Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) and other child care program staff play a key role during the critical years of a child’s development. However, there is a significant wage gap between RECEs working in the publicly funded education system, and those in the licensed child care sector. This wage gap creates challenges in retaining qualified pedagogical professionals to deliver affordable, high quality services. 

The Ontario government has made an ongoing funding commitment to support a wage enhancement for eligible child care professionals working in licensed child care settings. The Wage Enhancement Grant (WEG)/Home Child Care Enhancement Grant (HCCEG) will help retain RECEs, and support access to stable, high-quality child care programs for children in Ontario. The wage enhancement will also help to close the wage gap between Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs) working in the Kindergarten Program and RECEs/other child care program staff working in licensed child care settings.

The wage enhancement grant supports an increase of up to $2 per hour, plus 17.5 percent benefits for licensed program staff and home visitors. In addition, the HCCEG supports an increase of up to $20 per day for home child care providers contracted with a licensed home child care agency.


The goals of the wage enhancement are to:

  • Close the wage gap between RECE wages in the education sector and licensed child care sector;
  • Stabilize licensed child care operators by helping them retain RECEs/child care staff; and
  • Support greater employment and income security.

These goals support the Ministry’s priorities to:

  • Stabilize and transform the existing child care system to increase program choice and reliability for parents and support consistent, higher quality child care services to support children’s learning and development; and
  • Support licensed home child care agencies and strengthen the licensed home child care system.



The City of St. Thomas Children’s Services is responsible for administering and distributing the Child Care Wage Enhancement Grant and Home Child Care Enhancement Grant in the City of St. Thomas and the County of Elgin. The City may enter into agreements with eligible service providers to distribute this grant to eligible child care staff, and to determine the allocation which each child care provider is entitled. For more information about the process of applying for Wage Enhancement Grant, please contact St. Thomas-Elgin Children’s Services at (519) 631-9350 extension 7170.