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Q: What is Child Care Fee Subsidy?

A: Fee subsidy or subsidized child care can help you with the cost of care for your children between the ages of 0-12.  Those who can apply are the child’s parent or legal guardian, and must live in the District of Thunder Bay and be engaged in an approved activity. If a family chooses to start in a child care program before fee subsidy is approved, the full cost of care is the responsibility of the parent/guardian for services used prior to the application date for subsidy.

Q:  What is an approved activity?

A:  To receive fee subsidy you must be working or going to school.  If you are not engaged in these activities but you need child care because your child has a special need, a referral is required.  If you have a child with a special need and require assistance in searching for the most appropriate options for child care, please contact Intake & Eligibility at (807) 766-2111.    For social referrals, a referring agency needs to complete the Social Referral Application Form which can be found on this website under Child Care/Important Forms.  Subsidy may also be available for a parent who, for medical or other health reasons, requires short-term respite child care.

Q:  How do I know if I qualify for fee subsidy?

A: Eligibility is based on your annual income tax return.  The adjusted income from line 236 of your most recent Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment (or Reassessment), or family income from the Canada Child Tax Benefit Notice will be used to determine if you qualify for subsidy.

Q:  What Child Care Centre or home provider can I use?

A: The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) holds contracts with licensed providers that are listed on the child care web site under Program Locations.  The TBDSSAB also holds a contract with Our Kids Count for the Licensed Private Home Child Care Program.

For more information on the Licensed Private Home Child Care Program, please contact:

Kelly Forget

Q:  What do I need to bring to my interview?

Income information:

  • Photo ID for applicant/spouse or partner
  • Verification of child or children’s date of birth (e.g. birth certificate or health card)
  • Most recent Notice of Assessment (NOA) or Reassessment OR Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) showing family income.  If you have misplaced your NOA and require a copy, contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281.  If you have not yet filed your income tax you need to ensure that you do so prior to applying for subsidy.

Personal information:
Any custody agreement in effect.
If applicable, documents to verify a person’s legal name / status (i.e. a Permanent Resident Card, Canadian Citizenship Card, Passport or Birth Certificate)

Bring verification of your current address: a recent property tax, hydro, gas, water or telephone bill, driver’s license.


  • Student / Training: Documents to confirm your registration / enrolment and class schedule. Please ensure the course / program start and end dates are included.
  • Employed: Two most recent consecutive pay stubs or a letter from your employer (on company letterhead / stamp) that shows your place of employment, your hours and days of work.
  • Self-employed: Business Registration, License, Vendor Permit.
  • Special needs: When a family is not engaged in an approved activity, a referral from a medical doctor, agency or other professional about your child’s need for child care is required.

Q:  What is the parental contribution?

A: The income test will determine how much available income your family has for child care on a monthly basis.  This is considered your parental contribution.  This amount is converted to a daily amount based on your child’s or children’s enrolment. You are responsible to pay this fee directly to the child care program or agency with whom care has been arranged.

Q:  How do absent days work for subsidized spaces?

A: Absent days are pro-rated based on enrolment schedule and start date. The maximum absent days assigned annually is 30, based on full time care, 5 days/week. The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) will pay the child care program the subsidized portion of the daily rate for the number of assigned absent days per year for each child as a result of illness and/or vacation. It is the parent’s responsibility to pay their parental contribution to the child care centre for these assigned days. For any additional absences over the assigned allotment, parents are responsible to pay the centre’s Full Pay daily rate.  Some agencies treat vacation separate from illness absences and may therefore not charge out a vacation when sufficient notice is provided.  You will need to confirm the individual policy with your child care agency.

Q:  What if I don’t qualify for fee subsidy?

A: If you do not qualify for fee subsidy, you are considered a full pay parent.  Please contact the child care centre of your choice directly to discuss application to their program.

Q:  How do I apply for fee subsidy?

A: Register your child for licensed child care throughout the District of Thunder Bay using the online registry.  Please indicate if subsidy is required when registering your child or children.  The child care provider(s) you select will contact you when a space becomes available.

Just visit to get started

Fee Subsidy
For information on Fee Subsidy:
In Thunder Bay, please call: (807) 766-2111

For District offices, use the following contacts:
Greenstone – (807) 854-2511
Schreiber – (807) 824-1369 | Toll Free – 1-888-393-8953
Manitouwadge – (807) 826-4809 | Toll Free – 1-888-393-6947

Q:  How do I make sure my fee subsidy continues?

A: File your income tax annually and attend an in-person eligibility review at least once a year.  In a two parent household, both parents are encouraged to attend.  You will be contacted to make an appointment for your next review.  Be sure to bring all required documents (refer to What do I need to bring to my interview?).  If you do not have the necessary documents with you, we will not be able to determine your eligibility and you will have to return when you have the required documents. You are required to contact your child care worker when there are changes in your marital status, address, family size, employment, schooling or Ontario Works activity.  In some cases, you will need an in-person eligibility review.  Failure to report changes may result in suspension of your child care fee subsidy, recovery of fees paid on your behalf, and/or legal action.

Q:  What do I look for when selecting a child care program?

A: Please view the attached link which is a parent’s guide to quality early learning and child care that outlines key areas to consider when selecting a child care program. – A Parent’s Guide to Quality Early Learning and Child Care

Q:  Do you need to be a permanent resident of Canada to apply for subsidy?

Yes.  You must be able to present a Permanent Resident Card in order to qualify for Fee Subsidy.