hours of care to meet families’ needs
  • Providing care for children 0-12 years
  • Small group size – up to six children
  • Conveniently located in a neighbourhood near you
  • Child care agency provides support, training and inspections of each home
  • Child Care fee subsidies available

Learn more about Licensed Home Child Care (PDF, 172.9 KB)

Considering Home Child Care?

Speak to a Child Care Agency

Today’s Family
Serving all of Hamilton
905-574-9344, ext. 112
[email protected]

Wee Watch Child Care Galbraith
Serving Stoney Creek, East Hamilton,
Hamilton Mountain, Binbrook & Grimsby
905-561-0008
[email protected]

Wee Watch Child Care Golfwood
Serving Hamilton, Ancaster & Dundas
905-574-5409
[email protected]

Red Hill Family Centre

Red Hill Family Centre is the City of Hamilton’s only municipally funded child care centre. Red Hill Family Centre is a fully inclusive family based child care centre for children 18 months-5 years.

Learn more about Red Hill Family Centre

Reduce your costs for child care

Financial support is available to eligible families who live in Hamilton and have child care costs for children ages 0 to 12 years. You can complete the Child Care Subsidy Calculator to confirm if you're eligible to apply.

Additional Resources