Child Care Operators

​The Municipality of Chatham-Kent enters into Purchase of Service Agreements with licensed child care providers, licensed in-home child care agencies and High Five accredited Recreation Programs in order to assist eligible families with their child care costs.

Child Care & Early Years Portal

Child Care Expansion Plan: Our Targeted Growth Strategy

The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System aims to make child care more accessible and affordable and to increase the number of spaces for families.

The Province of Ontario has committed to the creation of 86,000 new licensed child care spaces.  

As a result, the Ministry of Education gave Chatham-Kent a target of 341 licensed child care spaces that we must create by 2026.

Chatham-Kent's targeted growth plan includes:

  • 162 spaces created in 2022, 30 spaces created in 2023, 130 spaces to be created in 2024 which are already underway, 7 spaces to be created in 2025 which are reserved for our home care programs and 12 spaces to be created in 2026 which are reserved for our home care programs.

In 2022 our auspice ratio between Profit and Non-Profit centers were 4% and by the end of 2026 that ratio will remain the same.

At this time, no new licensed agencies are being sought to fulfill our expanded targeted growth plan. 

Access & Inclusion Framework

The expansion of child care spaces is rooted in Ontario's Access and Inclusion Framework. This framework supports increased child care for:

  • Children of low-income families
  • Vulnerable children
  • Children from diverse communities
  • Children with special needs
  • Francophone children
  • Indigenous children

Priority Neighbourhoods

As per provincial direction, the new licensed child care spaces will target specific communities to support the families who need them most.  There are 4 priority neighbourhoods for child care growth in Chatham-Kent for children five years of age and under - Dresden/Bothwell, Thamesville, Ridgetown and Tilbury/Wheatley.

Besides the neighbourhoods listed above, Chatham-Kent is also responding to the community needs by referring to our child care registry for child care space allocation, particularly the neighbourhoods with the highest number of families on the registry for child care.  To assist families in dire need, we are also looking for locations that have the capacity for immediate expansion and home care providers that offer extended hour care, such as child care centres with extra rooms available.  As a result, two more neighbourhoods, Chatham and Blenheim, are included as our priority locations.

EDI NeighbourhoodUnder 6
Population - 2021
Under 6
Spaces - 2023
# of Children
Under 6 per 1 Space
Child Care Coverage Rate
for Under 6 Population
Pain Court175573.0733%
Total 6315 2381 2.65 38%

*Stats from licensed child care centres / full-time spaces only.

There is a need in our community to accommodate families that need evening and weekend care.  Our currently licensed Home Child Care Agencies are ready to bring on more providers that offer more flexible working hours.  If you are interested in becoming a licensed home child care provider contact:

  1. Lambton Rural Home Child Care - Tracy Cameron 1-800-265-0257 x24,
  2. Wee Watch Chatham - Varsha Kulkarni 519-336-7948,

New Child Care Centres

If you are interested in establishing a new child care centre or require licensing information please access the Ministry of Education for child care providers for valuable information and review the Child Care Licensing in Ontario Orientation Package.  Please be aware there will be no funds to support expansions.

Also, please refer to the 2022 Planning and design guidelines for licensed child care centres.

If you have any questions regarding opening a child care centre in Chatham-Kent, please email

General Operating Grant Funding

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent also enters into service contracts with licensed child care providers and licensed in-home child care agencies for the purpose of distributing General Operating Grant funding allocations where funds permit. Currently, we are not granting new service contracts for this purpose.

Funding received must be reconciled on an annual basis in accordance with the Ministry of Education Guidelines.

Existing Agreements

It is a requirement of the service contract to have an existing purchase of service agreement with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

It is necessary to hold a clear and valid licence from the Ministry of Education and to maintain insurance in accordance with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent Risk Management requirements.

Visit the Child Care and Early Years Portal for additional templates and resources.