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Peel Region

Apply to the early learning and child care program

Licensed child care providers can apply for Peel Region’s Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care program.

The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) agreement supports a high-quality, affordable, easily accessible, and inclusive licensed child care system.

As the demand for child care is expected to rise, Peel Region is continuously working to increase access to licensed child care for families in our community. Our goal is to create 11,980 new child care spaces by the end of 2026.

The Ministry of Education has directed Peel Region to maintain its current child care system for children 5 years and younger. This ensures that 60% of the spaces are not-for-profit spaces and the remaining 40% are for commercial spaces.

As part of our CWELCC expansion plan, Peel Region must create at least 7,170 not-for-profit child care spaces. Our commercial centre-based providers can operate in the remaining 4,810 spaces.

Multi-year expansion plan update

We reached our commercial space target, and our focus is on expanding our not-for-profit sector to meet our overall expansion target.

As a result, we are currently accepting applications only from licensed home child care agencies and not-for-profit centre-based providers.

All applications from commercial centre-based child care providers have been paused.

Other information

You can apply for Peel Region’s CWELCC program if you plan to create new licensed child care spaces in Peel for infant, toddler, or preschool age groups.

Before applying, check your eligibility and review the CWELCC multi-year expansion plan and application process.

You are eligible to participate in CWELCC expansion if your project will be in operation by December 31, 2026.

To apply, you must meet these requirements:

Registered not-for-profit centre-based child care providers

  • You are participating in Peel’s CWELCC program and planning to increase spaces through a licence revision.
  • You are participating in Peel’s CWELCC program and planning to open a new child care site in Peel.
  • You don’t operate in Peel and would like to open a new child care site in Peel.
  • You opted out of CWELCC in 2022 and are interested in applying to CWELLC for the first time.

Centre-based providers must be registered as a not-for-profit child care provider before applying to Peel’s CWELCC program. You need to maintain the status of a not-for-profit child care provider throughout the term of your CWELCC agreement.

Home child care agencies

  • You have a head office in Peel and are participating in Peel Region’s CWELCC program. You also plan to open new homes in Peel through a licence revision.
  • You have a head office outside of Peel and are participating in CWELCC in another service area. You plan to open new homes in Peel through a licence revision.
  • You have a new head office in Peel but are not participating in CWELCC. We recommend that new home child care agencies commit to expanding to a minimum of 18 homes by 2026.

Applications from home child care agencies to open new homes in Peel will be prioritized and approved in the order listed above.

Home child care agencies with a head office outside of Peel must have a CWELCC agreement with their respective service system manager before expanding in Peel.

Before applying for the CWELCC program, we encourage you to do your research to understand the communities in Peel that need licensed child care spaces and develop a business plan for how you will be viable.

You must receive Peel Region’s approval to enroll in CWELCC before proceeding with municipal zoning, site plan approval, or entering into a lease agreement.

To identify the priority communities open for expansion, use the EYCC Mapping tool.

How to use the tool

From the legend on the left-hand side, select “CWELCC Expansion”.

Hover over the priority communities to see which communities have achieved their space targets (and expansion is paused) and which communities have spaces available (focus for expansion). This tool will be updated regularly so you will know where there is still a need for child care spaces.

If you have trouble accessing the mapping tool link, update your Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser to the latest version. Also, clear all temporary files before viewing the EYCC Mapping Tool.

We have updated the targets in our priority communities based on our expansion goals. We will focus on the communities that need expansion and pause work in communities that have already met the desired targets.

Email us if you want to learn about the availability of space in any of the priority communities.

If you’re interested in participating in the CWELCC program, complete the CWELCC expansion application form.

How to submit the application

We are currently accepting CWELCC expansion applications from not-for-profit centres and home child care agencies on an ongoing basis. You must be approved through our Expansion Application Process before applying for a new or revised licence in CCLS.

Email us your completed application with the subject line “CWELCC Expansion Application.”

It takes us about 4 to 6 weeks to complete our review and to get back to you with the results.

Not-for-profit centre-based providers are required to submit a new centre-based application if any of these situations occur:

  • The address of your new location changed from what you stated in your application.
  • You were approved for CWELCC but the specific location you were interested in leasing is not available anymore. Approval is site-specific and cannot be transferred to another location.

If you are applying for a new child care centre, you must submit a letter from the landlord or property owner confirming your interest in the proposed location.

Start-up Grants

You may use the CWELCC expansion application form to apply for the Start-up Grant available in 2024. The Start-up Grant can be used to reduce costs required to expand or create new licensed child care spaces for infant, toddler, and preschool age groups. This also includes buying equipment or leasehold improvements for centre-based or home child care sites.

Review the CWELCC expansion plan and application process to learn more about the Start-up Grant.

If you are approved for the Start-up Grant, you can refer to:

If you have questions or need more information about early years and child care and the CWELLC expansion in Peel, email us.

For more information on Peel’s expansion plan and application process, review the questions and answers intended to support licensed child care providers.

Learn more about the funding resources available to licensed providers.

Applying does not guarantee approval into the CWELCC program. Applications are subject to Peel’s review, funding, and space availability. All applications are reviewed against provincial requirements and Peel Region’s specific criteria.

For specific details on how applications are assessed and approved, review Peel’s CWELCC expansion plan and application process.

We have streamlined our funding agreements to build an inclusive, accessible, and affordable child care system.

As a part of our CWELCC program, approved child care providers in Peel Region will enter an EYCC Funding Agreement. This agreement requires providers to:

  • Accept and include children who receive child care subsidy.
  • Accept and include children with special needs by actively participating in Peel Inclusion Resource Services.
  • Participate in continuous quality improvement initiatives like Raising the Bar in Peel and professional learning opportunities.

Review licensing requirements

Before you apply, review the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 and Ontario Regulation 137/15.

How to start a child care program in Ontario

If you are interested in opening a child care centre or home, review these resources before you apply for a license:

You can find more information from the Ministry on how to start a child care program.