February 15, 2018

Eligibility for Child Care Fee Subsidy

  • The City of Toronto, as a sanctuary city, continues its commitment to ensuring access to City programs and services for all newcomers. Toronto does not consider immigration status when determining eligibility for its child care fee subsidy.
  • As part of the application process for a study permit as issued by the Government of Canada, international students are required to demonstrate that they can pay tuition fees as well as living expenses for themselves and any family members who come with them to Canada.
  • Temporary visitors to Canada who are on a study visa, are not undocumented newcomers who plan to settle in Toronto, therefore their status is not related to the City of Toronto’s Sanctuary policy.
  • Any international students who had received a child care fee subsidy in the past will continue to receive that subsidy if they meet the eligibility requirements that must be met by all families, whether permanent or temporary Toronto residents.
  • Other municipalities also do not allow international or temporary visitors to access childcare fee subsidies.
  • For more information on how to apply for the child care fee subsidy visit: Toronto.ca/children/subsidy.


  • All applicants who apply for a fee subsidy must file an income tax return and produce a Notice of Assessment (NOA) or Canadian Child Benefit (CCB) document to be considered for a fee subsidy. These documents display the applicant’s previous year’s salary.
  • Without an NOA or CCB, the City is unable to apply the provincially-mandated income test and is thereby unable to accurately assess the amount of subsidy entitlement.
  • The City of Toronto has recently revised its policy as it pertains to the eligibility of recent international students requesting child care fee subsidies. Those families currently in receipt of child care fee subsidies who may not currently qualify under this revised policy would be “grand parented” so that they may continue to receive fee subsidies.
  • In the revised policy, international students may apply for child care fee subsidies as “temporary visitors” and would thereby be added to the fee subsidy wait list. Once a subsidy becomes available, they must have filed their Canadian income tax and have received their Notice of Assessment (NOA) or Canadian Child Benefit (CCB) to be considered to receive a child care fee subsidy.
  • The requirement for filing an income tax return for eligibility for child care fee subsidy is a Provincial requirement.
  • International students are considered “temporary residents.” Effective September 1, 2017, they can be considered for a child care fee subsidy once they have filed a Canadian Income Tax Return and can produce the corresponding NOA or CCB statement.
  • The establishment of Toronto as a sanctuary city is meant to ensure that undocumented residents have access to City services. International students are considered documented residents as defined in the terms of their study permit, as issued by the Government of Canada.
  • The City of Toronto is accountable for the use of public funds. As such, it must ensure that it follows its own policies with regard to ensuring that public funds are available for eligible Toronto residents.
  • The City of Toronto is also bound by Provincial Legislation and Provincial funding guidelines that govern the administration of child care fee subsidies.

Media contact:
John Bugailiskis, Strategic Communications, 416-392-8386, john.bugailiskis@toronto.ca