Waterloo Region's Child Care and Early Learning Service System Plan, 2021-2025

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Region of Waterloo Children’s Services is in the process of developing the 2021-2025 Early Learning and Child Care Service System Plan. This plan will act as our road map for the next four years. As the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM), the Region of Waterloo Children’s Services is engaging in system-wide planning for licensed early learning and child care services.

The system plan will provide a picture of our current services and challenges in Waterloo Region, based on input and feedback from parents, service providers, child care operators, and researchers. This work will guide us in our journey towards an accessible, affordable, high quality, equitable and inclusive early learning and child care system. By working with community partners and taking a strategic approach, we will work to ensure that Waterloo Region is a community where all children thrive.




Region of Waterloo Children’s Services is in the process of developing the 2021-2025 Early Learning and Child Care Service System Plan. This plan will act as our road map for the next four years. As the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM), the Region of Waterloo Children’s Services is engaging in system-wide planning for licensed early learning and child care services.

The system plan will provide a picture of our current services and challenges in Waterloo Region, based on input and feedback from parents, service providers, child care operators, and researchers. This work will guide us in our journey towards an accessible, affordable, high quality, equitable and inclusive early learning and child care system. By working with community partners and taking a strategic approach, we will work to ensure that Waterloo Region is a community where all children thrive.

  • Progress Updates

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    What's happening now?

    Engagement with licensed child care operators: A survey for local licensed child care operators was launched on May 26th. The survey includes questions about challenges, strengths, program sustainability, suggestions for improvement, workforce challenges, inclusion and equity. The knowledge and perspectives of child care operators are essential for developing a plan that will have meaningful, positive impacts for the child care system.


    What's been done so far?

    Engagement with school boards: Engagement with the local school boards took place in May in order to get perspectives on strengths, challenges, barriers, and issues of equity primarily related to before and after school programs and child care/EarlyON programs within schools.

    Waterloo Region Parent Survey: Our first step in the engagement process was broad engagement for all parents in Waterloo Region who have a child age 0 to 12. The survey closed on April 16th and over 2500 parents participated! This survey will help us better understand how well the early learning and child care system serves local families, what barriers exist, and where improvements are needed. This work will help guide us in our journey towards an accessible, affordable, high quality, equitable and inclusive early learning and child care system.


    What are the next steps?

    Engagement will continue over the next four years with parents, including Indigenous and racialized communities and other marginalized families, along with community partners and child care operators.

    Our next step will be engagement with Special Needs Resourcing and EarlyON programs.