Creating Opportunities Today; Maximizing Independence Tomorrow

OCTC Services to Child Care/Preschool

The decision to enroll your child in any child care environment is completely up to you. In the event that you decide that you would like your child to attend a child care environment, there are many options available to you and your child, from full time child care to part time nursery school.

Questions and answers regarding child care/preschool

What are the definitions for child care and preschool?

Who can assist me with child care/preschool options?

OCTC Social Work Services can provide you with information and assist you with getting the process started.

What child care/preschool options exist?

There are a variety of licensed and unlicensed programs in Ottawa. Information about the types of programs and services provided are available through the Child Care Information service: This document provides information on what program will suit your child based on age, length of program, etc.

What are the benefits of licensed and unlicensed child care or home child care programs?

Child Care Information lists possible advantages and disadvantages of licensed programs and unlicensed programs.

When should I start thinking about child care/preschool?

For all child care/preschool options, it is advised that you start planning at least a year before you want your child to start. Occasionally, spaces will be available within a shorter period of time.

How and where do I apply for licensed preschool programs?

For preschool programs, parents need to contact the preschool programs of their choice directly, to place their child's name on the wait list for each program. A list of preschool programs is available through Child Care Information Services at 613-248-3605 or you can contact your Social Work Services to help you find the information. It is advised that you apply to many programs in order to secure an appropriate spot. You may want to plan a visit with your child to your top choices.

Where do I apply for a licensed child care placement?

Child Care Information manages the centralized waitlist for all daycare programs in the City of Ottawa, but not for preschool programs. You can complete the centralized waitlist application online at: or you can complete a paper copy of the form. You can get the paper form from your OCTC Social Work Services or call Child Care Information at 613-248-3605. It is advised that you list multiple daycares on your application. Once your application is completed and mailed to Child Care Information, you may want to call the daycare of your choice to plan a visit with your child.

How and where do I apply for subsidized child care placement?

City of Ottawa Child Care manages the eligibility and applications for subsidized child care placement in the Ottawa area. You can contact the City of Ottawa at 613-580-9696 or visit its website at:

What are the questions I should ask a child care provider when I plan my visit?

Who should I contact if my child requires additional support in a child care/preschool setting?

The Children’s Integration Support Services (CISS) provides a range of support services to assist in the integration of children with special needs. Families can register by applying directly to the program or may receive assistance from the Social Work or Community Case Managers. You may contact the Children’s Integration Support Services at 613-736-1913 or visit their website at:

Who should I notify if my child starts a child care/preschool program?

If your child starts attending a licensed child care program and is attending a minimum of 3 half days per week, it is important to inform your child's current therapy team. Once a child begins in a child care program 3 half days per week or more, their therapy needs are transferred to our Community Preschool Services (formerly Regional Preschool Therapy). At that time, the child's therapists may change.

What is the eligibility process for the OCTC Preschool?

To be eligible for the OCTC Preschool, a child must be a client of the OCTC, be 2 years of age, and have a diagnosis of a physical disability and associated developmental and learning difficulties. In the event that there is a waiting list for the preschool, priority will be given based on medical needs, therapy needs, and family support. In the event that there is not a waiting list for the preschool, children who may not meet all of the criteria will be given consideration for admission.

How can I apply to the OCTC Preschool?

A referral needs to be made to the OCTC Preschool Coordinator (613-737-0871 x4331). Parents can make this referral directly or, with your consent, referrals can be made through their child's OCTC Social Worker or through the child's therapy team. Once a referral is received, the Preschool Coordinator contacts the family to provide additional information about the preschool program.

How many months in advance should my child's name be placed on the OCTC Preschool waiting list?

Although children are not eligible for the preschool until they turn 2, referrals can be made at any time in advance of the child turning 2.

What OCTC respite / summer programs services are available for my child?

  • Respite for medically fragile or technologically dependent children and youth
  • Respite /summer programs for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Summer programs for children with a Developmental Disability
  • Summer program for children with a Physical Disability

How can I obtain an application for an Accessible Parking Permit?

For further information and to apply, please visit the following website: Accessible parking permit

You can also pick up an application at any Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office or request an application by mail from:

Service Ontario
License Renewals Unit
P.O. Box 9800
Kingston, ON
K7L 5N8

Transition from Child Care/Preschool to School

In preparation for the next transition, you can get ready by looking ahead. Here are some examples of areas you may want to research, learn about for support and information.

  • Understanding your child's learning abilities and needs
  • School Placement Needs, Registration for School
  • Individual Education Plans (IEP), Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC)
  • Transportation
  • Investigate respite options for you and your family
  • Seek assistance to promote disability awareness in various environments (making friends, being different)
  • Camps
  • Sibling needs
  • Supports for my child in a school setting
  • Van and home modifications