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.

Opting-In to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System

Licensed Child Care programmes can choose to opt in or out of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System. Questions regarding new applications can be submitted to the Children’s Early Years Clerk (  


Once the application is considered approved, a Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement will be sent to the Child Care Operator. The Child Care Operator will have the ability to accept or decline the terms of the agreement. 

If the Operator agrees to the agreement, the agreement should be signed and returned to the County of Wellington.  Electronic agreements can be sent to the Children’s Early Years Clerk ( Once the agreement is fully executed, the implementation timelines for enrollment in the CWELCC System including fee reductions will begin (see Implementation Timelines table below).

If the Operator declines the terms of the agreement, the Child Care Operator is responsible for the following:

  • Notify the Ministry of Education through CCLS that the Child Care programme has opted out.
  • Communicate to staff and parents of the decision to opt out of the CWELCC System.
  • Indicate in their parent handbook that they are not enrolled in the CWELCC System (must include their fee amounts).

Implementation Timelines

The County of Wellington will make every effort to ensure applications are reviewed and eligibility is confirmed within 10 calendar days of the date the application is deemed accurate and complete.
Child Care programmes must communicate to parents within 14 days of receiving the notification by the County of Wellington of their application approval or denial. 
Both parties are required to fully execute an agreement within 30 calendar days of the date the application is deemed complete. The agreement is considered fully executed on the day the Child Care programme receives the fully signed agreement. 
Child Care programmes are required to reduce base fees 21 calendar days after the CWELCC Agreement is fully executed. 
Child Care programmes are required to issue a retroactive refund or credit for child care to parents of the difference for child care fees paid by the parent during the period of April 1, 2022 (or date of child care enrollment if after April 1, 2022) to the date the parent fee reduction takes effect. Refunds must be provided to parents within 20 calendar days of receiving funds from the County of Wellington. Refunds are required for all parents of eligible children who paid higher fees on or after the 2022 enrollment date, regardless of whether their child currently receives care from the programme.


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