Enrolling Your Child

What should I look for when selecting a child care program for my child/ren?

Choosing a quality child care program for your child/ren is a big decision investing time in advance  should help support you in making the best decision.  Some tips in getting started with your research include:

  • Create a list of criteria that are important to you and your child/ren.

Some examples may include:

  1. Clean and safe facility
  2. Healthy nutritious lunches and snacks offered
  3. Qualified and caring staff
  4. A stimulating environment
  5. An educational curriculum
  6. Clear policies and procedures
  7. A current license
  8. Knowledgeable staff
  9. Convenient location
  10. Hours of operation
  • Research each of your choices. 

Think about the centres reputation.  What have you heard about the child care centre?  Speak to existing parents of each program.

Drop in and visit.  During your visit, assess whether the centre has a warm and welcoming atmosphere.  Do the children and staff look happy?  Is the centre clean and are the furniture and toys in good repair.

How can I join your wait list and enroll my child?

There is no fee to join our wait list, and the application can be accessed through our website.  Alternately, you are welcome to contact the Centre Director and discuss the wait list personally. Children are generally enrolled in our centres on a first come first served basis according to age group, vacancies, and the availability of the desired program.

Where are you located?

We have 9 childcare centres conveniently located throughout the GTA.  For a complete list of addresses and contact information of each childcare centre, please visit our locations tab.

What is the cost of childcare?

Centres for Early Learning serves both subsidized and full fee clients.  For more information on obtaining subsidy please visit www.toronto.ca/children/, or book a meeting with the Centre Director to assist you. A complete list of childcare fees are available to families through the Centre Director.


Do you offer meals and snacks?

The centres offers a morning and afternoon snack, along with a hot, nutritious lunch daily.  All meals and snacks are provided through Wholesome Kids Catering.  Wholesome Kids Catering menus follow the Canadian Food Guide and are approved by a Registered Dietitian.  More on information on Wholesome Kids Catering please visit wholesomekids.ca.

My child has several food allergies, is the centre equipped to manage his/her needs?

All of our lunches and snacks are catered by Wholesome Kids Catering, who specialize in nutritious meals for children.  They have specialized staff who prepare food substitutions for all allergies and food restrictions.  Wholesome Kids Catering menus follow the Canadian Food Guide and are approved by a Registered Dietitian.  More on information on Wholesome Kids Catering please visit wholesomekids.ca

My child is a picky eater, how will the centre deal with this?

As educators we understand that children’s eating habits are inconsistent from the amount of food they eat, the food textures they prefer, as well as their food choices.  Many strategies we use to support children in establishing good eating habits are:

  • Offering small portions – it is important to remember that size of toddler and preschool stomach is about the size of his/her fist.  It is recommended to keep food portions to that size.
  • Offer many choices – allowing them to make the decision from a wide variety of foods with varying textures, and colours establishes a positive environment and a sense of independence.
  • Set the stage – mealtime is viewed as a positive and social routine.  Children interacting with their peers makes the experience more enjoyable and the likelihood of trying different foods is increased.  Encouraging and acknowledging  children’s choices also continues to build upon the positive environment.

Education Curriculum

How does your curriculum meet the needs of children with special needs?

At Centres for Early Learning all of our teachers have up to date training and are dedicated to supporting the unique needs of children. We also use the Picture Exchange Communication System for children who have limited communication skills, utilize developmental screening tools such as the Nippissing Developmental Screen and the ASQ questionnaire to help create individual curriculum plans when required.  We are excited to incorporate Brain Gym into our centres, which has proven to dramatically improve reading, writing, language and numerical skills while also enhancing concentration and communication.

Centres for Early Learning is often recognized by Resource Educators throughout the community for our continued commitment, dedication and ability to work with children with special needs and achieve program goals. We also work closely with outside agencies such as the City of Toronto Resource Consultants, Humber College Resource Educators, Community Living and Toronto Speech and Language to ensure that we are always providing the best quality care and education to all of our children.

Will I receive an evaluation of my child's progress?

Yes, Centres for Early Learning will provide you with a written evaluation. Daily communication between parents and educators will also help to ensure that you are always aware of your child’s progress and any potential concerns. Our teachers spend a great deal of time with your child in a low ratio setting and have a good understanding of your child and their capabilities.

We also complete Nipissing Screens on our children. These screens are proactive tools that allow us to assess your child’s needs and capabilities, and will help us to proactively identify any potential areas of concern in a child’s development. The screens explore your child’s skills at key developmental stages in the following areas: vision, hearing, speech, language, communication, gross and fine motor, cognitive, social/emotional and self-help.

Are the academic programs in the schools and at CFEL similar?

For 40 years Centres for Early Learning has had, and continues to have, an excellent reputation in the child care community. Inspections and parent feedback confirms educational value in a secure setting.

Our staff implement Jolly Phonics programs and staff are trained in the use of ELECT.  Also, since our care starts from infants, children are familiar with their surroundings and with the staff allowing for a smooth transition. In addition to this, Centres for Early Learning maintains focus on your child by enforcing a teacher/student ratio of 1:10 or 1:12 for JK and SK respectfully This allows us to provide your child direct interaction with their teacher, and allows the teacher to spend more time on the specific needs of your child.

Centres for Early Learning Practices

Does my child have to be toilet trained to attend day care?

At Centres for Early Learning we partner with parents in supporting the child/ren through this transition.  A team effort will most like result in a positive growth experience for the child.  Each child is different so the potty training process should be discussed and agreed upon by both the parents and educators.  A consistent approach avoids confusion for the child and sets them up for success.  Strategies will be shared by our staffing educators and a plan of action will be developed and implemented.

What if my child is away?

Subsided clients are eligible for up to 35 days absence from the centre in each calendar year.  These absences are applicable to vacation days as well as illness absence.  Families exceeding the 35 day allowance will be responsible to pay the full cost of the childcare for each day in excess of the allowed 35.

Are your staff qualified?

Our staffing mix exceeds the requirements set out by the Ministry of Education.  All of our Early Childhood Educators are registered with the college of ECE’s and are in good standing.  We are also proud to share that many of our Early Childhood Assistants are enrolled in ECE courses as we encourage and support continued education.  Our staff also retrain annually in CPR, Behaviour Management, Inclusion, and child abuse and every three years in Standard First Aid.

Staffing ratios and requirements are upheld at all times at Centres for Early Learning.

How can parents become involved in the program?

In our goal to ensure a sense of belonging to all of our families, parent/guardian(s) are strongly encouraged to be actively involved in Centres for Early Learning programs, activities, etc. We hope to enhance the partnership between parents, staff and management. Interested parents can act as a great resource by sharing their input, ideas and advice which will help us meet our goal of providing the highest quality services to all our families. Parents are free to choose their level of involvement through the following opportunities:

  • Volunteering your help on field trips – police reference check required;
  • Bringing in special programming items when appropriate or coming in personally to talk with the children;
  • Being a member on the Parent Advisory Committee;
  • Dropping in any time to spend time with your child within his/her group;
  • Offering any type of suggestions and/or comments to the Centre Director; by completing our Parent Survey;
  • Participating in Education Curriculum Night;
  • Participating in Parent Education sessions;
  • Communicating with our Early Childhood Educators on a daily basis regarding your child’s care and progress;
  • Participating in formal parent interviews in regards to your child’s development and program;
  • Participating in meetings, workshops and events reflecting cultures and interest’s representative of the centres’ clientele.

We feel it is in the best interest of your child for you to take part in as many of these opportunities as possible and we look forward to your participation. Parents will be notified of all opportunities to participate in these events.

Are there any safety features set in place at my child’s centre?

All centres are equipped with a security door system at the entrance of each location. This is how it works:

  1. When anyone (visitor, parent, staff member, etc.) arrives at the centre, the entrance door will be locked. This is to prevent unauthorized persons from entering the premises.
  2. The “visitor” will press the call button/buzzer and all telephone sets will ring inside the centre.
  3. A designated staff will answer the door. The staff must ask, and verify, who is at the door before it can be unlocked.
  4. If you are picking up your child, ensure that you give your name and the name of the child you are picking up. If the name is not familiar to the staff, you will be asked to wait a moment while someone authorizes you to enter.
  5. For child/staff security purposes please do not let anyone in behind you who is unfamiliar or unauthorized.

We look forward to your full support ensuring the added safety and security of the children in our centre.


  • My son started daycare at 1 year of age, spending the first year of his life at home during the lockdown.  It wasn’t easy as many other kids, however, staffs at Dawes Road CEL were so helpful and caring he eventually got it easy within the first 3 weeks. The staff members were very supportive and kept me updated with his progress. Especially the himama app helped me be informed of all his activities throughout the day.

    I would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to the staff and management of the center for taking care of my son.


  • The last two and a half years have been wonderful for Asharib. I still remember the 1st day when I dropped him at daycare and how scared we both were. But he had learned so much in the past 2 years & I am glad that I decided to send him to Lori Gardens. Special thanks to all of Asharib’s teachers for taking such good care of him teaching him manners and always trying to make his day fun & exciting. Thank you so much for everything!

  • 45 years of excellence is a great achievement. Congratulations! We will continue to support your growth. Together stronger!

    Kyle & Kendrick’s Family

  • Happy 45th Anniversary to the Dawes Road Center for Early Learning staff team.

    Adonias & Genet

Join Our team

Centres for Early Learning operates 9 different locations across the GTA, offering subsidized and full fee spaces child care programs for children from infancy to school age. For 44 years, we have been providing high quality care to countless families, many of whom have returned to us with younger siblings, has been both successful and fulfilling. We hope to continue to enrich the lives of children with you!