Early Years and Child Care Services

Resources for Early Years Community Partners

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.

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]