Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC)


On March 28, 2022, the Province of Ontario entered into an agreement with the Government of Canada to deliver affordable, inclusive, and high-quality licensed child care for families in Ontario.

Funding under the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) Agreement will be used to build and leverage the success of Ontario’s existing early learning and child care system by increasing quality, accessibility, affordability and inclusivity in early learning and child care, towards achieving the objectives of:

  • Providing a 25% fee reduction for parents retroactive to April 1, 2022, building to a 50% reduction in average base fees (based on 2020 levels), and reaching an average parent fee of $10 a day by 2025-2026 for licensed child care spaces.
  • Creating 86,000 new high quality, affordable licensed child care spaces (relative to 2019 levels), predominantly through non-profit licensed child care.
  • Addressing barriers to provide inclusive child care.
  • Valuing the early childhood workforce and providing them with training and development opportunities.

Enrolment in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System

If you are interested in opening a licensed child care centre or licensed home child care agency, you can request enrolment in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System.

The Province of Ontario has made regulatory amendments to O. Reg. 137/15 that now require new licensed programmes and/or new spaces for existing programmes to be consistent with the service system manager’s Directed Growth Plan to be permitted to enrol in CWELCC. Please carefully review this information.

Requesting Enrolment in CWELCC

Requesting enrolment into the CWELCC System occurs through submission of a Directed Growth Application Form. Submission deadlines are:

  • June 30, 2024
  • August 31, 2024
  • October 31, 2024

Directed Growth Applications may be conditionally approved following review. Conditionally approved Directed Growth Applications are invited to submit a Start-Up Grant application.

CWELCC Start-Up Grants

Funding for Start-Up Grants is additionally available to support the creation of new licensed spaces approved for enrolment in CWELCC in alignment with the Directed Growth Plan for the Wellington Service Delivery Area. Child care operators, including child care centres and home child care agencies, must apply for Start-Up Grants from the service system manager where the proposed new spaces are located.

Applicants must separately apply for a licence to operate a child care centre or licensed home child care agency directly to the Ministry of Education. Completed CWELCC Start-Up Grant applications should be submitted to

Wellington's CWELCC Resources

The Guidelines for Preparing and Effective Business Plan and Operating Budget Worksheet are intended as supports in planning for the opening of your child care business.

Forms and Applications  

Other Resources

Who to Contact:

Children’s Early Years 

© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909