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8.4 Eligible Hours of Care


Children's Services  Effective Date: April 1, 2021  
Topic: Application for Child Care Subsidy   Replaces: January 1, 2010
Subject: Eligible Hours of Care Policy No. F.8.4. 



Child care subsidy is generally approved for hours where the applicant’s (parents/guardians) are involved in scheduled eligible activities. Additional time may also be approved for travel time and other special circumstances based on the needs of each family. 

The following are current guidelines related to eligibility which are under the sole or partial discretion of the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB 

These guidelines do not apply to families who have a referral for childcare from an approved referral agent (see Special Needs & Social Referral Policy). 


Both parents (or the sole parent) must provide verification of participation in one of the following eligible activities while the children are attending child care in order to qualify for subsidy:

  • Paid full or part time employment (income must be reported to Canada Revenue Agency- CRA)
  • Self employment where self-employment income is being claimed to CRA
  • Part- or full-time studies at a recognized secondary or post-secondary institution
  • A training program that will result in certification which is designed to lead to paid employment
  • Or, the family must meet other eligibility requirements, such as Ontario Works/ODSP or preschool learning

Working parents 

For working parents, eligible child care hours are based on parents’ work schedules, plus appropriate travel time. 

Parents who do not have regular schedules will provide their work schedule to the day care as soon as possible after receiving them. Eligible child care hours are based on parents’ work schedules, plus appropriate travel time.

Parents who work overnight shifts (shifts ending later than 1:00 am) may be approved for child care the day following the night shift for sleep time on a case by case basis.

Self Employed Parents

Eligible hours for self-employed parents are approved for child care on a case by case basis as defined in the “Self-Employment Policy”.

Post Secondary Students

Eligible for up to 5 full days of care, based on their child care needs. If extended days are being requested, students must provide a copy of their timetable. Students who require child care either during the fall/winter and/or spring sessions must submit verification of their enrolment. Verification is required by the end of the first week of classes, or if the student is enrolling mid-term, prior to the file being completed.

Unless the client can provide verification that demonstrates a need for an increased amount of child care, these guidelines will be used to determine the number of days to be approved for students: 

  1. Students who are considered by their educational institution to be attending full time will be approved for five days a week
  2. Students who are considered by their education institution to be attending part time will be approved for one day of child care per course in which they are enrolled

Students will be approved for child care on “reading week” or other study breaks only if they request the time. Child care will not be approved during the Winter Holiday (Christmas) period. 

Students will be permitted a study period of up to one month in preparation for a Provincial and/or National Exam with verification.

Secondary School/Upgrading Students 

Eligible for up to 5 full days of care, based on their child care needs. Verification of school enrolment must be submitted to their representative. Verification is required by the end of the first week of classes, of if the student is enrolling mid- term, prior to the file being completed.

Parents in receipt of Ontario Works or ODSP

Eligible for up to 5 full days of care, based on their child care needs.

Parents in training programs/apprenticeships 

Parents completing approved training programs are approved for child care during the hours of the training (as confirmed by the training program operator), plus appropriate travel time.

Subsidized child care is available for parents participating in training activities (whether paid or unpaid) which will lead directly to employment. Client must provide verification from the employer outlining the start and end dates of the training, the hours required for the training, and the estimated start date of paid employment if training is successful. Verification must also include any monetary amount paid to, or paid by, the trainee.

Subsidized child care is also available for parents participating in a training activity which will result in a certification and which may lead to employment. Subsidy is available for a maximum of one month. Verification must be received from the organizer of the training which outlines the start and end dates of the training, the hours required for the training, the certification which will result from in the training, and the cost of the training (if applicable) and the potential employment opportunities for the successful participant. 

Child care will be covered where hours (whether volunteer or paid) must be worked as part of a recognized apprenticeship program. The Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB requires confirmation from the employer and proof of hours worked (i.e. log)

Job Searching 

Child care subsidy clients who become unemployed or finish school may be eligible for a maximum of three months for job searching. 

The total amount of job search time per 12-month period per family is not to exceed three months. The allowed time may be used at one time or spread out over the period of one year. The hours of care approved will be based on the family’s need but may not exceed either the amount previously approved or regular full time care (6-9 hours, five days a week). 

A family who has used three months of job search time and becomes unemployed again will have their subsidy terminated after their last day of work.

Families may apply for a “Reduction in Parental Contribution” when new income information is known (for example EI). If eligible, any change to the daily contribution will be applied on the effective date of the change in status. 

If the family has been in receipt of child care subsidy for a short time and one parent/guardian becomes unemployed or is no longer in school or training, the maximum time allowed for job search may not exceed the number of weeks during which child care subsidy was received. For example, a family who was in receipt of subsidized child care for two weeks may only be approved for a maximum of two weeks job search time. 

Clients who are using full time care for job searching, who obtain part time employment (less than 24 hours per week), may continue to use full time child care during the previously approved job search period, if they wish for additional time to continue looking for full time work. 

Striking Parents 

In order to provide continuum of care for families, clients who are on strike may continue to receive child care subsidy. The number of hours of subsidy to be approved per week is based on the striking parent’s strike related duties. Continued placement at the child care centre is dependent on the centre’s ability to accommodate the new schedule required. 

Clients who may be affected by a strike must advise their Children Services Representative within 48 hours so that their child care needs may be  reassessed.

Travel Time 

In general, one-half hour will be allowed for transportation to school or work each way and when necessary additional travel time will be determined and approved by the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB on an individual basis.

School Closure or “No Bus” Days 

Subsidized children normally approved for child care subsidy before and after school will be permitted to attend the day care for the full day when the school is closed or the busses are not running due to inclement weather, if the day care is able to accommodate them. If the school is open and the child care centre is located in the school, the child will not be eligible to attend the day  care all day on a “no bus” day. 

The day care may bill for the full day for children who attend all day on these days. Only the “Before and After School” rate may be billed by the day care for children who do not attend the day care on days when school is cancelled, or busses were not running.

Jury Duty or Mandated Court Appearances 

Child care may be approved on days when eligible applicants/clients are performing jury duty or are mandated to appear in court (by subpoena). The applicant/ client must provide documentation that shows the dates and times required and that the court appearance is mandatory.