Giving children the best possible start in life is important. There are many quality childcare and early learning options in Waterloo Region for children from birth to the time they begin school. These programs help your child to develop important learning and social skills.


Childcare is care offered for children by someone other than a parent. Childcare can be offered in:

  • A childcare centre
  • The child's home
  • The childcare provider's home

Childcare centres are licensed places where children are cared for by qualified staff.

Homecare can be offered in the child's home or the caregiver's home, and may or may not be licensed. Unlicensed or informal childcare is a private plan between parents and a caregiver.

The Region of Waterloo Children's Services Division manages the local licensed childcare system and offers information about local early learning and childcare programs. You can also learn about possible financial help with childcare costs.

The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services provides more information about the differences between licensed and unlicensed childcare. You can also explore all the children and youth programs offered by the Government of Ontario.

Early learning programs

Early learning programs can be offered in a childcare setting, or may be programs that you can attend with your child. Early learning and parenting programs are often offered by community organizations.

Ontario Early Years Centres provide free information and services to support child development up to the age of 6. They offer many programs for children and their parents to learn in a fun environment. Visit your local centre if you have any questions.

You can explore OneList Waterloo Region and to find early learning programs in Waterloo Region, and the Region of Waterloo's Child and Family Health Division also has resources for healthy child development.

Wondering if you are eligible for financial help? Talk to a settlement worker or community outreach worker in your neighbourhood.

For more information


Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre

102 King Street W, Kitchener ON

YMCA Immigrant & Employment Services

800 King Street W, Kitchener ON
258 Hespeler Road, Cambridge ON

KW Phone: 519-579-9622

Cambridge Phone: 519-621-1621

Email YMCA Immigrant & Employment Services