Bruce County launches new licensed Child Care expansion toolkit

At the Thursday, December 7th (2023) Committee Meetings, Bruce County’s Human Services department highlighted the Child Care and Early Learning Directed Growth Plan and showcased the newly launched Early Learning and Child Care Expansion Toolkit.

Licensees who are interested in opening or expanding child care services are encouraged to visit the Bruce County website to explore the new Early Learning and Child Care Expansion Toolkit. This toolkit provides a step-by-step guide for supporting child care expansion projects.

Bruce County, as a Consolidated Municipal Service Manager, plans, funds and provides quality and inclusion supports for the local child care system. Bruce County has been allocated a notional target of 645 new child care spaces by the Ministry of Education.

Under the Canada Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system, Ontario has committed to support the creation of 86,000 new CWELCC licensed child care spaces by the end of 2026. The focus of this expansion will be in communities with populations that need them the most. This directed growth approach will support space creation in underserved communities and parts of the province who have historically low rates of space availability.

In alignment with Ontario’s Access and Inclusion Framework, Bruce County’s Directed Growth Plan will prioritize child care expansion to:

  1. increase access equity by supporting child care expansion in municipalities with an access rate lower than the provincial average of 37%.
  2. support child care access for low-income children, vulnerable children, children from diverse communities, children with special needs, Francophone, and Indigenous children.
  3. Maintain or improve the proportion of not-for profit licensed child care spaces at 70% or higher.

In addition to reviewing the factors identified above by the province, child care expansion projects will be evaluated and prioritized by reviewing county-wide growth forecasts and licensed child care waitlist data.

“It is important for us to engage with our community in planning, funding, and delivering local child care and early years programs and services. Our priority is ensuring the local delivery of early years and child care services is collaborative and responsive in meeting the needs of children and families,” says Tina Metcalfe, Director of Human Services.

The expansion of child care and early years services in Bruce County is not possible without additional Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs). We encourage all those interested in early childhood education to pursue this rewarding career in our beautiful, caring, and engaged communities.

To learn more about becoming an RECE, including information about Fanshawe College’s part-time accelerated Early Childhood Education program offered in Port Elgin, please visit

Explore Bruce County’s Early Learning and Child Care Expansion Toolkit.
Discover more about Children’s Services in Bruce County.