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Ontario Proposing To Ban Fees for Child Care Wait Lists

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Ontario Proposing To Ban Fees for Child Care Wait Lists

Province Seeking Public Feedback on New Regulation

Ministry of Education

Ontario is proposing a regulation that would ban licensed child care centres and home child care agencies from charging fees to join a waiting list for child care programs.

The proposed regulation is now available on the Ontario Regulatory website for public feedback. This consultation period will close on July 4, 2016. 

Other key aspects of the proposed regulatory amendment are: 

  • Requiring licensees to develop a public wait list policy that provides a clear explanation of how the licensee determines the order in which children on a wait list are offered admission. 
  • Requiring the wait list status to be made available and in a manner that ensures confidentiality. 
  • A proposed in-effect date of September 1, 2016. 

Giving Ontario's children the best possible start in life is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • On May 16, 2016, Arthur Potts, MPP for Beaches – East York introduced a Private Member’s Bill in the Ontario legislature that would restrict licensees to charge non-refundable fees for child care wait lists.
  • In August 2015, the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, was proclaimed to strengthen oversight of the province’s unlicensed child care sector and increase access to licensed child care options.
  • On May 9, 2016 new regulations under the Child Care and Early Years Act were filed with the Ontario registrar and will take effect on a range of dates beginning on July 1, 2016.
  • Since 2003–04, the government has doubled child care funding to more than $1 billion annually.
  • Ontario is investing $269 million over three years to support a wage increase for early childhood educators and other child care professionals in licensed child care settings.
  • Since 2003, the number of licensed child care spaces in Ontario has grown to nearly 351,000 – an increase of 87 per cent.
  • In April 2015, the province announced $120 million over three years in new funding dedicated to building safe, high-quality, licensed child care spaces in schools across the province.
  • So far, $90 million has been allocated, resulting in almost 3,200 new licensed child care spaces coming soon to communities across Ontario.

Additional Resources


“I can assure you that I share parents’ concerns over wait list fees. We are listening to families across Ontario and have heard their frustration about having to pay fees to simply be on a waiting list for child care. We are continuing to work with our stakeholders and partners to build a high-quality and accessible child care and early years system that will better serve Ontario’s children and families.”

Liz Sandals

Minister of Education

“These changes are an important step in making quality child care spaces ‎more affordable and accessible. Thanks to local parents who brought this to my attention. I am very pleased that our Premier and the Hon. Minister Sandals have addressed this issue of high wait list fees and lack of transparency and are moving forward on changing the rules in just a few short months.”

Arthur Potts

MPP for Beaches-East York

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