Children's Services

Facts and figures on Toronto's child care system

Toronto's child care system is made up of over 1,000 child care centres and 19 home child care agencies. Together they provide over 72,000 licensed child care spaces for the city's children.

Child care fee subsidy

A child care fee subsidy helps families in financial need with the cost of licensed care. Currently, the available funding provides 28,975 child care fee subsidies which is only enough to support 28.7% of Toronto's low-income children*.  A family in receipt of a fee subsidy can place their child in one of over 670 centres or 10 home child care agencies that have a fee subsidy contract with the City.

Distribution of child care fee subsidies

Equity targets guide the distribution of the available subsidies among the City's 44 wards.  A ward's equity target is calculated by dividing the total number of subsidies by the ward's proportion of Toronto's low-income children*. For example, If a ward has 5% of Toronto's low-income children, they are eligible to have 5% of the available subsidies. Within each ward, subsidies are then allocated to age groups (infant, toddler, preschool, kindergarten & school age) based on the proportion of children in each group.

*A child is considered low-income if the child's family is living below the Statistics Canada Low Income Measure (LIM) after tax - 2011 National Household Survey

Children waiting for subsidy

The City maintains a master waiting list of families who are eligible for subsidy based on a first-come first-served policy. This is a waiting list for financial assistance only. The City does not have information on the waiting list for a particular child care centre. Each centre is responsible for maintaining a separate waiting list of all families who would like a spot at their centre.


Ward Reports on Children - statistical information on the children and families residing in each ward as well as maps and listings of children's programs and facilities including: child care, community centres, libraries, elementary schools, family resource programs and Ontario Early Years Centres.

Raising the Village