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Early Learning

Early Learning/Child Care

There are early learning options available for children starting from infancy. Childcare (or daycare) programs are child minding services that provide a learning environment for children while parents are at work, at appointments or busy in other ways. Some parents choose to enroll their children in these programs as an opportunity to socialize and learn. Finding quality childcare is important, as it provides reassurance to parents that children are receiving care in a safe and positive learning environment. 

Childcare can be unlicensed or licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Education. To receive a licence, a childcare program must meet and maintain very specific standards to provide for the health, safety and developmental needs of children. Care is provided by professional Early Learning staff. Informal, or unlicensed, child caregivers are not regulated by the Ontario government and, therefore, are not required to meet provincial health, safety or training standards.

Childcare programs can take place in a childcare centre or in a caregiver’s home. Childcare centres can operate in a variety of locations, including community centres, places of worship, schools or other buildings. Some programs offer childcare to children as young as infants, through all ages up to school-aged. Some schools provide childcare for children before and after school, for a fee.  It is important to contact a childcare program directly to find out the services and program ages offered at each location.

The Ontario public school system also offers early learning programs for children ages 4 and 5 years old.  Children who are turning 4 years old within the calendar year can attend Junior Kindergarten and children are turning 5 years old within the calendar year can attend Senior Kindergarten.  These programs are located in elementary schools.  To learn more about Junior and Senior Kindergarten visit the Ontario Ministry of Education website or contact your local school board.

Child Care Fee Assistance

Financial assistance to pay for child care fees is available to eligible families within Simcoe County.  Eligibility for child care fee assistance is determined by a standard assessment based on income only.  Parents interested in applying for child care fee assistance should have their child care arrangement in place prior to scheduling an appointment for assessment of eligibility. 

Visit the County of Simcoe website to learn more about Child Care Fee Assistance in Simcoe County or contact the Children Services Department:
705-722-3132 or

Children with Special Needs

Early intervention refers to supporting the early identification and treatment of infants and young children with special needs up to six years old, or those who may be at risk of experiencing barriers to development.

Parents might think about contacting early intervention services if they have concerns about their child’s:

  • Feeding and nutrition
  • Ability to learn
  • Hearing
  • Mobility and movement
  • Speech/Language/Communication
  • Attention
  • Vision
  • Behaviour/Social/Emotional interaction
  • Play

Protecting Your Child

In Ontario, the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) has a duty to protect children under the age of 16 from abuse or neglect. The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) can help parents and children with family problems, such as when there is a threat of violence or harm to children. 

The information listed below was provided by 211 Community Connection.

Children’s Aid Society of Simcoe County ​
Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions
Locations in: Alliston, Barrie, Bradford, Collingwood, Midland and Orillia
60 Bell Farm Rd, Unit 7  L4M 5G6
Phone: 705-726-6587
Toll Free: 1-800-461-4236