Early Learning Department

Welcome to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Child Care Information page!

The OCDSB is the largest school board in Eastern Ontario servicing 75,000 students within our 113 elementary schools and 25 secondary schools. The OCDSB recognizes the importance of quality child care and we strive to ensure that we are offering responsive, caring, flexible, safe and nurturing child care options to suit your family's child care needs.

The OCDSB prides itself on offering care through a combination of district run programs as well as entering into partnerships with third party providers who meet the legislative requirements set out by the Ministry of Education.

OCDSB Infant, Toddler and Preschool Programs

The OCDSB currently operates two Infant, Toddler and Preschool Programs. Both these programs offer high quality licensed child care options for our youngest learners in safe, nurturing environments.

As a licensed child care program in Ontario, we adhere to the Ministry of Education’s policy statement on programming and pedagogy (How Does Learning Happen?).

This is based upon four foundations to build on as a child continues in our care: Belonging, Well-Being, Engagement and Expression. Throughout this journey, we view all children, parents/caregivers and educator teams as competent, capable, curious and rich in potential."

The Infant Toddler and Preschool Programs operated by the Ottawa Carleton District School Board are licensed to operate by the Ministry of Education. The OCDSB holds the child care license and is bound by the Child Care and Early Years Act, which sets out the standards that must be met in child care centres.

The funding to operate is provided through parent fees and a Purchase of Service Agreement with the City of Ottawa, which provides subsidies to families who meet the requirements.

OCDSB Extended Day Programs

Registered Early Child Educators and Early Learning Assistants lead this program and offer our students a seamless day of learning at one location. Structured and non-structured activities offer children opportunities to learn through play. Activities will include quiet reading time, gross motor opportunities in the gym and outside, plus open play within the classroom. Your child will be in familiar surroundings with staff and friends they have been with during the day.

The Extended Day Program operates from 7 a.m. to the start of school and from the end of school until 6 p.m. Parents may register their child for the morning, afternoon, or for both. The program will run on all instructional teaching days and be available for select professional activity days. Registration for Extended Day Programs on non-instructional days and holidays (select days at the Winter Break and March Break) may be available and will be done by separate registration, identifying the chosen locations offered for each break. Typically reduced locations across the district are selected for break periods.

Guiding Principles

School boards are required to comply with the provisions for before and after school programs set out under Part IX.1 of the Education Act, Regulation 221/11 entitled “Extended Day and Third Party Programs,” and by the four foundations of "How Does Learning Happen? Ontario's Pedagogy for the Early Learning".

View of the Child: All students are competent, capable of complex thinking, curious and rich in potential. Environments and experiences allow students to exercise choice and responds to individual abilities and interests.

Positive Interactions: Programs support students in making connections with their peers and staff in structured and unstructured interactions as well as provide opportunities for students to engage in independent activities. All students, including students with differing abilities feel valued, connected to others, and are able to make positive contributions to the group, community and natural world.

Developmentally Responsive: All students are able to participate fully in ways that are most comfortable for them. Programs support physical and mental health and wellness, and are rooted in an understanding of child development and the broader contexts within which this development is happening (e.g. local, social, cultural, economic).

Safe, Inclusive Spaces: Programs establish and maintain positive, harassment/discrimination free environments for optimal participant growth so that students, each with differing abilities, interests and perspectives feel that their experiences and strength are valued.

Third Party Providers Extended Day Programs

In accordance with the Education Act and regulation, school boards may directly operate before and after school programs or they may enter into an agreement with a Third Party Operator.

The OCDSB has developed and entered into partnerships at a number of elementary schools with third party operators. Our third party partners are regulated by the Ministry of Education and offer children enrolled in these schools a high quality before and after school care option serving children in the primary and/or junior division (i.e. from Kindergarten to Grade 6) where there is sufficient demand and/or viability.

EarlyON Child and Family Centres

With the generous support of the Ministry of Education, the OCDSB offers high-quality early years programming in eight elementary schools. EarlyON Child and Family Centres are free for all families  and caregivers in Ontario with children from birth to six years old. Join us to participate in fun activities with your children, connect with other people with young children, discuss topics such as play-based learning, child development and school readiness with early years professionals, and access information, resources and referrals from community services.

Child Care Programs for LINC/ESL/LBS

Funding from municipal, provincial and federal sources allow us to provide on-site child care so that families can attend English as a Second Language (ESL), Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) or Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) classes. Child care is available for children aged six months to six years. The program prepares children for Junior and Senior Kindergarten and provides all the early learning activities in a quality early childhood education setting (i.e., enhancing the physical, cognitive, linguistic and social and emotional development of the child.) As well, OCDSB child care staff provide on-site child care at the City’s Employment Resource Centres to enable Ontario Works recipient families to participate in and receive ongoing counselling and re-employment support. For further information please visit eslinottawa.com




Contact Us

Meet the Team
Infant Toddler Preschool
Third Party Provider Extended Day Programs
EarlyON Child and Family Centre
Getting Ready for Kindergarten
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