Welcome to Toronto Children's Services. We promote access to high quality early learning, child care and support for families through a well-planned and managed system. Read more about Children's Services.
On April 13th, City Council adopted Toronto's Child Care Growth Strategy. This 10 year strategy aims to
- create new child care spaces to meet demand,
- improve affordability for families and
- support a thriving workforce.
This growth strategy builds on the Licensed Child Care Demand & Affordability Study which outlined the need for increased access to affordable child care in Toronto.
There is a lot happening to strengthen services for all families in Toronto. Please see the Spring Update video from our General Manager, Elaine Baxter-Trahair to learn more about the many initiatives that are currently underway.
After two years of community consultation and development, we are pleased to share with you the revised Before & After School Early Learning and Care Assessment for Quality Improvement / Avant et Après l’École Évaluation des services de garde et d’apprentissagede la petite enfance aux fins d’amélioration de la qualité. The revised document better reflects the type of licensed before & after school programs we find across Toronto.
Effective 2017, this revised quality measure will also be used for Kindergarten Before & After School Programs. In previous years, the Preschool section of the Assessment for Quality Improvement (AQI) was used to assess these programs for quality.
Visit our Assessment for Quality Improvement page to view the program expectations for high quality child care.
We all want the best for children and families. Learn more about our Raising the Village initiative which provides data, research and tools that can be used to support child & family outcomes.
Take some time to explore the site and find out how Toronto's children and families are doing.
Our Family page helps parents to find licensed child care and out-of-school time programs; apply online for a child care fee subsidy; check out a centre’s quality ratings and find early learning services and supports.
Our Operators' page gives providers of early learning and child care programs access to funding opportunities, policies and guidelines, supports for children with special needs, online services, training and more.
In response to City Council's request to develop a child care growth strategy for Toronto, Children's Services commissioned a research team from the University of Toronto, led by Dr. Gordon Cleveland and Dr. Michael Krashinsky, to study the demand for and affordability of child care in Toronto.
The results of the study will be presented to the Community Development and Recreation Committee on October 20, 2016 and include the following reports:
Effective September 1, 2016 licensed child care centres and home child care agencies can no longer charge a fee or require a deposit to join a child care waitlist.
Licensed child care providers will also be required to:
- develop a public waitlist policy that clearly explains how children on a waitlist are offered admission.
- ensure waitlist status is made available to families, in a manner that protects the confidentiality of their personal information.
Read the Province's news release.
The scholarly journal, Early Education and Development published an article in their June 2016 edition that commends the Toronto Children's Services' Assessment for Quality Improvement (AQI) tool as an accurate way to determine quality in early learning and child care settings. This endorsement makes the AQI the only peer-reviewed and validated improvement tool for child care developed in Canada. Read the article.
On May 9, 2016, the Ministry of Education posted new regulations under the Child Care and Early Years Act and Education Act. These changes cover a number of areas, including licensing fees, serious occurrences, enforcement, before- and after-school programs, and new optional models for group sizes, age ranges and ratios. The new rules come into effect at varying dates. A letter highlighting some of the key changes was sent to the child care sector on May 18, 2016.
More information, including fact sheets, is available on the Ministry of Education website.
The City of Toronto Children's Services division has ventured into an exciting opportunity with The University of Toronto to administer a research project that will measure the impact of a fee subsidy and access to child care on children and families.
This research will examine the effects of getting a childcare fee subsidy and space for eligible families and their children and will provide key information about how children who receive subsidized child care are impacted.
The Toronto Children's Services offices will be recruiting over 600 parents from the waiting list to participate in this study over a one year period. They will also be supporting and working closely with the participating families to help make this study a success.