Child Care FAQs

Who can apply for Child Care Fee Subsidy? 

To qualify for Child Care subsidy in Elgin county you must be a resident of Elgin County, have legal status in Canada, both parents or the single parent must be working, self employed or going to school during the hours when your child would be in Child Care and be in financial need as determined by the most recent Income Tax Federal Notice of Assessment. If your child has diagnosed special needs, you may also qualify. You will also be considered to be in financial need if you are eligible for social assistance. 

Working Parents: Generally, Child care fee assistance is available for those days/hours that you are working.  

Students: Students must be attending school or a recognized training program on a regular basis. Child Care is available for those days/hours that you are attending classes.  

Self Employed Parents: Parents who are self employed must be actively engaged in a registered business, full time and claim business expenses against income. Documentation is required including BN number. 


How do I apply for Child Care Fee Subsidy? 

It is the responsibility of the parent to choose a child care program for your child from the listing of licensed child care providers and programs in Elgin County. 

It is a good idea to plan and visit several programs to review the program, meet the staff and secure a space at the Child Care Program you decide upon. The next step is to call the Child Care Subsidy office for an appointment to apply for a Child Care Fee Subsidy. When you call the office you will speak with a Child Care Assessment worker who will schedule an appointment with you. During the appointment the Child Care assessment worker will determine whether you qualify for a subsidy. Each parent’s need for Child Care varies as determined by hours of work, school attendance, and other factors. 

To apply, please call the St. Thomas-Elgin Ontario Works Department Intake Line at:  519-631-9350 or 1-800-265-4362 and select OPTION 3 (Apply for Assistance). Parents are seen by appointment only.


How much will I pay for child care? 

Effective January 1, 2007, the amount that you pay for child care is calculated using the information on Line 236 on your Notice of Assessment/Reassessment or if you receive the Universal Child Care Benefit, the Family Income shown on your Canada Child Tax Benefit Statement for the most recent tax year. 

You must file an income tax return each year to qualify for continual child care service and you must pay your assessed parental fee directly to the child care program or agency. 


What papers will I need to bring?

When you contact the child care subsidy office for a subsidy appointment, you will be advised of the documentation requirements. The most recent Federal Notice of Assessment (NOA) is mandatory for the subsidy review. 

Generally you will need to bring Identification - such as drivers license with current address, birth certificates as well as proof of hours of work – pay stubs or a letter from the employer stating hours of work -  verification of address, Business Income statements, registered Business Number if you're self-employed and school registration along with time schedules for students are examples for some of the papers you may need. When you call to make your appointment, you will be given the list of documents that you need to bring in. 

Please keep in mind that this list is only a guide to help you get ready for your interview. You may not need all of these or you may be asked to bring in other documents as well. Documents are required for all members of the family including the children.


How do I choose a quality child care centre? 

In Ontario, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) licensed Child Care centres. The standards set under the Day Nurseries Act address such things as health, safety and developmental needs, staff/child ratios, physical environment such as outdoor and indoor space, bathrooms, etc. It also specifies staff qualifications and supervision, however the standards are minimum and do not address all aspects of a quality program. 

It is important for parents to take time to visit and review the setting in which they place their child to be sure it meets their needs and specific concerns. 


What is “Raising the Bar” on Quality in Child Care? 

Raising the Bar on Quality in Child Care is a voluntary peer reviewed accreditation program for licensed childcare centres. Childcare centres that participate do so on an annual basis. Each year they complete a complex review of their entire childcare program and strive to meet the highest standards and the best practices in the field of Early Learning and Care. Centres who participate and meet these quality standards receive recognition through accreditation and will have the accreditation displayed.  


What must I do to keep my subsidy? 

You must contact your Child Care assessment worker when there are changes in your situation, including marital status, address, family size, employment, schooling or Ontario Works activity. In some cases, you will need an in-person eligibility review to find out if these changes affect your ongoing eligibility for subsidized child care or if there will be a change in your assessed child care fee. 

If you no longer need child care or you leave the child care centre for another centre, you must notify us two weeks in advance. It is important to let the child care centre know two weeks in advance as well, if you no longer need child care from them. If the two weeks termination notice is not given you will be responsible for the full cost of the child care fees. 

There may also be times when we need additional information from you to confirm your ongoing eligibility. Make sure you respond to all letters and submit information by the deadline date so that you do not lose your subsidy. If you have questions about any correspondence that you receive, contact your Child Care Assessment worker immediately 

Remember, failure to report changes is an offence and may result in suspension of your child care fee subsidy.


What can I do if I disagree with a decision? 

Your Child Care Assessment Worker can help you with most of your concerns however; if you disagree with a decision in regard to child care subsidy you have the right to appeal. You must submit a letter to your Child Care Assessment Worker, stating the reason for the appeal and any extenuating circumstances. The Appeal will be reviewed and you will be advised of the decision. You will be informed of the internal review and appeals process at application.


How can I get more information about licensed child care in Ontario? 

The Province of Ontario has launched a website to help parents make informed decisions about childcare. 

A search tool allows parents to search for childcare by city, postal code, and type of program, age group, program name, operator name or language of service delivery. The site also provides the status of the licence of any licensed program parents might be considering or about which they might be concerned.  The ministry will enhance the site in the future, with additional resources for parents.