Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) Key Objectives

The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system will support quality, accessibility, affordability, and inclusivity in early learning licensed child care serving eligible children.

Key objectives include lowering child care fees for eligible children, improving wages and increasing access to quality child care programs.

CWELCC is a five-year plan that is based on equity and inclusion. All families, including those with a fee subsidy, will have access to CWELCC programs by 2025.

For information on child care in Lanark County, please visit Licensed Child Care in Lanark County.

 

Key objectives of CWELCC include:

 

  1. Fee Reduction

In 2022, families with eligible children will receive a 25% fee reduction retroactive to April 1, 2022.  Refunds will start to be processed late 2022.

Beginning January 2023, eligible children in participating licensed child care will be further reduced by another 25%, totaling 50% reduction.   By September 2024, CWELCC will reach an average parent fee of $10 a day.

 

As a parent or guardian of a child under the age of six, you do not need to apply to get a fee reduction.

 

 2. Increased Access to Quality Child Care

 

Create 86,000 new high-quality, affordable licensed child care spaces in Ontario, predominantly through not-for-profit licensed child care.   Barriers will be addressed to deliver inclusive child care.

 

  3. Support the Child Care Workforce

 

Provide the early childhood workforce with training and development opportunities.  Workforce compensation funding to support eligible Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) staff. Increased compensation will help support the recruitment and retention of RECEs working in the child care sector as part of a provincial strategy to achieve system growth and ensure increased access to high-quality licensed child care.

 

CWELCC Application for Child Care Providers

 

The application to apply to the Lanark County to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) is now available online.  Deadline to apply is September 1, 2022, although we strongly encourage all applications to be completed ASAP.

For additional information regarding the process, application or the program itself, all Licensees are encouraged to contact Emily Cassell at ecassell@lanarkcounty.ca.

  

 FAQs

How do part-time or under six hours programs fit into the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system? 

All licensees with programs serving children under the age of 6 (or turning 6 before June 30) in Ontario are eligible to apply to participate in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system through their Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM)/District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB).                                                         

 

If we opt-in, will we be required to fill to full licensed capacity?

Licensees not operating at the primary licensed capacity must report if they are using an alternate capacity. The Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM)/District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) will determine funding based on operating capacity. After funding is approved, the licensee must report any changes to operating capacity. We will determine whether this may result in a funding adjustment or recovery from the licensee.                                                                                                                          

Will the General Operating Grant (GOG) be continuing beyond 2022? 

The Ontario Ministry of Education is currently developing a new process to determine yearly funding amounts and will consult with key stakeholders in the coming months. We anticipate the 2023 funding guidelines to be released later this year.       

                                  

What are the audit and reporting expectations for those who opt-in? 

Audited financial statements are mandatory for participation in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system, audit costs will be reviewed as part of the administration budget. Licensees will work with their Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM)/District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) to reconcile all Canada­-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system funding annually in accordance with the reporting and reconciliation documentation provided by the Ontario Ministry of Education.                                                                                                                                     

Once we opt-in, are we able to make any fee increases that were already budgeted for in the year? If they hadn't yet been communicated to families? 

No, if a licensee opts-in, there can be no further fee increases unless they have been communicated prior to March 27, 2022.     

                                                                                             

Is the calculation for parent eligibility based on household income? 

The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system is not based on household income. Families will be paying an average of $12/day after licensees have opted-in to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system. The child care fee subsidy program will continue.                                                                                                                 

What about reserves in place for capital expenditures? (i.e. a new building or large renovation) Are those factored into the reserve calculation? Is there an allowance for them? 

Funding for the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system is an operating grant and cannot be used to support capital expenditures. As part of the year-end financial reporting process, where there may be excess funding provided to a licensee, this funding may remain with a licensee to support up to three months of operating funding as a reserve, so long as a licensee does not currently have a reserve in place. 

 

Would the 10% allocation of administrative costs only apply to the portion of the organization that supports children who are eligible for the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system funding? 
Yes, the budget review will be only for the eligible spaces. When a licensee operates eligible and non-eligible spaces, shared costs will be proportionately allocated to eligible child care spaces to determine the actual cost of child care. 
                                                 
What is the deadline for opting in/opting out of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement? 
All licensees must notify Lanark County if they choose to opt-in/opt out by September 1, 2022. 

All Licensed childcare programs serving children under the age of 6 (or turning 6 before June 30, 2022) are encouraged to participate in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement so that parents can benefit from the fee reduction. Under 0. Reg. 137 /15 (https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/150137), all child care programs licensed as of March 28, 2022, are required to notify parents and staff within 14 days of deciding whether or not they intend to participate in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement system.

 

What happens after September 1, 2022? 

Licensees must communicate their Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement enrolment status to all parents and staff within 14 days of the licensee being notified by Lanark County of the results of their application. 

The County commits to processing all Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement applications as soon as possible to ensure licensees can make timely refunds to parents. 

Licensees choosing to opt out of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement will continue to operate under the existing provincial licensing and regulatory framework, the County funding agreements and reporting requirements, if applicable.

 

Are programs that operate 10 months of the year eligible to opt-in to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement? 

Yes, licensees that operate for less than 12 months can opt in. The funding will be pro-rated based on the number of months of operating. 

 

I am an unlicensed home child care provider and want to participate in Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, what are my next steps? 

Unlicensed home child care providers are not eligible to participate in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Unlicensed providers that wish to participate in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement System may want to consider applying to a home child care agency to become part of the licensed system.                   

                                                                   

For 2022, will centres receive full compensation for refunded amounts or will it be on the base fee calculation? 

Operators will be compensated based on the actual costs of the rebates to families.                     

   

What is an administration cost and what does it include? 

Administration costs include non-program staffing costs and costs for audited financial statements. Consolidated Municipal Service Managers (CMSMs)/District Social Services Administration Boards (DSSABs) will assess each licensee's actual administration needs, based on individual circumstances.                                                                                                   

If a licensee does not currently have a funding or service agreement in place and chooses to opt-out of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system, will there be an opportunity to sign a new funding service agreement? 

All funding is currently allocated for 2022. New guidelines will be in place for 2023 funding and beyond. Currently, we are not aware of what will be available for 2023.   

                

Does the base fee rate include before and after care? 

Yes, base rates will be reviewed for before and after school care for children up to the age of 6.                                                                                                                                    

When will we know the 2023 funding amounts? 

The Ontario Ministry of Education is currently developing a new process to determine yearly funding amounts and will consult with key stakeholders in the coming months. We anticipate the 2023 funding guidelines to be released later this year.               

                     

Can licensees charge fees above the base fee? (i.e. cameras, registration, field trips, etc.) 

"Base fees" are defined as any fee that is charged with respect to a child for child care, including anything a licensee is required to provide under the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) or anything a licensee requires the parent to purchase from the licensee but does not include a non-base fee. 

"Non-base fee" is defined as any fee charged for optional items or optional services, such as transportation or field trips, or any fees charged pursuant to an agreement between the parent and the licensee in respect of circumstances where the parent fails to meet the terms of the agreement (e.g. fees for picking up a child late, fees to obtain items that the parent agreed to provide for their child), as defined in the Child Care and Early Years Act (https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/14c11).                                               

Will families who no longer have a child enrolled in child care between April 1, 2022, and enrolment into Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system be eligible to receive a refund?

Yes, efforts must be made to reach all families to ensure they receive their respective refunds. It is recommended that licensees who are considering opting-in to encourage families who are exiting the program to keep their contact information up to date.             

               

Is the 25% fee funding a lump sum payment? If so, is it based on licensed capacity? 

The 25% fee rebated to families will be based on actual costs made by licensees from families.                                                                                                                                                   

What are the timelines for providing licensees with the funding to reimburse parents? Will licensees receive funding to administer the rebates to families? 

After opting-in to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system, licensees are required to refund parents within 60 days. Lanark County commits to providing necessary funding in a timely manner. The County will consider issuing additional administrative funding to licensees, where applicable.         

                                                         

For 2022, how will rebates be calculated? 

After opting into the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, the fee reduction payments will be based on the actual fees parents paid to licensees back to April 1, 2022.                                                                                                                              

How does Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement work with families who receive the Fee Subsidy? 

The fee subsidy program will continue to be an option for families who require financial assistance. The parental contribution that fee subsidy families pay will be reduced by 25% effective April 1, 2022.   

 

 

If minimum wage increases, do you know if the wage floor would be adjusted year by year? 

We will share updated information as it becomes available. At this time, only the wage floor of $25/hr in the Addendum to Ontario Child Care and EarlyON Child and Family Centres Service Management and Funding Guideline (2022) has been shared.                                                                                         

How does the annual $1 increase work for staff who are over the floor but under $25? 

Workforce compensation funding must be used to fund the incremental amount required to bring the eligible staff wages to the wage floor. If the staff exceeds the wage floor currently, they would not be eligible for Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system funding in 2022. 

To be eligible for an annual wage $1 per hour increase beginning in 2023, staff must be receiving wage enhancement funding, and their hourly wage including wage enhancement funding must be below the wage cap of $25 per hour on January 1 of each eligible year (i.e., base wage plus wage enhancement funding plus annual increase must be below $25 per hour).                                                                                                                        

What positions are eligible for workforce compensation? 

Licensees must opt-in to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and receive the wage enhancement funding to be eligible for its workforce compensation. Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) program staff, supervisors and home child care visitor staff are eligible if they are currently below the wage floor identified by the Ontario Ministry of Education chart below.                      

 

What are the Lanark County’s plans for childcare expansion?  

In 2022, the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system prioritizes reducing fees for families and improving workforce compensation for staff. Phase two of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care agreement includes further details for childcare expansion.                                                                                                                                 

Can licensees increase or reduce licensed child care spaces?

Licensees participating in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system must maintain existing licensed spaces for children ages 0-5 (e.g., a licensed infant space must remain an infant space). Any revisions or use of alternate capacity must be reported to Lanark County to determine whether this will impact funding.

                                                                                                   

 Lanark County Child Care Providers participating in CWELCC

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