Directed Growth

Child Care Directed Growth

Images of joined hands, children's art and children together

4 Ps for Child Care Directed Growth: Purpose, Planning, Priorities, Process


Ontario’s vision for the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system is that more families in Ontario have access to high quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care no matter where they live.

In line with Ontario’s vision for child care and the early years, the Children and Youth Planning Committee (CYPC) identified that there are three priorities in Windsor‐Essex for child care and early years programs. The priorities were as follows:

  • Access to services
  • System coordination
  • Focus on services for children with special needs

Ministry of Education (MEDU) identifies the criteria for priority neighbourhoods as follows:

  • Low-income families
  • Children with disabilities and children needing enhances or individual supports
  • Francophone
  • Indigenous children
  • Black children
  • Other racialized children
  • New immigrants


The following data collection was compiled during the creation of the Service System Plan 2020-2025 and has been used as a resource with CWELCC Directed Growth:

  • EDI: Early Development Instrument, Cycle 5 2017-2018 
  • Social Risk Index 2016
  • The Journey Together, 2017 (Indigenous Led)
  • The OEYCFC Initial Plan (Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres), 2017
  • Child Care Environmental Scan, 2017
  • Special Needs Resourcing Funding Review, 2019

In addition to the above data listed, the Service System Plan identified the following concerns:

  • In the County, child care centres are spread further apart, while supply is similar, access is less convenient
  • Infant care appears to be lacking in some areas, particularly in Essex
  • 40% of families (almost half) in Amherstburg and Essex reported that they had to use more than one location to meet their child care needs
  • Many families with children who have special needs, have to use more than one child care provider
  • Lack of extended hours is an issue
  • Many parents reported having made employment decisions as a result of child care difficulties, particularly for parents in Forest Glade/Riverside, Amherstburg and Leamington
  • Local challenges include lack of high‐quality staff and associated staff turnover

Future reports to be analyzed to further identify the Priority Neighbourhoods:

  • Knowing Our Numbers (KON) Results
  • Indigenous-Led Environmental Scan
  • EDI: Early Developmental Instrument,  Cycle 6 2022-2023


Priorities have been identified through the planning phase to determine expansion spaces/areas of need based on the best start neighbourhoods. The priority neighbourhoods are identified as:

Central, Leamington, East/Fontainebleau, West, Forest Glade/Riverside, Amherstburg, and Essex.


The City of Windsor, Children’s Services has taken on a phased process for directed growth child care expansion of current child care locations. Priority will be based on child care centres within Windsor-Essex in the priority neighbourhoods.

Directed Growth Phase Process:

  • Phase 1: Note their interest- Expression of interest application and start up grant application is sent
  • Phase 2: Formal application including detailed information and financial documentation 
  • Phase 3: Letter of application approval sent, additional promissory letter may be sent
  • Phase 4: Once finalized between parties, service agreement amended or enter into a new agreement once final plans are made/approved

Note: If multiple applications for the best start neighbourhood are received, a request for proposal (RFP) may required.

Start-up Grants Application - For-profit and not-for-profit licensed child care operators enrolled in the CWELCC system are eligible to apply for Start-up Grants. The Start-up Grants support the creation of new licensed full day spaces for children under age six in targeted regions for underserved communities and populations.

Click image below for a printable version of the Child Care Directed Growth: Phases:

Child Care Directed Growth Phases

Additional Information:

Application Submission and Inquiries: