Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care

Overview of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) Plan

On March 28, 2022, Ontario reached a $13.2 billion agreement with the federal government on funding for the Canada Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) program. The new program will lower child care costs to an average of $10 per day by 2025/26 and improve access and quality across Ontario’s child care and early years sector. As part of the implementation of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system, an additional 53,000 licensed child care spaces will be added in Ontario between late 2022 to 2026.

Children's Services is excited to announce, as of November 1, 2022 that 98% of licensed child care centres and 100% of licensed home child care agencies have applied to opt-in to CWELCC in Waterloo Region!

For Families

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. When new CWELCC programs become available, they will be added to OneList.

If you have a child under the age of six who is currently enrolled in a CWELCC program, your fees may be reduced by up to 52.75% of the original fee for eligible children under the age of six. No application is needed for this reduction.

Not all licensed child care programs are participating in CWELCC. If a licensed program is not part of the CWELCC program, families will continue to pay the full cost of child care services as determined by the child care provider.

For Child Care Operators

All new licences and revisions to licences require consultation with Region of Waterloo, Children’s Services (as service system manager). Children’s Services will advise whether the new licence/ licence revision will be eligible for CWELCC participation. Due to limited funding, there is no guarantee of CWELCC funding for the majority of community-based expansions opening between 2023-2026.

If you are considering program changes or a new licence, please contact Children’s Services ( when you are in the early stages of planning to discuss eligibility for CWELCC.

Moving forward, CWELCC growth will be targeted to ensure new spaces support families who most need affordable child care. The Region of Waterloo has determined thirteen priority areas for targeted growth of new child care centres. These priority areas went forward and were approved by Regional Council on April 19, 2023. In addition, an update regarding child care growth went forward to Council on August 15, 2023.  Below are links to an interactive map of the thirteen priority areas for child care growth, the Council Reports, and the appendix that provides more details about the priority areas.  

Council Reports:

For more information, please contact


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