Apply for Financial Assistance

Child care subsidy is financial assistance that covers all or part of the costs of child care for children up to 12 years of age in licensed programs. The amount of subsidy is based on income level and confirmation of the reason for care.

We provide financial help to eligible families to assist with the costs of:

  • Licensed child care
  • Seasonal camps
  • Sports and culture programs (ProKids)
  • Resource consultants to support healthy child development
  • Behaviour consultant supports

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a resident of Niagara
  • Have a child 12 years old or younger
  • Provide your most recent Canada revenue Agency Notice of Assessment or Canada Child Benefit and Ontario Child Benefit notice. This is used to determine if you qualify.

Calculate your Subsidy

Estimate how much it will cost your family for child care.

Apply Online

Applying does not confirm your eligibility for financial help.

Eligibility will be determined at an interview where you will undergo an income test. If you're eligible for financial help, a placement plan for your child's care will be developed.

Application process

  1. After you apply online, you will receive a reference number as confirmation, and to be used when contacting us and for documents
  2. Staff will contact you within two business days of application to discuss registration, reason for service and next steps in the registration process
  3. Eligible applicants will submit their current Notice of Assessment and the Canada Child Benefit notice for the most current tax year
  4. After taxation documentation is received, staff will contact you to determine child care subsidy eligibility and child care approval

Applications for financial help are processed on a first come, first served basis.

Apply for financial assistance

More Information

  • What does Children's Services do with my information?
    The personal information required on your application for child care subsidy is collected under the authority of the Child Care Early Years Act, 2014 and is used to determine eligibility. It is kept private and confidential.

    If you have questions about the collection of personal information, call 905-984-6900 ext. 3870.

  • Will any further information or meetings be required?
    From time to time, the Children's Services caseworker will send you letters or forms to complete by email or regular mail. It is important that you inform your caseworker of all changes, and reply and complete the forms.

    Call your Children's Services caseworker if you have questions about the letters or forms. Failure to respond or report changes will result in the termination of your child care subsidy.

  • How does child care program attendance work?
    Some child care programs have policies or rules about a child being absent or not showing up to the program. Talk to child care program staff or the home child care provider about their policies or rules in order to understand your rights and responsibilities.

    Your Children's Services child care subsidy will pay for each day the child goes to the program, as approved by the Children's Services caseworker.

    A limited number of absent days will be paid for. The number of absent days will be confirmed by your Children's Services caseworker.

    In the event your child is ill and unable to attend, contact the centre or provider and inform them of your child's illness. If your child is ill more than three days, advise your Children's Services caseworker.

    If the service provider makes a decision to close due to weather conditions or for another reason, absent days are not to be used as payment for closure.

    Once the absent day allocations are used up, no additional days will be paid. Contact your Children's Services caseworker to establish a plan that meets your needs, including a possible break in service. Your caseworker can also provide additional information about the Attendance Policy.

  • How do I stop my child care subsidy?
    Inform your Children's Services caseworker and the child care centre or provider immediately.

    In most cases, you must provide two weeks' notice to withdraw. You are responsible for any fees owed to the child care centre or provider if you have failed to provide proper notice of withdrawal.

  • What is an annual review of assistance?
    Your Parent / Guardian Roles and Responsibilities form will indicate when your child care subsidy will end. You will be required to meet with your Children's Services caseworker if assistance is required beyond the end date.

    The Children's Services caseworker will mail or email you a letter requesting a meeting. If you do not respond to the request for a meeting, your file will be closed.

  • I don't agree with a decision. What do I do?
    You can appeal or question a decision that affects your child care subsidy at any time within 15 days of any written correspondence.
    • Step 1: Talk to your Children's Services caseworker
    • Step 2: Complete the Appeal of Eligibility Decision form, and forward to the manager
    • Step 3: Notice of decision will be sent to you after your Request for Appeal has been reviewed and finalized
  • Who do I contact with questions about subsidy?
    If you are receiving subsidy, your caseworker can help you with most of your questions. If you do not know your caseworker, call 905-980-6000 ext. 3897.

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