Early Learning and Child Care Licensees can apply to be included on the the County of Simcoe's Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Directed Growth Pre-Qualified List.
The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) agreement is a plan that supports a licensed early years and child care system that is committed to high-quality early years experiences, access equity, affordability, and inclusive conditions in early learning and child care.
As CWELCC continues to make child care more affordable for families, the demand for care is expected to increase. The County of Simcoe intends to increase access to licensed early learning and child care in targeted neighbourhoods by supporting the creation of 3,081 new spaces for children younger than 6 years, progressively each year, by the end of 2026. Should there be fluctuation to this number of new allocated spaces in Simcoe County, we will update this webpage regularly.
To comply with our Provincial-Municipal funding agreement, the County of Simcoe will be working to maintain its current early learning and child care operating system at a 71/29 percentage ratio of not-for-profit and for-profit child care spaces for children 6 years and younger in this directed growth initiative, see Figure 1. We will monitor this requirement throughout implementation of the directed growth plan and provide updates to the early learning and child care sector.
Figure 1: Breakdown of Not-for-Profit (2,188 spaces) and For-Profit (893 spaces) Directed Growth Spaces
We are committed to supporting the principles of the province's access and inclusion framework as we operationalize our directed growth plan. Through complex data analyses of multiple socio-economic and demographic indicators, specific neighbourhoods in the following municipalities in Simcoe County are the initial priority areas for directed growth, the greater the density of colour in mapped neighbourhoods, the greater the priority in that neighbourhood:
Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) Directed Growth Application Process
All early learning and child care licensees are eligible to apply to the CWELCC directed growth plan if your project will be in operation by December 31, 2026. The following are some examples of when you will need to apply to the program through the County of Simcoe:
- Centre-based and home-based child care licensees who are already operating in Simcoe County and are already opted into CWELCC, and would like to revise current licensed capacity in an existing program that would increase the number of licensed spaces for 0-5year old children.
- Centre-based and home-based child care licensees who are already operating in Simcoe County and are already opted into CWELCC, and would like to open a new site that would create new spaces for 0-5year old children.
- Centre-based and home-based early learning and child care licensees who are not currently operating in Simcoe County and would like to open a new early learning and child care site in Simcoe that would create new spaces for 0-5 year old children.
- Centre-based and home-based child care licensees who are already operating in Simcoe County but are not already opted in the CWELCC system.
For 1:1 consultation regarding whether your situation applies, please contact
How to apply
Before you apply, we encourage you to:
Requests for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ)
With our commitment to the principles of the Access and Inclusion Framework, we are implementing a two-step application process for CWELCC Directed Growth in Simcoe County. The first step will be to become approved as a pre-qualified Licensee. Once approved as a pre-qualified Licensee, you will be eligible to apply when we announce opportunities for Directed Growth Projects each year. Only pre-qualified Licensees will be eligible to apply.
The pre-qualification submissions will be evaluated by a committee comprising County staff and a sector stakeholder. The evaluation criteria are clearly described in the RFPQ document and are based on alignment with the principles of the Access and Inclusion Framework as they relate to quality standards, staffing practices, financial viability, and approaches to access equity and inclusion.
Calls for Directed Growth Projects
Pre-qualified Licensees will be invited to apply for consideration for Directed Growth Projects when this call is released in or around November 2023 for Directed Growth Projects that will be operational in 2024. There will not be a call for Directed Growth Projects that are operational in 2023. The applications will be scored based alignment of the proposed project to the greatest priority neighbourhoods identified, flexible hours and models of care relative to needs in the neighbourhood, equity-enrolment commitments, and must be approved according to our required not-for-profit and for-profit system operating ratio.
Future calls for Directed Growth Projects
A new call for Directed Growth projects will be released to pre-qualified Licensees in 2024 for projects that will be operational in 2025 and 2026. Timelines for future calls will be updated on this website.
How to Submit Request for Pre-Qualification
Thank you for your interest in participating in CWELCC Directed Growth in Simcoe County. When opportunities open to apply for specific directed growth projects in priority neighbourhoods across Simcoe County, they will be open to Operators on our Qualified Supplier List exclusively, as a result of a Request for Prequalification (RFPQ) process. Operators currently not on the County’s Qualified Supplier List may apply for consideration anytime, however applications will only be reviewed two times per year (November and May). If you are interested in submitting an application for inclusion on the Qualified Supplier List, please email email@example.com to request the RFPQ package.
Submissions will be accepted until November 15, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. Please refer to the RFPQ package for specific submission requirements. Submissions received after this date and time will be held until the next evaluation period in May 2024.
Start Up Grant Funding
Start-up Grant can be used to offset costs required to expand or create licensed child care spaces for children 4 years and younger, such as buying equipment or leasehold improvements.
Start Up Grant Guidelines
If you have questions or need more information email ELCC@simcoe.ca
Review licensing requirements
Understand the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 and Ontario Regulation 137/15 before applying.
How to start a child care program in Ontario
If you are interested in opening a child care centre or home, you should review these resources before you apply for a licence:
You can find more information from the Ministry about how to start a child care program.