Operating a Child Care Business

For information and operational guidance during COVID-19, read the Ministry of Education’s Operational Guidance for Child Care During COVID-19 Outbreak. Child care centres should continue to monitor for new guidance from the Ministry of Education or Ministry of Health.

If you would like to open or purchase a licensed child care centre or run a licensed child care program out of your home, the Region of Waterloo can help you get started. We also provide funding to help home child care agencies and child care centres support and retain staff.

Operating a child care centre

Know the requirements and regulations
The Ministry of Education  licenses and monitors early learning and child care in Ontario.  To apply for and maintain a licence, you must follow the requirements and regulations under the Child Care and Early Years Act.  If you plan to build or renovate a child care centre, you will need to follow the Ministry's planning and design guidelines.  
Deciding where to locate
To see where existing licensed early learning and child care centres are in Waterloo Region, check out the interactive map on the Child Wellbeing Dashboard

Funding and service contract 

As outlined the in the Early Years and Child Care Service System Plan, expanding the number of high quality licensed child care spaces in Waterloo Region is a high priority for the Region of Waterloo.

Children's Services invites any licensed child care operator in Waterloo Region to contact CHSAdmin@regionofwaterloo.ca to learn more about funding and service contracts, including opting into the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Plan (CWELCC).

If you have any questions, please contact CHSAdmin@regionofwaterloo.ca.


Operating home child care

As a caregiver, who would I work for? 

Home child care agencies are licensed by the Ministry of Education to contract with people who wish to provide child care in their home (known as caregivers).  Caregivers are self-employed business owners who receive support from the agencies' Early Childhood Educators. 

We provide support and monitor compliance

Licensed home child care agencies monitor caregivers' homes to ensure they comply with provincial regulations in the Child Care and Early Years Act (2014).  These agencies:

  • Meet with you monthly in your home while you are providing care;
  • Refer families to your home child care;
  • Help you connect with other providers;
  • Provide training and workshops; and
  • Work with you, families, and community agencies to include children with special needs.

How to become a caregiver 

If you would like to become a licensed caregiver in Waterloo Region, contact one of these home child care agencies to get started:  

Funding for licensed staff and home child caregivers

 Wage enhancements

If you are a licensed child care centre or home child care agency, you can apply for wage enhancement funding. Please contact Children's Services for more information at CHSFunding@regionofwaterloo.ca

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