The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system will support quality, accessibility, affordability and inclusivity in early learning licensed child care serving eligible children.

Key objectives include lowering child care fees for eligible children, improving wages and increasing access to quality child care programs.

CWELCC is a five-year plan that is based on equity and inclusion. All families, including those with a fee subsidy, will have access to CWELCC programs by 2025.

Additional information for families, including finding a child care space, and getting help with the cost of child care, can be found on the Licensed Child Care webpage.

For more information and details, please refer to the 2022 Ministry of Education guidelines for the CWELCC program and the amendment to the guidelines (amendment issued as of August 17, 2022), get in touch with your District Consultant or email us at CWELCC@toronto.ca.

Opting-In to Participate in CWELCC

All licensed child care agencies are required to submit an Opt-in/Opt-out form, through Online Services. The deadline is November 1, 2022. For more information, please refer to Help with the Opt-in/Opt-out form.

Any additional information required by the City is also due no later than November 1, 2022.

The Opt-in/Opt-out form is only available to licensed Child Care agencies in Toronto.

If your agency chooses to opt-in to the CWELCC system, you may need to provide additional information to have your application approved, depending on your current funding relationship with the City. The following initial information identified with an (X) will be required:

Agencies without a Service Agreement for Child Care Fee Subsidy Agencies in receipt of PWE / LGOGO funding
Letters of Patent or Articles of Incorporation X
Banking information (for direct deposit) X
Operation details (e.g. operating capacity all age groups, days of operation, fees, etc.) X X
Insurance policy* X X

*issued in the name of the Agency and name the CITY OF TORONTO as additional insured, inclusive limits of not less than $2 million

Once approved, centres are required to:

  • Sign an Amending Agreement to their existing Service Agreement or enter into a new Service Agreement for CWELCC with the City of Toronto
  • Within 20 days  of receiving funds from the City of Toronto, distribute fee refunds to families retroactive to April 1, 2022 and reduce fee to December 31, 2022
  • Track and maintain clear records of refunds/reductions
  • Bring the wage of all eligible RECE and RECE Supervisors up to the ‘wage floor’. See Workforce Compensation tab for eligibility

Opting-Out from Participating in CWELCC in 2022

If your agency chooses to opt-out of the CWELCC system for 2022, indicate this choice by submitting an Opt-out form through Online Services by November 1, 2022. After you have submitted this form, you will also be required to:

  • Email the Ministry of Education opt-out form to CWELCC@toronto.ca with the subject line: “Opt-out CWELCC 2022”, by November 1, 2022
  • Inform families and employees that your location has opted-out of CWELCC
  • Update your Parent Handbook to reflect you are not enrolled in the CWELCC System

Families will have 30 days to provide 30 days notice of withdrawal (with no fee penalty to the family)

Opting-Out from Participating in CWELCC in 2023

Although the termination clause in the Service Agreement requires 60-day notice period the City will work closely with programs that want to withdrawal from CWLECC for 2023 and will not require the 60-day notice period for the termination of the Service Agreement.

The City encourages licensed Home Childcare Agencies to participate in the Canada-wide Early Learning Child Care System (CWELCC) to support fee reductions for families and higher wages for eligible staff.

Opt-in/Opt-out Process

Opt-in Process

  1. Apply to the Municipality where the head office resides
  2. Send an email to: CWELCC@toronto.ca in the subject line, please state: HCC: “Opt-In” Form [Agency Name].   Please indicate in the body of the email that you are requesting an “Opt-In” form. This form is only available to HCC agencies with a head-office in Toronto
  3. Once you receive and complete the form, please complete it and send it back to CWELCC@toronto.ca with the subject line, HCC: “Opt-In” Form [Agency Name]
  4. Agencies without a Service Agreement for Fee Subsidy will be contacted regarding the additional required documentation
  5. The deadline is November 1, 2022

Requirements for opting in

  • Continue to freeze fees as of March 27, 2022, for eligible aged children
  • Complete the annual Licensed Child Care Operations Survey, as required under section 77 of O. Reg. 137/15 in order to continue to receive funding under the CWELCC system
  • Access the Provincial Wage Enhancement Grant when applicable

Once approved, agencies are required to:

  • Sign an Amending Agreement to their current or enter into a new Service Agreement for CWELCC with the City of Toronto
  • Within 20 days of receiving funds from the City, distribute fee refunds to families retroactive to April 1, 2022 and reduce fee to December 31, 2022
  • Track and maintain clear records of refunds/reductions
  • Bring the wage of all eligible RECE Home visitors up to the ‘wage floor’

Opt-Out Process

Email the Ministry of Education opt-out form to CWELCC@toronto.ca with the subject line: HCC: “Opt-Out” Form [Agency Name], by November 1, 2022.

Note that opting-out means:

  • No fee refund / reduction for families and no additional workforce compensation funding for staff
  • Fees are not subject to the fee freeze
  • Families and staff must be notified of the decision to opt-out
  • There will be no other opportunities to opt-in in 2022

Workforce Compensation

The eligible position for workforce compensation is: Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) Home Child Care Visitors

Wage Floor

  • A wage floor is the lowest pay — it is comparable to the lowest possible wage within a wage bracket or range
  • In 2022, for RECE Home Visitor the wage floor is $20
  • The wage floor will increase by $1 every year from 2023 to 2026

The chart below outlines the hourly wage floor from 2022 to 2026:

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
RECE Home Child Care Visitors  

$20

 

$21

 

$22

 

$23

 

$24

Key Dates

  • Home Child Care Agencies Information Session July 12, 2022
  • Last day to Opt-in to/Opt-out of CWELCC – November 1, 2022
  • 2023 Budget launch – October 11, 2022
  • 2023 Budget due date – November 30, 2022

Age Eligibility for Fee Reduction

  • Children under the age of six and enrolled in a licenced child care program that is approved to participate in CWELCC are eligible.
  • Children that turn six between January and June enrolled in a participating Kindergarten, Family Age Group or Home Child Care CWELCC program are eligible until June 30.
  • Children that turn six between July and December enrolled in a participating Kindergarten, Family Age Group or Home Child Care CWELCC program are eligible until the end of the month they turn six.
  • Children enrolled in a participating School-Age CWELCC program are eligible until the end of the month they turn six.
  • Children that are already six and enrol in a School Age program are not eligible.

Licensed Child Care Eligibility

Program Application Eligibility:

  • Licensed Child Care Centres
  • Non-profit and for-profit/commercial operators with or without an existing service agreement, and/or,
  • Licensed Home child care agencies

Unlicensed child care, authorized recreational programs, as well as extended day programs operated by School Boards, are not eligible to participate in CWELCC.

In order to participate in CWELCC, agencies must:

  • Submit an ‘Opt-in’ form through Online Services, along with all other required documentation, by November 1, 2022 (note: the required information must be complete and accurate before the application is considered complete and the approval timeline begins)
  • Continue to freeze fees as of March 27, 2022, for eligible aged children
  • Maintain existing (as of March 27, 2022) licensed/operating capacities for children ages zero to five (e.g. a licensed infant space must remain an infant space). Any revisions or use of alternate capacity must be reported to the City so it can be determined whether this change may result in a funding adjustment or recovery from the Licensee
  • Complete the annual Licensed Child Care Operations Survey, as required under section 77 of O. Reg. 137/15 in order to continue to receive funding under the CWELCC system
  • Access the Provincial Wage Enhancement Grant when applicable for Workforce Compensation

Once approved for the CWELCC system, the child care centre or home child care agency are required to:

  • Sign an Amending Agreement to their existing Service Agreement or enter into a new Service Agreement for CWELCC with the City of Toronto
  • Within 20 days of receiving funds from the City of Toronto, distribute fee refunds to families retroactive to April 1, 2022 and reduce fee to December 31, 2022
  • Track and maintain clear records of refunds/reductions
  • Bring the wage of all eligible RECE staff up to the ‘wage floor’ in the CWELCC guidelines

How is the 25 percent fee refund calculated?

The allocation will be based on:

  • the frozen fee
  • X the number of eligible children served (Operating Capacity)
  • X the number of operating days (since April 1, 2022)
  • X 25 percent

 

  • The allocation should be sufficient to refund families retroactive to April 1, 2022 and reduce fees to December 31, 2022. The allocation will be reconciled against audited Financial Statements and may result in a recovery.
  • The City will calculate the refund/reduction for fee-subsidy families based on their assessed fee and inform the child care programs.
  • The fee used to calculate the 25 percent refund/reduction is based on the fee that was paid and frozen as of March 27, 2022.

How do families get a 25 percent fee reduction?

  • Operators will distribute fee refunds to all families retroactive to April 1, 2022
  • Within 20 calendar days of receiving the CWELCC funding allocation from the City of Toronto, families will be refunded and fees will be lowered based on the 2022 fee freeze rate

Tracking, monitoring and auditing CWELCC

  • Operators are responsible for managing the refund/reduction to families including maintaining supporting documentation
  • Toronto Children’s Services will develop and communicate a process to review CWELCC funding, including updating the annual audit guidelines and creating a compliance review process

Eligibility

Positions eligible for the Workforce Compensation funding include:

  • Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) Program Staff
  • Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) Child Care Supervisors
  • Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) Home Child Care Visitors

Positions that are not eligible for the Workforce Compensation funding include:

  • Non-RECE Program Staff (including Director Approved staff)
  • Non-RECE Program Staff
  • Non-program staff (including cooking, custodial and non-program positions)
  • SNR-funded teachers/consultants and other supplemental staff
  • Staff hired through a third party (e.g. temp agency)

Workforce Compensation

  • Licensees are required to bring the wage of all eligible staff up to the wage floor
  • Review the Ministry Guidelines for how to process, document and communicate to staff
  • Funding must be considered in addition to and not used to reduce other planned compensation increases for eligible staff
  • Funding includes up to 17.5 per cent in benefits funding which must support Licensees meeting statutory benefit requirements
  • All eligible staff will continue to receive the Provincial Wage Enhancement (PWE)

Wage Floor

  • A wage floor is the lowest pay — it is comparable to the lowest possible wage within a wage bracket or range
  • In 2022, for RECE Program staff the wage floor is $18, and for RECE Child Care Supervisors or RECE Home Child Care Visitors the wage floor is $20
  • The wage floor will increase by $1 every year from 2023 to 2026

The chart below outlines the hourly wage floor from 2022 to 2026:

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
RECE Program Staff $18 $19 $20 $21 $22
RECE Child Care Supervisors or RECE Home Child Care Visitors $20 $21 $22 $23 $24

Glossary of Terms

  • Purchased sector: includes all operators who have a Service Agreement for fee subsidy with Toronto Children’s Services
  • Non-purchased sector: includes all operators with PWE Only or no current funding relationship with Toronto Children’s Services
  • Service Agreement : The legal contract Toronto Children’s Services enters into with agencies that provide services for children (draft Service Agreement for CWELCC).
  • Service Agreement for Fee Subsidy: The legal contract Toronto Children’s Services enters into with Operators that provide child care for children whose family receives a Child Care Fee Subsidy
  • Provincial Wage Enhancement (PWE): is a Provincial grant that provides funding to improve the salaries and benefits of staff in eligible positions. Operators apply annually for the funding.
  • 2022 Fee Freeze Rate: The base fee used to calculate the 25 percent refund / reduction is based on the fee that was paid and has been frozen as of March 27, 2022 (some exceptions)
  • Non-Base Fee: Any optional services that are added to the fee for child care services (often referred to as: à la carte services, for example transportation)
  • Per Diem: the daily cost of child care established through a budget process
  • Wage Floor: The mandated minimum wage for staff
  • Online Services: The online portal Toronto Children’s Services uses to collect information from child care agencies (For example: submit an annual budget (Budget App) and the opt-in or opt-out form)

Key Dates

  • Operator Town Halls – September 7 & 13, 2022
  • Operator Town Hall – June 22, 2022
  • Opt-in portal launch (Online Services) – June 23, 2022
  • Engagement for Opt-in with providers – July and August 2022
  • Last day to Opt-in to/Opt-out of CWELCC – November 1, 2022
  • 2023 Budget launch Purchased Operators – October 11, 2022
  • 2023 Budget due date Purchased Operators – November 30, 2022