Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care

The 2024-2025 CWELCC Enrollment Application process is now available for organizations planning to open new licensed infant, toddler and preschool spaces in Waterloo Region. To request an application please fill out the form.

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

The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) agreement supports a high-quality, affordable, accessible and inclusive licensed child care system. CWELCC will reduce the cost of child care 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 CWELCC the Region of Waterloo will add 3,725 new licensed child care spaces for children 0-5 years by 2026. New CWELCC spaces will be located in priority neighbourhoods and support families who need affordable child care the most, including families that are experiencing low income or that are underserved in our licensed child care system. 

 CWELCC Information for Families

OneList Waterloo Region is where families can apply online for all licensed care in Waterloo Region, including programs participating in CWELCC. You can find a CWELCC-participating program by using the filter in OneList. 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 automatically reduced by up to 52.75% of the original fee. No application is needed for this reduction. Further fee reductions will apply after they are confirmed  by the Ministry of Education.

Not all licensed child care programs are participating in CWELCC. If a licensed child care 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 program . Camps and recreation programs serving children 6 to 12 years of age are ineligible to participate in CWELCC.

 CWELCC Information for Current Operators

For child care operators that are currently enrolled in CWELCC in Waterloo Region, detailed information regarding current funding and policies is available on the Children’s Services Operator Portal. Please contact CHSadmin@regionofwaterloo.ca if you have difficulty accessing the Portal or have any questions. 

 CWELCC Enrollment and Directed Growth
As the Service System Manager, Region of Waterloo Children’s Services is responsible for implementing an application and approval process to determine which new licensed child care spaces will be eligible for CWELCC participation.

Region of Waterloo has 3,725 new CWELCC licensed child care spaces to create by 2026. Through a directed growth approach, approved by Region of Waterloo Council (CSD-CHS-23-001, CSD-CHS-23-002) new affordable child care spaces will be created in communities that need them most. Children’s Services has identified thirteen Priority Areas for new CWELCC community-based spaces. These areas were selected because they have low access to licensed child care spaces and a high proportion of low-income families.

As a part of the CWELCC agreement, Waterloo Region is required to maintain a ratio of 85% not-for-profit spaces to 15% for profit spaces.

The 2024-2025 CWELCC Enrollment Application is now available for organizations planning to open new centre based licensed infant, toddler and preschool spaces in Waterloo Region. To request an application, please fill out the form. Applications are due April 22, 2024.

If you are an existing child care operator considering a licence revision, please contact Children’s Services (CHSadmin@regionofwaterloo.ca) when you are in the early stages of planning to discuss eligibility for CWELCC. Some licence revisions may require an application through the 2024-2025 CWELCC Enrollment process.

Processes for 2026 CWELCC Enrollment are expected to be shared in 2025. 

For more information, please contact CHSadmin@regionofwaterloo.ca. 

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