Help Paying for Child Care

Without help to pay for it, many families cannot afford quality child care. The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) program and the Region of Waterloo's Child Care Subsidy program helps parents pay for care, so they can go to work or school knowing their children are well cared for. 

Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Program

The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) program lowers child care costs for children under the age of six at participating child care programs. No application is needed for this reduction.

OneList Waterloo Region is where families can apply online for all licensed care in Waterloo Region. A filter has been added to OneList to allow you to search for programs that are participating in CWELCC.

Child Care Subsidy

In addition to reduced fees through the CWELCC program, some families are also eligible for further financial support to help pay for child care.  Parents can apply for Child Care Subsidy up to 16 weeks before a child requires care.

Who is eligible
You may be eligible if you live in Waterloo Region and
  • Your child is 12 years old or younger
  • You are the parent or legal guardian
  • You are working, going to school or have a child with special needs
  • Your income meets the requirements
  • You receive benefits through the Ontario Works (OW) program including Temporary Care Assistance or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

Complete the online calculator to find out if you might be eligible and how much you may qualify for.

How to apply

Before you start your application, check out the calculator to see if you may qualify.


You may apply for Child Care Subsidy 16 weeks before care start date. If you apply too early, you may need to apply again closer to your child's start date. Looking for a child care space? Explore the options and apply online.


You will need to submit the following documents when you apply: 

To verify your income

  • All pages of your most recent Federal Notice of Assessment Form (NOA) or Reassessment Form plus verification of Universal Child Care Benefit payments; or
  • Most recent Canada Child Tax Benefit Notice (CCTB); or 
  • Ontario Child Benefit Notice (OCB).

To verify your employment

  • Six weeks worth of paystubs, and a copy of six week’s work schedules; or

  • For new employment, a letter from the employer on letterhead that shows the start date of employment and the days and hours of work.

To verify the birthdates of all family members

  • Birth certificate/statement of live birth, passport, certificate of adoption, citizenship card, driver’s license
  • If born outside of Canada, you can provide a Permanent Resident Card, Canadian Citizenship Card, or immigration documents with the date of arrival for all family members.

To verify your address

  • Mortgage statement; or
  • Property tax statement; or
  • Lease agreement; or
  • Rent receipt with address on the receipt; or
  • Letter from landlord; or
  • Driver’s license.

Other documents

  • If applicable, a copy of your divorce or separation agreement or court order.

Apply for subsidy

Appeal a decision
If you disagree with a decision that's been made about your Child Care Subsidy eligibility or payment, you can request a review by an impartial third party. This applies to the following: 
  • You apply and are determined to be ineligible; or
  • Your subsidy payments are lowered or cancelled.
To request a review, call 519-575-4400 or you can complete the Internal Review Form.

Did you know? You can claim the Ontario Childcare Tax Credit to help cover the cost of child care and camps.

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