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The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system supports quality, accessibility, affordability and inclusivity in licensed child care.

Information Session

A virtual information session on 2023 CWELCC Expansion & Start-up will be held on September 26, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.

This session will review the application process, the requirements, and other details. This session is intended to be helpful for those seeking clarifications about the process and is not a requirement for applying.  

Questions about the general application process can be emailed to in advance of the session. 

Specific questions about your operation can be directed to your District Consultant. To find your District Consultant please visit: A – Z list of Licensed Child Care Centres and scroll to the bottom of your child care location’s page.  If you are not currently operating please send questions to

CWELCC Expansion and Start-up Grants:  2023 Application Process Information Session

  • English-language:  Tuesday, September 26, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
  • French-language*:  Tuesday, September 26, 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Note: A French-language summary and Q&A will follow the English-language session and will start at 10:30 a.m. Optional: French-speaking operators are also invited to attend the 9:30 a.m. session, prior to the French session.

Register for the session

The 2023 Application for Canada-Wide Early Learning Child Care (CWELCC) Expansion and Start-Up Grants is now open. The application deadline is October 6, 2023.

There will be additional opportunities to apply in 2024.

All licensed child care agencies, including Home Child Care, who will be operating child care in Toronto are welcome to apply.

There is limited funding from the Ministry of Education to expand CWELCC spaces in 2023. If the total number of spaces requested through this application process exceeds the number of spaces available, a process of prioritization will be implemented. Priority will be given to applications that increase access to care in areas with historically lower availability of child care spaces and key socio-economic indicators: namely, support child care for vulnerable or underserved populations, particularly low-income families; children with extra support needs; Indigenous families, Francophone families, Black families; other diverse families; and newcomer families. For more information on the Toronto Children’s Services’ approach to improve access and inclusion for priority areas and target populations, please see the June 14, 2023 City of Toronto Council approved report.

The Ministry of Education has directed the City to maintain its current proportion of not-for-profit child care spaces. Thus, a minimum of 80% of the new spaces approved must be not-for-profit spaces. This will be monitored and actioned by Children’s Service throughout the expansion process.

Eligibility for 2023 CWELCC Expansion

New child care spaces must:


  • The agency’s license must be in good standing, or the agency must be applying for a new license
  • Rooms must align with “Efficient Room Size,” “Adequate Next Age-Group Room Sizes,” and “Sustainable Planned Enrolment” as described in the General Operating Funding Guidelines
  • Agencies must meet financial viability requirements, as outlined in the application.
  • Please note that full-day kindergarten programs are not eligible for expansion

*See exception related to Start-Up Grants below

Eligibility for 2023 CWELCC Start-Up Grant

The Start-Up Grant is available to for-profit and not-for-profit Licensed Child Care Agencies and Home Child Care Agencies enrolled in CWELCC.

Applicants for Start-up Grants must commit to the following:

  • Using the funds to support the creation of new licensed child care spaces, outside of a school, for children 0 to 4 years of age
  • Participating in the CWELCC system for the remainder of the current CWELCC agreement (March 31, 2026)
  • Spending the Start-Up Grant within two years from the date the legal agreement between the applicant and the City of Toronto is executed, on eligible expenses only

For additional information on the Start-Up Grant, including eligible expenses, please see pages 43 to 57 of the Ministry of Education Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Guidelines (June 2023).

Applying for the 2023 Expansion & Start-up Grant

  • Application process opens on September 15, 2023 and closes on October 6, 2023.
  • Submit the completed Expansion & Start-up Grant Application Form and all required supporting documentation to  Applications must be received by October 6, 2023. Applications without all the required documentation by this date will not be considered.
  • If an agency would also like to apply for a Fee Subsidy Service Agreement in addition to CWELCC spaces, they can indicate this on the application form.

Applying for a Fee Subsidy Agreement ONLY

  • Not-for-profit agencies requesting a Service Agreement for Child Care Fee Subsidy only, should complete the Service Agreement for Child Care Fee Subsidy Application on the Service Agreement for Fee Subsidy page.

Applying for Administrative License Revisions ONLY

  • Agencies currently participating in CWELCC and requesting a license revision that does not impact the current licensed capacity (for example, administrative changes such as hours of operation) are not considered part of the 2023 Expansion Process detailed above. To request these changes, please submit your Ministry of Education License Revision Form to for review by Toronto Children’s Services.

CWELCC is a five-year plan that is being implemented in stages, to make child care more accessible and affordable. Fees will reduce every year, reaching an average fee of $10/day by 2025-2026.

CWELCC will:

  • Create more affordable, quality licensed child care spaces;
  • Support the early childhood workforce through enhanced compensation, training, and professional learning opportunities; and
  • Improve accessibility by addressing barriers to providing inclusive and flexible child care.

As the service system manager for Toronto, the City’s role in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system is to:

  • Implement provincial guidelines;
  • Establish local policies, procedures and funding approaches;
  • Develop and implement an application and approval process for the CWELCC system;
  • Contract for CWELCC funding through Service Agreements;
  • Provide fiscal oversight & funding; and
  • Report to the Ministry of Education and Toronto City Council on the CWELCC system.