Financial Help with Child Care Costs


little girl playing with blocks

The Child Care Subsidy program can help you pay for child care for children up to age 12 at licensed, recreation or Extended Day  programs in the community. To apply for fee subsidy, you must be the parent or legal guardian, live in Waterloo Region and file a Federal Tax Return (in accordance with Revenue Canada Guidelines).  Your net income and the reason you are applying is used to determine if you are eligible for any financial assistance.

Information about Child Care Subsidy can be found in the information booklet.  The information booklet is also available in French.

Child Care Fee Subsidy Waitlist Information

On June 28, 2017 Regional Council approved the 2017 Children's Services budget and as a result there is funding to address the waitlist.  Staff in Child Care Subsidy will begin contacting families, starting with those families of children with special needs (Category 1) and those with income of $20,000 or less (Category 2), followed by those in Categories 3 - 5. 

Families on the waitlist must be offered an appointment before any new families can be seen.  This means that new families who apply for Child Care Subsidy on or after June 29/17 will be put on an appointment list.  Once the waitlist has been cleared, these new families will be contacted according to their application date.

When a waitlist is in place, families in Category 1 are given first priority and after that, it's based on income.

Category 1 - 1st Priority

  • Families with children with special needs

 Category 2 - 2nd Priority

  • Families with income $0 - $20,000

 Category 3 - 3rd Priority

  • Families with income $20,001 - $40,000

 Category 4 - 4th Priority

  • Families with income $40,001 - $60,000

 Category 5 - 5th Priority

  • Families with income $60,000+


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does the wait list work?










Once a family has completed the initial intake and provided the amount from line 236 on the Federal Notice of Assessment, they will be placed on the wait list in one of the categories.  Eligibility is determined when funding is available to move a child from the wait list.


Children are moved from the wait list as other children leave the Child Care Subsidy program.  All children who are in Category 1 must be removed from the wait list before children in Category 2 will be contacted.


Child Care Subsidy does not pay for child care costs while a family is on the waiting list.




When will my child be moved off the Wait List?


Children are moved from the wait list as other children leave subsidy. Children with special needs are given first priority followed by children with lowest household income.  


Q. Can you tell me where I am on the wait list?



We can't give out that information, but if you call us to check in, we can let you know the total number of children who are on the wait list at that time.


Q. Once my child is off the wait list and receiving subsidy, will I be reimbursed by subsidy for child care costs I paid for?
A. You will not be reimbursed for child care costs while your child was on the wait list. 


Q. How can I become a higher priority?



All children are a priority, but with a set amount of funding available for child care subsidy, children with special needs are given priority followed by children with lowest household income.  


Q. Should I apply for child care subsidy now if I'm going to be put on the wait list?
A. Putting your child on the wait list now means that you will receive subsidy once funding becomes available to you. You can only access fee subsidy by putting your child on the wait list.


How do I apply for subsidy?

1.    Online by going to:


2.    By phone at 519-575-4400. We will call you to schedule a time to meet with you to complete your application.

If I qualify for subsidy, how much will I pay for child care?

The amount you pay is based on your income. It is calculated using Line 236 of the previous year's Federal Notice of Assessment or Canada Child Tax Benefit Notice.

The Child Care Subsidy Calculator can give you an estimate of what your monthly contribution would be toward the cost of child care. You (and your spouse, if applicable) will need to have your most recent Federal Notice of Assessment or your Canada Child Tax Benefit Notice (CCTB) with you to use the calculator.

View examples of a Federal Notice of Assessment and a Canada Child Tax Benefit Notice.

 If you need copies of these documents, call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281 for your Federal Notice of Assessment or 1-800-387-1193 for your Canada Child Tax Benefit

If the on-line application or list from the Subsidy office says you need to complete and submit one of the following,

  • Employment Verification Form;
  • Medical Report for Assessing Eligibility for Child Care Subsidy;
  • Self-Employment Package;
  • Referral for Preschool Child with Special or Social Needs.

Call the Subsidy office at 519-575-4400 and you will be provided with the document you need.