Children’s Services promotes access to high quality early learning, and provide child care and supports for families through a well-planned and managed system. Children’s Services helps Toronto’s families to find and access licensed child care, before and after school care and child and family programs, and help families with the cost of licensed child care and provide support for children with special needs who are enrolled in licensed child care.

Funding, resources and professional development are also offered to agencies to help deliver programs that are high quality, accessible and inclusive.

Children’s Services delivers the following services:

  • Child Care Delivery
  • Child Care System Management

Download the Children’s Services Budget Analyst Notes for detailed information on service levels, key initiatives, challenges and performance measures. You can also review budget highlights below.

Children’s Services promotes the vision that all families in Toronto benefit from a range of services that promote healthy child development and family well-being. Child care is a key lever to children’s health and development, child and family well-being, improving the economy, improving education rates, and addressing poverty.

Download the Children’s Services Program Map to better understand the services and activities Children’s Services deliver on behalf of the City.

Operating Budget

The total cost to deliver these services to Toronto residents is $657.4 million gross and $86.8 million net.


  • 4.5 per cent Budget increase over the 2018 Approved Net Operating Budget to maintain existing service levels and meet additional service demands.
  • $3.738M New/enhanced funding to deliver 210 new subsidies, increase support for affordability, and to extend hours in the North District Office to provide families with increased access to service.
  • 2020/2021 Inflationary increases for salaries and benefits, as well as for purchased child care;
    funding for occupancy grants to school boards; loss of the National Child Care Benefit funding (220 spaces); and the City’s 20 per cent contribution to Provincial growth strategy.

Key Challenges

  • Licensed child care currently serves less than 20 per cent of the child population with the available funding providing only enough fee subsides to support 33 per cent of Toronto’s low-income children age birth to 12.
  • Increasing licensed child care spaces to meet demand is challenging given that projects take years to deliver and project costs are increasing. Continue working with third parties to minimize the issues that delay the delivery of the 20 child care projects included in the 10 Year Capital Plan.
  • Funding for school board occupancy agreements presents a $5.8 million pressure in 2020 unless addressed by the Province. This will require finding n alternative funding source to continue to provide ongoing support.
  • Affordability is a barrier for many families wishing to access childcare.

Priority Actions

  • The 2019 Budget includes funding of $2.058 million to add 210 childcare fee subsidies and a $1.680 million increase in the General Operating Funding to improve affordability, which will have a positive impact on low-income families by increasing their access to childcare.
  • Funding of $0.492 million is recommended to extend the hours of service offered to families on Saturdays to provide additional time to access services, supports and the subsidies they need.
  • Continue to focus on improving customer service through business transformation, automation and by providing access to services for families through a variety of channels.
  • Implementation of year three of the Growth Strategy will improve access to fee subsidies and child care spaces and support the childcare sector workforce.

Capital Budget and Plan

The 10-year Capital Plan is $79.0 million to support Children’s Services objectives such as maintaining child care facilities in a state of good repair, while providing improved access and equity by enabling incremental growth of child care spaces in under-served neighbourhoods.

Highlights – 1 Year

  • $1.299M Continue to develop the provincially funded IT project, Toronto Children’s Services (TCS) Growing Child Care for Toronto.
  • $18.072M Continue the delivery of 17 previously approved child care centres (831 additional spaces).
  • $0.500M Begin the construction of 2 new child care centre projects: Wallace Emerson Child Care Centre (62 additional spaces); Western North York Child Care Centre (62 additional spaces).
  • $1.285M Maintain the 51 municipally operated child care centres in a state of good repair.

Highlights – 10 Years

  • $4.386M Growth Related project, TCS Growing Child Care for Toronto, an IT project that will deliver an on-line waitlist and vacancy reporting system for families and child care operators.
  • $60.221M Service Improvement projects to fund the construction of 20 child care centres through agreements with school boards and other third-party providers to create 1,017 additional spaces.
  • $14.394M State of Good Repair funding to ensure the 51 municipally-owned and operated child care centres are maintained in accordance with City and provincial standards.

Find more information on specific City issues, opportunities and challenges in the briefing notes and reports prepared by City staff. Documents will be posted as they become available.

Presentations made to committee and City Council provide an overview of the 2019 City budget. Documents will be posted as they become available.