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, look through the 2022 Ministry of Education guidelines for the CWELCC program, get in touch with your District Consultant or email us at

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 September 1, 2022 (the form will no longer be available after September 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 September 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
2020 or 2021 Audit or Review Engagement Report (RER) X 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

Opting-Out from Participating in CWELCC

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

  • Email the Ministry of Education opt-out form to with the subject line: “Opt-out CWELCC 2022”, by September 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 penalty)

Age Eligibility for Fee Reduction

  • Children under the age of six (or turning six before June 30) in licensed child care programs that are approved to participate in the CWELCC system serving

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
  • Full-time, Part-time programs and 10-month programs

All unlicensed child care and authorized recreational programs, as well as extended day programs, are ineligible to participate in CWELCC.

In order to participate in CWELCC, agencies must:

  • Submit an ‘Opt-in’ form through Online Services, as well as any other required documentation, by September 1, 2022
  • 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 Toronto Children’s Services 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


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
  • Within 60 days of approval by the City of Toronto, distribute fee refunds/rebates to families retroactive to April 1, 2022
  • Track and maintain clear records of refunds/reductions
  • Bring the wage of all eligible RECE staff up to the ‘wage floor’ in the guidelines


How is the 25 percent fee refund calculated?

  • The refund = the fee X the number of eligible children served X the number of operating days served (since April 1, 2022) X 25 percent
  • Toronto Children’s Services 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 have been frozen as of March 27, 2022
  • An exception is made if the fee increase was communicated to families prior to March 27, 2022
  • Non-base fee items must be excluded


How do families get a 25 percent fee reduction?

  • Operators will be responsible for distributing fee refunds to families retroactive to April 1, 2022
  • Once a program has been enrolled, the 2022 fee freeze rate must be reduced by 25 percent
  • Operators must provide parents with refunds within 60 days of the operator being notified they have been enrolled in the CWELCC System


Tracking, monitoring and auditing the process

  • Operators are responsible for managing the refund/reduction process including maintaining supporting documentation
  • Toronto Children’s Services will develop and communicate a process to review CWELCC funding

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.
  • 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
  • 2022 Fee Freeze Rate: The 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)
  • 2023 Base Fee: The fee established for 2023 through a budget review process that determines eligible expenses
  • Per Diem: the daily cost of child care established through a budget process
  • Wage Floor: The mandated minimum wage for staff
  • Online Services: The 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 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 – September 1, 2022
  • 2023 Budget launch – October 11, 2022
  • 2023 Budget closure – November 30, 2022

An information session for Home Child Care Agencies will be held on July 8.

New information will be shared on this website as soon as it becomes available.


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)

Key Facts about 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 for 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