Child Care Fee Assistance
Child Care Fee Assistance helps make child care more affordable for low-income families. York Region will pay some or all of the cost of child care directly to the child care provider. Eligible families can pick from a list of approved child care providers.
Eligibility is determined using an income test developed by the Province of Ontario. All Municipalities must use this test to assess eligibility for childcare fee assistance.
Families have to meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:
- They live in York Region
- The children are ten years old or younger (up to 12 in exceptional circumstances)
- The family has an assessed financial need (this is determined at the intake interview)
- All family members file their Income Tax Return every year
- Parents cannot care for their children during the day because they are either:
- Enrolled in an educational or training program
- In a situation where there is a major risk to the health, safety or well-being of a family member
The amount covered is decided by:
- Household net income* minus any Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) payment
- The number and age of children who need child care
- The number of days that child care is needed
*Net income is the amount on line 236 of your Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment.
How to Apply
There are three steps to apply for Child Care Fee Assistance:
Step 1 - Call the KIDS LINE for a Pre-Screening
Parents can only be approved for Child Care Fee Assistance at an in-person interview. Because this funding is in high demand, there is a wait list to get an interview. Requests for child care fee assistance are screened through the Contact Centre. Staff will ask a set of questions about your family, where you live, income and reason for service.This pre-screening ensures families meet basic eligibility requirements before they are placed on the wait list.
Call: 1-888-703-KIDS (5437) to apply for child care fee assistance.
Step 2 – Confirming Your Wait List status
After your pre-screening, you will be contacted by a Child Care Services Staff who will ask you more questions about your income and child care needs. You will get a letter and an income verification form which outlines the documents you must send in. Once received, staff will review and assign your wait list status. You will receive a letter confirming your wait list status, along with a listing of approved child care providers in your area..
You must choose a child care program from the approved list before you are called for your interview. Many child care programs have a waiting list for space, so act early and put your name on the wait list of the child care program that best suits your needs. This will speed up the process and you will be one step closer to securing funding and space.
The length of time you are on the wait list depends on how many people are ahead of you. This is a first-come-first-served program.
Priority is given to:
- Families with a net income of $ 36,000 or less
- Families who may be experiencing exceptional circumstances.
Step 3 - Prepare for your Intake Interview
When your name reaches the top of the wait list, Child Care Services will call you to schedule an your intake interview. You will be provided with a list of required documents you must bring with you. At your interview, you will find out if you are eligible using the provincial government income test. Child Care Services will tell you how much York Region will pay directly to the child care provider and how much you will be required to pay.
Families who are getting funding must attend an in-person eligibility review each year.
Eligible families must let York Region know if there are changes that might affect their eligibility.
This could be:
- A change in the family’s living situation, address or phone number
- A change in the family’s net income
- A change in the parent’s employment or education program
- A change to or end of employment
- A change to or end of education programs