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School Age Program
Ontario's child care subsidy helps eligible families pay for child care.
The Ontario government, municipal governments and First Nations communities share the cost of the program. The subsidy is provided to child care programs on behalf of eligible families.
Who can apply?
If you are the parent and the child:
The amount you pay for child care depends on your family's adjusted net income. Your adjusted net income equals:
How to apply
To apply or for more information about this program, contact your local municipality. In Elgin County, contact St. Thomas-Elgin Ontario Works at (519) 631-9350 or 1-800-265-4362 Press 3..
Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families
The Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families is a tax-free monthly payment that helps families pay for the costs of raising children under 7 years of age.
The program helps families who:
Who can apply?
You can apply if you:
Contact the Ontario Ministry of Revenue.
Universal Child Care Benefit
The Government of Canada's Universal Child Care Benefit helps Canadian families pay for child care costs. It gives families $100 each month for each child under the age of six.
Who can apply?
You can apply if you have a child under the age of six.
Canada Child Tax Benefit
The Canada Child Tax Benefit is a tax-free monthly payment. It helps families pay for the costs of raising children under the age of 18.
For more information and instructions on how to apply, visit the website of the Canada Revenue Agency.
FEE SUBSIDY PROGRAM
High quality child care plays a key role in promoting healthy child development and helping children arrive at school ready to learn. It is also an essential support for many parents, helping them to balance the demands of career and family while participating in the workforce, or pursuing education or training.
As of January 2007, child care eligibility is determined through the Income Test Model. The current model is different than the previous model in that eligibility is based on income only and the applicant’s income is verified utilizing the most recent Notice of Assessment. The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services made this change to support the vision of improved access to child care with the expectation that, more families will be eligible to receive a child care fee subsidy, giving more children access to high quality early learning.
All new clients now require a Notice of Assessment as verification of income in order to complete an application for child care fee subsidy.
Participants in employment assistance activities under the Ontario Works Act may be eligible to receive fee subsidy funding for children up to 12 years of age or under 18 years of age for children with special needs.
Participants in Employment Assistance activities may be eligible to receive Fee Subsidy for the hours they participate in one or more of the following approved activities:
The Learning, Earning and Parenting (LEAP) program is a targeted Ontario Works strategy that provides child care assistance and other supports to teen parents on social assistance to help them finish high school and develop parenting skills. LEAP participants are the number one priority for the fee subsidy program in the event that a waiting list for subsidized child care spaces is activated.
School Aged Recreation Programs address the child care needs of school age children. St. Thomas-Elgin Ontario Works may provide Fee Subsidies and Special Needs Resourcing for children with special needs (ages 6 to 18) who are enrolled in recreation programs and whose parents are eligible for Fee Subsidy as determined by the Income Test. In order to qualify for subsidy the recreation program must be either:
CHILD CARE FAQS
Who can apply for Child Care Fee Subsidy?
To qualify for Child Care subsidy in Elgin county you must be a resident of Elgin County, have legal status in Canada, both parents or the single parent must be working, self employed or going to school during the hours when your child would be in Child Care and be in financial need as determined by the most recent Income Tax Federal Notice of Assessment. If your child has diagnosed special needs, you may also qualify. You will also be considered to be in financial need if you are eligible for social assistance.
Working Parents: Generally, Child care fee assistance is available for those days/hours that you are working.
Students: Students must be attending school or a recognized training program on a regular basis. Child Care is available for those days/hours that you are attending classes.
Self Employed Parents: Parents who are self employed must be actively engaged in a registered business, full time and claim business expenses against income. Documentation is required including BN number.
How do I apply for Child Care Fee Subsidy?
It is the responsibility of the parent to choose a child care program for your child from the listing of licensed child care providers and programs in Elgin County.
It is a good idea to plan and visit several programs to review the program, meet the staff and secure a space at the Child Care Program you decide upon. The next step is to call the Child Care Subsidy office for an appointment to apply for a Child Care Fee Subsidy. When you call the office you will speak with a Child Care Assessment worker who will schedule an appointment with you. During the appointment the Child Care assessment worker will determine whether you qualify for a subsidy. Each parent’s need for Child Care varies as determined by hours of work, school attendance, and other factors.
The office hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 4:30 pm. The number to call is (519) 631-9350 or 1-800-265-4362 Press 3. at St. Thomas-Elgin Ontario Works. Parents are seen by appointment only.
How much will I pay for child care?
Effective January 1, 2007, the amount that you pay for child care is calculated using the information on Line 236 on your Notice of Assessment/Reassessment or if you receive the Universal Child Care Benefit, the Family Income shown on your Canada Child Tax Benefit Statement for the most recent tax year.
You must file an income tax return each year to qualify for continual child care service and you must pay your assessed parental fee directly to the child care program or agency.
What papers will I need to bring?
When you contact the child care subsidy office for a subsidy appointment, you will be advised of the documentation requirements. The most recent Federal Notice of Assessment (NOA) is mandatory for the subsidy review.
Generally you will need to bring Identification - such as drivers license with current address, birth certificates as well as proof of hours of work – pay stubs or a letter from the employer stating hours of work - verification of address, Business Income statements, registered Business Number if you're self-employed and school registration along with time schedules for students are examples for some of the papers you may need. When you call to make your appointment, you will be given the list of documents that you need to bring in.
Please keep in mind that this list is only a guide to help you get ready for your interview. You may not need all of these or you may be asked to bring in other documents as well. Documents are required for all members of the family including the children.
How do I choose a quality child care centre?
In Ontario, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) licenses Child Care centres. The standards set under the Day Nurseries Act address such things as health, safety and developmental needs, staff/child ratios, physical environment such as outdoor and indoor space, bathrooms, etc. It also specifies staff qualifications and supervision, however the standards are minimum and do not address all aspects of a quality program.
It is important for parents to take time to visit and review the setting in which they place their child to be sure it meets their needs and specific concerns.
What is “Raising the Bar” on Quality in Child Care?
Raising the Bar on Quality in Child Care is a voluntary peer reviewed accreditation program for licensed childcare centres. Childcare centres that participate do so on an annual basis. Each year they complete a complex review of their entire childcare program and strive to meet the highest standards and the best practices in the field of Early Learning and Care. Centres who participate and meet these quality standards receive recognition through accreditation and will have the accreditation displayed.
What must I do to keep my subsidy?
You must contact your Child Care assessment worker when there are changes in your situation, including marital status, address, family size, employment, schooling or Ontario Works activity. In some cases, you will need an in-person eligibility review to find out if these changes affect your ongoing eligibility for subsidized child care or if there will be a change in your assessed child care fee.
If you no longer need child care or you leave the child care centre for another centre, you must notify us two weeks in advance. It is important to let the child care centre know two weeks in advance as well, if you no longer need child care from them. If the two weeks termination notice is not given you will be responsible for the full cost of the child care fees.
There may also be times when we need additional information from you to confirm your ongoing eligibility. Make sure you respond to all letters and submit information by the deadline date so that you do not lose your subsidy. If you have questions about any correspondence that you receive, contact your Child Care Assessment worker immediately.
Remember, failure to report changes is an offence and may result in suspension of your child care fee subsidy.
What can I do if I disagree with a decision?
Your Child Care Assessment Worker can help you with most of your concerns however; if you disagree with a decision in regard to child care subsidy you have the right to appeal. You must submit a letter to your Child Care Assessment Worker, stating the reason for the appeal and any extenuating circumstances. The Appeal will be reviewed and you will be advised of the decision. You will be informed of the internal review and appeals process at application.
How can I get more information about licensed child care in Ontario?
The Province of Ontario has launched a website to help parents make informed decisions about childcare.
A search tool allows parents to search for childcare by city, postal code, and type of program, age group, program name, operator name or language of service delivery. The site also provides the status of the licence of any licensed program parents might be considering or about which they might be concerned. The ministry will enhance the site in the future, with additional resources for parents.
Information provided by the Ministry of Child & Youth Services and St. Thomas-Elgin Ontario Works