Child Care Directed Growth

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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


In order to determine planning for the CWELCC directed growth, priority neighbourhoods were identified by reviewing the following data:

  • Early Development Instrument (EDI), Cycle 5 2017-2018/Cycle 6 2022-2023 (future data)
  • Social Risk Index 2016
  • Statistics Canada, Census 2016 & Census 2021 (to be added)
  • Social Determinants of Health, Children First
  • Autism Reporting, Children First
  • Special Needs Resourcing (SNR) Referrals
  • Windsor Essex Child Care Expansion Survey 2023
  • Windsor Essex Child Care Mapping (Child Care, Schools, EarlyON Child and Family Centres)

Summary of community plans included the following:

  • Knowing Our Numbers (KON) 2023 (to be added)
  • The Journey Together, 2017
  • The Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres (OEYCFC) Initial Plan, 2017
  • Child Care Environmental Scan, 2017
  • Special Needs Resourcing Funding Review, 2019
  • Indigenous Plan, Environmental Scan - In Progress

Windsor-Essex Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan 2020-2025 identified the following needs for improvement:

  • Lack of infant spaces in Essex. In the county, child care centres are spread further apart; while supply is similar, access is less convenient, and 40% of families (almost half) in Amherstburg and Essex had to use more than one location to meet their child care needs.
  • Families with children who have special needs also had double the rate of having to use more than one 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. Infant care in particular appears to be lacking in some areas.
  • Local challenges include lack of high‐quality staff and associated staff turnover.


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 undertakes an Expression of Interest (EOI) process to select an operator for new or expansion of a current child care location. Priority will be based on child care centres within Windsor-Essex in the priority neighbourhoods.

Application Process:

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: