Applicant guide: Funding for Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Innovation

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Part 1 – Organization

A. Organization identification

Question 1 - Legal name

What is your organization’s legal name? The legal name is usually:

Question 2 - Operating (common) name (if different from legal name)

What is the operating (or common) name of your organization (if it is different from the legal name)?

Question 3 - Business or registration number

What is your 15-digit Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number? For registered charities and not-for-profit organizations, what is your registration number? (For example, 123456789 RR 0001).

You can find your CRA business number on tax-related documents or written communications from CRA.

For more information, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Question 4 - Organization type

Choose one of the following:

Ineligible applicants include:

Note: Organizations in the province of Québec cannot apply for this funding. The Government of Canada is in discussion with the Government of Québec to ensure Innovation funding is available for Québec-based projects. Additional information will be provided at a later time.

Question 5 - Organization category

Tell us which category applies to you based on your answer to Question 4:

Question 6 - Year established

When was your organization established?

Questions 7 to 11 - Organization address

What is the address of your organization? Give a complete address in a format recognized by Canada Post. Look at the Canada Post website for information.

Questions 12 to 14 - Telephone, fax and email

What is your organization’s telephone number, fax number (if it has one) and email address?

Questions 15 to 19 - Mailing address (if different from organization address)

What is the mailing address of your organization (if it differs from your organization's address)?

Questions 20 and 21 - Telephone and fax (if mailing address is different from organization address)

What is your organization’s telephone and fax numbers (if the mailing address differs from your organization's address)?

Question 22 – Organization’s mandate

What is your organization’s main activities, including your mission and objectives?

B. Organization contact

Question 23 – First name and last name

Who is the main contact person for the proposed project?

Question 24 - Position title

What is the title of the contact person named in Question 23? (Example: Business Owner, President, Executive Director)

Question 25 - Preferred language of communication

What language would your contact person prefer to use in writing and speaking (English or French)?

Question 26 - Organization contact - Address

Does the address of your contact person differ from the organization address or the organization mailing address in Section A?

Questions 27 to 31 - Contact address

If you answered "yes" in Question 26, what is the address of your contact person?

Questions 32 and 33 - Telephone and fax

What are the telephone and fax numbers of your contact person?

Question 34 - Email address

What is the email address of your contact person? We will send communications to this address.

C. Organizational capacity

This section helps us decide if your organization can manage and carry out the proposed ELCC Innovation project.

Question 35 - How many employees does your organization currently have

Indicate the total number of employees in your organization.

Question 36 - Has your organization undergone any important transformations in the past two years

For this funding process, “important transformations” means:

If you answer "yes", tell us about the changes.

Question 37 - Describe how your organization has the experience and expertise to carry out the proposed project activities

Tell us about what you have done in the last 5 years that will help you carry out this project. If applicable, include:

Note: We encourage organizations to partner with other organizations to maximize results and impacts, where applicable (See question 50).

Question 38 - Does your organization owe any amounts to the Government of Canada

If yes, how much? Use the spaces provided. Here is an example:

Table 1: Amounts owed to Government of Canada

Amount owing Nature of amount owing Department or agency to which money is owed
$10,000 Overpayment Employment and Social Development Canada

Question 39 - If an amount is owing, is a payment plan in place

Have you set up a plan to pay back the money?

If you answer "yes", your application can continue. But you have to tell us what you owe and how you are paying back the money.

Part 2 - Project

A. Project identification

Question 40 - Project title

Give a short title that describes your project.

Questions 41 and 42 - Planned project start and end dates

When do you plan to start and end your project?

Projects can run for no more than 36 months.

We expect that projects could start in March 2021.

Project must end by March 31, 2024.

You must start your project activities after we approved your project and signed a funding agreement. We can pay only for activities that have started after the signing of a funding agreement.

B. Project description

We encourage organizations to refer to the SMART model when developing ELCC Innovation project proposals:

Question 43 - Project objectives (must clearly link to the program objectives)

ELCC Innovation aims to fund projects that:

Note: ELCC Innovation projects must benefit children under 6 years of age and their families, either directly or indirectly.

Tell us how your project is innovative and addresses a gap or need in the ELCC sector. Include evidence, information or statistics that support the gap or need that you have identified. Note that we will not consider evidence, information or statistics provided by web links.

Clearly describe how your project will help you achieve one or more of the following objectives on early learning and child care (ELCC):


Will your project aim to meet the priority listed below? Your project does not need to meet this priority. But we will recommend projects that do for funding first.


Will your project aim to meet one or more of the objectives listed below? Your project does not need to meet one or more of these objectives. But more consideration may be given to the projects that do.

Examples of projects include:

Question 44 - Project activities (give clear steps for each one)

Project activities are the steps used to meet the project objectives that you identified in your answer to Question 43. They should be specific, measurable, realistic and relevant.

Tell us about your project activities and how they impact the ELCC sector. Indicate if your project aims to address needs or gaps in more than one province, in a specific region or in a community.

Describe each activity by:

You must also include the following activities:

Note: Project activities must go beyond your organization’s normal activities, as the ELCC Innovation program does not fund your organization’s core, existing or ongoing activities.

Ineligible activities may include, but are not limited to:

Question 45 - What do you expect the project to deliver and produce (project outcomes and outputs)

Outcomes are the short-term, medium-term and long‑term changes that you expect the project to deliver. You can link more than one outcome to an objective. Outcomes answer the questions, “How do we know the project is a success?” and “How do the activities improve early learning and child care service in Canada?”

Outputs are direct products or services that you will produce to get the outcomes you want. They answer the question, “What will the project produce?” For example:

Tell us what you expect your project to deliver (outcomes) and produce (outputs). Explain how your project will achieve these outcomes and outputs. Tell us how they link to the project objectives. Set results that are specific, concrete and measurable (See question 46). Show the effects your project will have so that you can track your project’s success.

Note: By the end of your project, you:

  • must be able to demonstrate significant progress, or
  • be able to measure the results (immediate and medium term outcomes)

Examples of immediate and medium term outcomes could include, but are not limited to:

Question 46 - Does the project include Results Measurement Indicators

Your answer to this question must be "yes".

We encourage organizations to refer to the SMART model when developing results measurement indicators:

Tell us the indicators that you will use to measure progress towards your project's results. In addition, describe in short length how you plan to gather, measure, monitor and report on results achieved by your project.

You must include at least 1 result measurement indicator for each of your project’s expected results identified in Question 45.

If your project is selected for funding, you will need to provide some basic information about the results of your project. We will use it to evaluate your project.

Examples of performance measurement indicators could include, but are not limited to:

Question 47 - Does this proposed project fit with your organization's other activities

If “yes”, describe how your ELCC Innovation project relates to the work your organization is doing now or relates to ELCC.

Note: Project activities must go beyond your organization’s normal activities, as ELCC Innovation does not fund your organization’s core, existing or ongoing activities.

Question 48 - Will any of the project activities be delivered in a different location than where your organization is located

If "yes", give the main address first, and then add other addresses.

If you have more than 5 locations, please continue your answer in Appendix A.

Question 49 - Is your project designed to benefit or involve people in English or French-language minority communities (if yes, please provide an explanation and any details on whether consultations will take place with these communities)

Answer “yes” to this question if your project involves official language minority communities (English in Quebec, and French in other parts of Canada). Make sure the activities and costs are part of your answer to Question 44 - Project Activities and Question 58: Cost category.

We want to meet our obligations under the Official Languages Act. We will ask the funding recipients to:

Also, tell us what languages the people your project is targeting speak. Tell us about any special needs of the official language minority communities, and tell us if you will consult them.

The following link points to information about official language minority communities.

If you answer “no” to this question, we will still consider your application.

Question 50 - Will any other organizations, networks or partners be involved in carrying out the project

Will your project involve one or more partners? Your project does not need to involve one or more partners. If this project involves partners, you must provide the following information regarding the partner(s) or partner organization(s):

Eligible partners include:

If we select your project, we will ask you to submit a letter from your partner or partners confirming their participation in the project.

Note: We encourage organizations to partner with other organizations to maximize results and impacts, where applicable.

Question 51 - Does the project address the program's national, regional or local priorities

Not applicable for this funding. Answer "no" to this question.

Question 52 - Does your project include activities that are listed in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's (CEAA) Regulations Designating Physical Activities established under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012

Not applicable for this funding. Answer "no" to this question.

Part 3 - Funding

A. Anticipated sources of funding

You aren’t required to secure (that is leverage) cash or in-kind contributions from sources other than the Government of Canada for this application process.

However, if you do secure these contributions, you must tell us in your Application for funding. See instructions below.

If we accept your application, the combined contributions from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments must be equal to or less than 100% of eligible costs.

Question 53 - Source name

If you are receiving contributions from other sources, tell us their names.

Question 54 - Source type

Tell us what type of organization is providing the contribution. Use this list:

Question 55 - Cash

Tell us how much cash contributions you will receive.

Question 56 - In-kind ($ value)

If you are getting an in-kind contribution, tell us how much it is worth.

In-kind contributions are goods or services people or organizations give for free. Your organization, other organizations or partners can make in-kind contributions. In-kind contributions include equipment, services or labour that you receive for free.

We will recognize in-kind contributions only if we can estimate what a person would pay for the contribution.

Question 57 - Confirmed cash and in-kind

Confirm the contributions to us.

B. Budget

Give a brief idea of your project’s costs in your Application for funding and Budget detail template (EMP5570). The amounts must be the same in both documents. Your costs must be reasonable and support your project activities.

Note: To be eligible for funding, your project proposal must request no more than $3,000,000.

Question 58 - Cost category

Use the Budget detail template (EMP5570).

We can only pay you back for eligible costs. Eligible costs must directly relate to your project activities. This includes:

Below are examples of costs breakdown for budget items:

Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:

Questions 59 to 61 - Planned spending ($) (ESDC and other, Cash other, In-kind other)

Give the total planned spending from all sources, including us. The amounts should align with those that you put in section A. Anticipated sources of funding of your Application for funding.

“Other” means a cash or in-kind contribution from other sources, other than us.

C. Budget details

Question 62 - Associated businesses or individuals

Check all statements that apply to your planned spending of the funding from us.

In carrying out the project, you may have to buy goods or services you need from contractors. You may also contract out to third parties (outside providers) to carry out part of the project activities.

“Associated businesses or individuals” means:

Question 63 - Capital assets: Will capital assets be among your planned expenditures with ESDC funding

Answer “yes” or “no”.

If “yes”, explain how your project will benefit from buying capital assets.

A capital asset is any single or composite asset that costs more than $1,000 (before taxes). A capital asset is not part of another product and you can still use it at the end of the project.

A composite asset is a group of assets that form 1 unit, where you need everything for the asset to work. A group of assets is a single capital asset if the total cost is more than $1,000 (before taxes).

For example, a composite capital asset is a personal computer with a hard drive, a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse and cables. 4 chairs that each cost $300 are not capital assets because each chair works on its own. The chairs cost less than $1,000 (before taxes).

Question 64 - Further budget details

Give us a breakdown of your total costs per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31), by project activity and cost category.

As an example, this could be the breakdown for a 3-year project with $120,000 in eligible costs:

Note: To be eligible for funding, your project proposal must request no more than $3,000,000.

Part 4 - Declaration

You must complete and sign your application to be eligible for funding.

Make sure a person with signing authority signs your application. A person with signing authority is normally an executive member of the board of directors or an employee of the organization. This could be a president, a vice president, a chief executive officer, an executive director, or a chief of finance or human resources.

Appendix A

Use this section to add information to previous sections of the application, and specify the question number.

Tell us if you require an exception to the level of contribution to be eligible. You may receive it if you face any of these challenges:

Notice to applicants

We will use the information collected in your application to assess its merits. It may also be used or disclosed for:

In order to conduct these activities, various sources of information under our custody and control may be linked. However, these additional uses and/or disclosures of information will not impact your project.

In the event that the application contains personal information, such personal information will be administered in accordance with:

The application is also subject to the Access to Information Act (“ATIA”). The ATIA provides every person with a right of access to information under the control of the department, subject to a limited set of exemptions. The government publication entitled Information about programs and information holdings outlines instructions for obtaining access to this information. Instructions that can also be accessed online at any Service Canada Centre.

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