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

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Consultation has concluded

This project supports the Region of Waterloo's strategic focus area(s):  An icon representing the Region's strategic focus area Healthy, safe and inclusive communities.


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.

This project supports the Region of Waterloo's strategic focus area(s):  An icon representing the Region's strategic focus area Healthy, safe and inclusive communities.


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.

Consultation has concluded
  • Progress Updates

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    What's happening now?

    The 2022-2026 Early Years and Child Care Service System Plan was approved by Regional Council on February 23, 2022. To begin implementing the System Plan, Regional Staff will be hosting virtual meetings with early years and child care system partners to start implementation planning.


    What's been done so far?

    Community Engagement Sessions

    In September two community engagement sessions were held for early years and child care operators and community partners to provide feedback on the draft strategic priorities and actions of the System Plan.


    Internal regional staff consultations

    In June/July small group consultations were held for regional staff within Children’s Services who work directly within child care subsidy, quality initiatives, business administration, and in management.


    EYCC Community Partners Survey

    In June, a survey for community organizations who are connected to the EYCC system or serve the children and families accessing programs was sent out to provide an additional opportunity for feedback. The Region has also met with community organizations to identify actions that will meaningfully address equity barriers in the early years and child care system.


    Licensed child care operators (both centre and home based) Survey

    A survey for local licensed child care operators was launched in May (centre based) and June (home based). 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.


    Engagement with Special Needs Resourcing, EarlyON Programs, Professional Resource Centre

    Interviews and focus groups took place from May to August 2021 with Special Needs Resourcing partners, EarlyON lead agency and Indigenous Led EarlyON Family Centre, Professional Resource Centre and Conestoga College.


    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.