Ask Us About...Children's Services

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The Children’s Services Division provides high-quality and affordable programs and services for children and their families including:

  • Fee subsidies to assist families with the high cost of child care
  • Support programs and services for children with special needs and their families
  • Professional development opportunities for those working in the sector
  • Oversight and funding for local child care and EarlyON Child and Family Centre programs

The City of Stratford also owns and manages the Anne Hathaway Day Care Centre which provides full-day spaces for children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years.

*Please note that this project is intended to answer general questions only. We will not respond to questions related to personal or individual cases and ask that you contact the Social Services Department at 519-271-3773 ext. 200 so that an appropriate staff can connect with you directly to address your inquiry.

The Children’s Services Division provides high-quality and affordable programs and services for children and their families including:

  • Fee subsidies to assist families with the high cost of child care
  • Support programs and services for children with special needs and their families
  • Professional development opportunities for those working in the sector
  • Oversight and funding for local child care and EarlyON Child and Family Centre programs

The City of Stratford also owns and manages the Anne Hathaway Day Care Centre which provides full-day spaces for children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years.

*Please note that this project is intended to answer general questions only. We will not respond to questions related to personal or individual cases and ask that you contact the Social Services Department at 519-271-3773 ext. 200 so that an appropriate staff can connect with you directly to address your inquiry.

CLOSED: Thank you for asking your questions. They have been grouped together and answered below. If you have any further questions, you can contact the City of Stratford Social Services Department or visit our website at www.stratford.ca. Thank you.

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    What are the eligibility requirements for subsidized child care in Stratford, Perth County, and St. Marys?

    about 1 month ago

    In order to be eligible for a child care fee subsidy, applicants need to be working, attending school, or have a medical or social need for child care. The amount of subsidy a household can receive depends on their income. Applicants with household incomes less than $20,000 qualify for a full subsidy – that is, their child care costs are 100% covered. This includes those in receipt of Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program. Households with incomes over $20,000 are assessed to determine how much subsidy is available to them.

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    How can families apply for subsidized child care?

    about 1 month ago

    Families who wish to put their children in licensed child care need to apply through the local child care registry: https://onehsn.com/Stratford/. This registry provides a list of all licensed providers in Stratford, Perth County, and St. Marys. Depending on the child care provider and the age of the child(ren), there may be a waitlist. Families can contact the provider directly for more information. This application process is for anyone who wants licensed child care for their child(ren). 

    *Please note that as child care centres and daycares re-open after closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the application process for licensed child care will change. Rather than applying through OneHSN, families will be expected to call the centres directly. More information on these changes will be available through the Social Services Department.  

    Applying for a child care fee subsidy is a separate process and is not included in the application on the OneHSN website. This must be done through the City of Stratford Social Services Department. It is important to remember that it make take some time before an applicant can meet with a subsidy worker to determine their eligibility and the amount of subsidy they can receive. 

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    Can families receive a fee subsidy for any child care centre, daycare, or program?

    about 1 month ago

    No. Families must use a licensed child care provider in order to be eligible for a fee subsidy. This includes all providers on the OneHSN website and registry.

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    Can families apply for a fee subsidy outside of the region in which they live?

    about 1 month ago

    Families should apply for a fee subsidy in the municipality where they reside. However, a subsidy can be used for licensed child care in another region in certain circumstances (for example, the parent(s) commute and want their child close to where they work). This can be discussed during the appointment with the subsidy worker.

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    What qualifications do the staff in licensed child care centres have?

    about 1 month ago

    All licensed child care centers have staff that are Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECE) in each room. All staff required to meet licensed ratios have valid first aid and CPR, and regularly participate in professional development activities to maintain good standing with the College of Early Childhood Educators.  

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    What steps can parents take to feel comfortable with the quality of child care at a centre or daycare?

    about 1 month ago

    Before deciding what child care provider to use, parents can visit the locations when children are there, have a tour, and talk with the staff and children. Some questions to keep in mind:

    • What are the provider’s operations like: how long have they been running, what are their staffing levels, what is the turnover rate for staff, etc.
    • How do the RECEs interact with the children in the room: are they down on the floor, are they responding to the children needs?
    • Are children and staff laughing; is the tone of the room positive and welcoming?
    • How do the play materials in the room support learning, creativity, and social interaction?
    • How are different cultural traditions integrated?
    • How are family members involved and how do providers communicate with the families?
    • What are the agency policies on things such as snacks, lunch, nap times, outdoor play, daily routines, and behaviour challenges?
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    What other services, besides fee subsidies for child care, does the City of Stratford Social Services Department offer the community?

    about 1 month ago

    The Social Services Department offers and/or provides funding to a number of other programs that serve local families with children.  

    EarlyON Child and Family Centres provide opportunities for children from birth to 6 years of age to participate in play and inquiry-based programs, and support parents and caregivers in their roles. Program descriptions, times and locations can be found at https://www.stratford.ca/en/live-here/earlyon-perth-county.aspx with calendars updated monthly.

    Currently physical locations are closed due to COVID-19 but online/virtual programs and resources are still available.

    Children’s Resource Consultant Program works with early learning and child care programs to support the inclusion of all children. The program accepts referrals (from, for example, parents/caregivers, doctors, teachers, Early Years professionals, therapists, etc.) and supports child development in a variety of ways including:

    • Making connections with other service providers
    • Supporting smooth transitions to school and/or child care programs
    • Creating a Family Service Plan with the family if needed
    • Offering support, suggestions, and resources to families and child care programs
    • Provide training opportunities for parents and educators

    Child(ren) do not need a to have a developmental challenge to access this program. A Resource Consultant can offer support to families for any concerns including those related to mental health and social/emotional challenges.