Early Years and Child Care Services

Resources for Early Years Community Partners

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.

Resources developed for early years staff and community partners.

2016-2020 Early Years Community Plan

Outlines the strategic priorities & recommended goals for the Hamilton Early Years system over the next 5 years.

The Hamilton Early Years Community Plan (EYCP) 2016–2020 builds on a decade of collective leadership in planning and implementing a comprehensive system of services and supports for children and families.

Executive Summary for the 2016-2020 Early Years Community Plan (PDF, 1 MB)

Significant progress has been made towards achieving the goals set in the last Early Years Community Plan (EYCP) 2012-2015 (PDF, 857 KB), and the EYCP 2016-2020 builds on this strong foundation. The Hamilton EYCP 2016-2020 provides the community with the opportunity to see the  achievements and progress made in the last EYCP (2012-2015) and how we are moving forward by designing an integrated system that can effectively respond to the changing landscape and priorities of the early years programs and services.

The 2016-2020 Early Years Community Plan reflects the:

Hamilton’s Parent Charters of Rights

The Charters are not only about supporting the City of Hamilton’s vision to be the best place to raise a child and age successfully, but also about making Hamilton the best place to be a child.

Hamilton Parent Charter of Rights

The Hamilton Early Years system is about supporting parents and families to provide children with the best possible opportunities early in their lives. Parents are the first, most important and most lasting teachers in a child’s life.

In 2010, a Hamilton Parent Charter of Rights was created. The Charter:

  • sets out shared principles and beliefs for providers to guide them around planning and delivering services that make parents feel valued, respected, and supported in their roles at each stage of their children’s lives
  • reflects the voice of the community, developed through extensive public consultation and feedback
  • provides a strong foundation for the future of families, service providers, and organizations that serve parents in Hamilton

Hamilton Parent Charter - English/French (PDF, 1 MB)
Hamilton Parent Charter - Spanish (PDF, 329 KB)
Hamilton Parent Charter - Chinese (PDF, 461 KB)
Hamilton Parent Charter - Arabic (PDF, 1 MB)

Hamilton Charter of Rights of Children and Youth

The Hamilton Early Years system supports the belief that all children and youth have rights. The Hamilton Charter of Rights of Children and Youth was created with the input of over 2000 children and youth from Hamilton, in their words, through extensive community engagement. Participatory responsibilities were added to open conversations between adults and children.

The Charter was released in 2015. A tour of the children’s artwork and celebrations of the charter occurred throughout the City of Hamilton with the hope of engaging the community in discussions about rights and building awareness.

The Charter is not only about making Hamilton the best place to raise a child, but also about making Hamilton the best place to be a child.

Charter Booklet - English (PDF, 35  MB)
Charter Booklet - French (PDF, 35 MB)
Charter Poster - English (PDF, 4 MB)
Charter Poster - French (PDF, 4 MB)

Pathway to Connect for the Early Years

Key access points to services for families and their children.

The Pathway to Connect (PDF, 1 MB) showcases key access points to services for families and their children. The pathway provides information on both universal and specialized services.

Financial Supports Catalogue

Financial resources available to help low-income families

The Basic Needs Financial Supports Catalogue (PDF, 4.6 MB) offers a variety of information about benefits, tax credits and programs which provide some form of financial assistance to those who need it.

Intended to provide a collection of financial resources to help low-income families access and apply for local, provincial and federal income support, this catalogue enables families to take advantage of programs that have been established to be a great benefit to them.

Contact us

To order printed copies of these resources, contact:
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 3010
Email: [email protected]