Who can apply for Fee Subsidy
To qualify for Child Care subsidy in St. Thomas and Elgin County, you must be a resident of St. Thomas and Elgin County, have legal status in Canada, both parents or the single parent must be working, self employed or going to school during the hours when your child would be in Child Care and be in financial need as determined by the most recent Income Tax Federal Notice of Assessment. If your child has diagnosed special needs, you may also qualify. You will also be considered to be in financial need if you are eligible for social assistance.

Working Parents: Generally, Child care fee assistance is available for those days/hours that you are working.

Students: Students must be attending school or a recognized training program on a regular basis. Child Care is available for those days/hours that you are attending classes.

Self Employed Parents: Parents who are self employed must be actively engaged in a registered business, full time and claim business expenses against income. Documentation is required including Business Number.
How do I apply for Fee Subsidy?
It is the responsibility of the parent to choose a child care program for your child from the listing of licensed child care providers and programs in St. Thomas and Elgin County.

Parents should apply to a child care centre or licensed home child care program through OneHSN website early to secure a space.

Parents may also want to meet the staff and the program to see that it is a good fit for their child.

The next step after a space has been secured is to call the Child Care Subsidy office for an appointment to apply for a Child Care Fee Subsidy. When you call the office, you will speak with a Child Care Subsidy Coordinator who will schedule an appointment with you. During the appointment the Child Care Subsidy Coordinator will determine whether you qualify for a subsidy. Each parent’s need for Child Care varies as determined by hours of work, school attendance, and other factors.

To apply, please call the St. Thomas-Elgin Children’s Services Department Intake Line at: 519-631-9350 or 1-800-265-4362 and select OPTION 3 (Apply for Assistance). Parents are seen by appointment only.
How much do I pay for child care?
The amount that you pay for child care is calculated using the information on your Notice of Assessment/Reassessment for the most recent tax year.

You must file an income tax return each year to qualify for continual child care service and you must pay your assessed parental fee directly to the child care program or agency.
What papers will I need to bring?
You will need to submit the following documents with your application. Additional documents may be required.
  • Most recent Notice of Assessment (NOA) as verification of income
  • Proof of address
  • Birth certificate for you and your child(ren)
  • Verification of employment, school registration, or therapeutic referral
  • Two recent pay stubs for you and your spouse (if applicable)
  • Current custody and/or separation agreement, or guardianship
How do I choose a quality child care program?
In Ontario, programs are licensed by the Ministry of Education, and regulations are set under the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA, 2014). Regulations impact the day-to-day work in child care by setting basic health and safety standards and specific requirements including staff-child ratios, space requirements, nutritional requirements, time spent indoors and outdoors each day, sleeping arrangements, to name a few. It also specifies staff qualifications and supervision; however, the standards are minimum and do not address all aspects of a quality program.

Visit OneHSN website and select "Find Child Care" for a list of Child Care programs in St. Thomas and Elgin County.
What must I do to keep my subsidy?
You must contact your Child Care Subsidy Coordinator when there are changes in your situation, including marital status, address, family size, employment, schooling or Ontario Works activity. In some cases, you will need an in-person eligibility review to find out if these changes affect your ongoing eligibility for subsidized child care or if there will be a change in your assessed child care fee.

If you no longer need child care or you leave the child care centre for another centre, you must notify us two weeks in advance. It is important to let the child care centre know two weeks in advance as well, if you no longer need child care from them. If the two weeks termination notice is not given you will be responsible for the full cost of the child care fees.

There may also be times when we need additional information from you to confirm your ongoing eligibility. Make sure you respond to all letters and submit information by the deadline date so that you do not lose your subsidy. If you have questions about any correspondence that you receive, contact your Child Care Subsidy Coordinator immediately.

Remember, failure to report changes is an offence and may result in suspension of your child care fee subsidy.
What can I do if I disagree with a decision?
Your Child Care Subsidy Coordinator can help you with most of your concerns. However, if you disagree with a decision in regard to child care subsidy you have the right to appeal. You must submit a letter to your Child Care Subsidy Coordinator, stating the reason for the appeal and any extenuating circumstances. The Appeal will be reviewed, and you will be advised of the decision. You will be informed of the internal review and appeals process at application.
How can I get more information about licensed child care in Ontario?
The Ministry of Education has a webpage to help parents make informed decisions about childcare.

A search tool allows parents to search for childcare by city, postal code, and type of program, age group, program name, operator name or language of service delivery. The site also provides the status of the license of any licensed program parents might be considering or about which they might be concerned.