Finding child care information

Browse creative ideas to help parents find child care information in their community.

ABC children blocks

The problem

Finding reliable information about available child care is a challenge for Ontario families. We recognize that:

  • demand for child care, particularly for children under four years of age, is higher than the number of licensed child care spots available
  • parents in Ontario struggle to access affordable child care
  • some families may not know about the financial supports available to help them pay for licensed child care

We believe that Ontarians should be able to choose from a range of high-quality child care programs that work best for their family at a reasonable cost.

We want to give Ontario’s children the best possible start in life. Although we’ve removed wait list fees, expanded before and after school programming for 6-12 year olds, and committed to helping 100,000 more children, aged 0-4, access affordable, quality licensed child care over the next five years, what new solutions or tools could we put in place to help parents find child care information more easily?

Who we're trying to help

We want to help parents and families:

  • understand the benefits of child care programs
  • find information about child care services, including:
    • how they can apply for fee subsidies
    • what is available in their local communities so they can make informed decisions that meet their child/children’s needs
    • inspection and violation information on child care providers

What we’re doing/have done

More money in the child care system

Over the next five years, we’ve committed:

  • to help 100,000 more children, aged 0-4, access licensed child care
  • to spending $1.6 billion dollars to support the creation of 45,000 new spaces in schools, and communities

Telephone help desk

We have two help desks that parents and child care operators can call if they have questions about licensed or unlicensed child (opens in a new window) care in Ontario. You can, for example:

  • find a list of child care locations and operators near you
  • learn how to become a licensed child care provider
  • report a complaint about a child care provider
  • ask any other questions you might have

Online resources

We have a number of online tools, including a:

We have also information online about:

Talking to families

In Fall 2016 and Winter 2017, we went out across Ontario to get feedback on the child care and early years system (opens in a new window). We spoke to families, child care providers and other key partners to learn more about the challenges of finding child care and ways to transform the child care system.

This feedback was used to create our 7 point plan to modernize the child care system (opens in a new window).

We’ve updated legislation

On August 31, 2015, the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (opens in a new window), came into force.

This legislation supports the health, safety and well-being of the province’s children and sets the rules child care operates must follow, such as:

  • staffing and group sizes
  • nutrition
  • any health and medical issues (for example, allergies)

Learn more

Visit the Ministry of Education website (opens in a new window) to learn more about child care in Ontario.

78 ideas submitted to Childcare


Helping working families & energize the economy

I think there is some savings that could be had with publicly run, non-for-profit childcare/daycare for working families in the lower to mid income bracket, paid through a few possible devices or a combination of: raising taxes on large corporatio

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Created on October 31, 2017 by hatorihanzoe.

Consistent Delivery of Childcare Information Across Ontario (OneList).

The Region of Waterloo (and a few other cities), offer a online centralized childcare registry and information service that simplifies the process of applying for child care called "OneList".

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Created on October 31, 2017 by Heather12345.  1 comment

stop immigration

Pay Ontario ladies that where born in Canada not from and immigrant family that has come to Canada in the last five years $5,000 to $10,000 every time they have a child on the birth day this will increase population in stead of using immigration

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Created on November 3, 2017 by tar77.

Board Of Special Education Online

I think an online BOARD OF SPECIAL EDUCATION is possible, i have an idea but im not going to give it away for free because yours already so far behind Literally and Liberally, once you think im on to something PLEASE feel free to ask me yourself r

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Created on October 28, 2017 by Csorbz.

Benefits for all families

Childcare is expensive and access to good quality childcare is hard to find. Many families need to spend almost more money than they bring in to cover the costs of childcare.

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Created on October 25, 2017 by Anonymous 1.

Open all data about child care locations, violations, etc

Child care locations, violations and other information is made available on the web, but the data itself is locked up and can only be accessed through that web interface.

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Created on November 1, 2017 by p.  1 comment


Todays families are more disconnected because of distance. Other families are separated/isolated or it’s due to divorce, and or death and heath related issues.

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Created on October 20, 2017 by ConnectingSeniors2Community.

Capping maximum daycare and before and aftercare fees

The cost of both daycare and before/aftercare is insane in Toronto. The minimum wage and caregiver to child ratio in Ontario is the same everywhere, yet an infant spot in Toronto is currently going for $2,200 per month vs.

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Created on October 27, 2017 by Julia Pt.

Make a public list of UNLICENSED daycares if you honestly want to help families find childcare

Make all childcare options accessible to parents. There is no benefit of only pushing licensed daycare if those daycares sre completely full. Allow a list of ALL opportunities.

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Created on October 26, 2017 by NicoleNicole.  2 comments

Grants for Licensed Home Care

There should be a grant for licensed home care providers, who have the required ECE diploma or related experience/education, to allow them to provide quality affordable child care to families.

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Created on November 3, 2017 by melissag.