Apply for funding for the Early Learning and Child Care small projects component under the Enabling Accessibility Funds

New flat rate costing and calculator to help determine the amount of eligible grant funding

Application period

You can apply between December 3, 2021 to January 28, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

If you need help or accommodations (such as documents in an alternate format), please send us an email before January 28, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. EST.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will communicate decisions to applicants between January 2022 and March 2022.

For any questions, please contact us. Note that we will also be holding information sessions.

Description of the funding

The Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) small projects component of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) aims to improve accessibility and safety in regulated and/or licensed ELCC centres. This will help support children with disabilities, parents/guardians with disabilities and/or employees with disabilities. The goal is to ensure that all Canadian families have access to high-quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care.

The ELCC call for proposals (CFP) will provide up to $25,000,000 in funding over 2 years ($12,500,000 in fiscal year 2021 to 2022, and $12,500,000 in fiscal year 2022 to 2023).

Eligible organizations can only submit 1 application to this CFP and can apply for up to $70,000 for:

  • new construction, renovation and/or retrofit activities that will increase accessibility and expand access to ELCC centres in Canadian communities; and/or
  • accessible information and communication technologies

ESDC will fund 100% of eligible project costs up to $70,000.

Useful information

Calculator

There is now an easier way to apply for EAF funding by using our interactive calculator (EMP 5678). This is a form that is required for applicants to submit both flat rate and non-flat rate project activities (or a combination of the 2).

  1. Flat rate – the most commonly requested EAF activities. These include ramps, accessible washrooms, accessible doors, elevators, accessible lifts and pool lifts
  2. Non-flat rate – other types of accessibility activities. These could include, but are not limited to:
    • accessible playgrounds
    • multisensory rooms
    • accessible kitchens
    • accessibility equipment, and
    • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects

Some ICT project ideas include:

  • purchasing specialized accessible communication equipment
  • modifying a website to make it accessible for persons with disabilities
  • installation of an FM loop system
  • installing visual-audio fire alarm systems
  • purchasing screen readers
  • installing voice recognition software and speech synthesizers
  • installing adaptive technology for a client services desk to render them accessible for employees with disabilities

You can request funding for flat rate activities and non-flat rate activities in the same application form when using the calculator (EMP 5678).

Flat rate

The change will benefit those applying for the following construction activities:

  • ramps
  • accessible washrooms
  • accessible doors
  • elevators
  • accessible lifts
  • pool lifts

These activities are known as flat rate activities, as ESDC applies flat rate costs based on the specifications of your construction. The flat rate costing estimates the amount of funding you could receive by entering information into the calculator. This replaces the need for you to provide external quotes or detailed project plans for these types of activities.

Please read the Enabling Accessibility Fund flat rate information on how the flat rate costing model works.

Non-flat rate

One quote from a certified contractor is required that outlines the costs for the non-flat rate project activities. If a quote is not possible, a rationale is required explaining why the quote could not be obtained. Details on how you arrived at this estimated cost must be provided.

Note: The calculator is for all project activities (flat-rate and non-flat rate activities) and every applicant must fill this out. You must enter the total amount of requested funding in the calculator and the application form under question 23.

Objective

This funding supports projects that addresses the following objective:

  • to expand access to registered and/or licensed ELCC facilities in Canadian communities by improving accessibility and safety for persons with disabilities. This includes children, parents/guardians and employees of child care organizations with disabilities.

Note: You can submit only 1 application per Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or business registry number.

The limit of 1 application is important to remember if you have multiple offices using the same CRA or business registry number.

For multiple applications submitted with the same CRA or business registry number, only the first application received will be reviewed.

Eligibility

To apply, your application must meet all of the following eligibility criteria.

Eligible applicants

To receive funding your organization must be a regulated and/or licensed child care organization. Funding is limited to:

  • not-for-profit child care organizations
  • child care organizations run by municipalities
  • Indigenous child care organizations
    • ESDC recognizes that not all Indigenous ELCC sites are issued a registration or licensing number. Please be advised that such Indigenous child care organizations are still eligible to apply under the ELCC small projects component of the EAF Call for Proposals. For all Indigenous ELCC sites, including those on reserve, operating in Inuit communities, or operated by Self-Governing First Nations or Modern Treaty Holders, that do not have a registration or licensing number, please include a statement in Q33 stating that there is no applicable number
  • for-profit child care organizations (provided that the nature and intent of the activity is non-commercial, not intended to generate profit, and supports program priorities and objectives); and
  • organizations that operate in public schools (primary and secondary) or on public school property. If this is the case, the ELCC will be required to demonstrate that the proposed project activity is exclusively for the use of the child care centre/program

Ineligible applicants

  • Home-based child care providers/organizations
  • Child care organizations on provincial or federal property (excluding public schools)
  • Child care organizations on public health care or public hospital property, and
  • Unlicensed/unregulated child care centres or facilities

Eligible projects

Your project must meet all of the following criteria:

  • you must submit a complete application package before 5:00 p.m. EST on January 28, 2022
  • your funding request cannot exceed $70,000
  • your project activities cannot exceed 24 months
  • your project activities cannot be:
    • on provincial or federal property (excluding public schools)
    • on public health care or public hospital property
    • in a home-based child care organization
    • in an unlicensed/unregulated child care centre or facility
  • your project must be one of the following:
    • new construction, renovation or retrofit of existing spaces to improve physical accessibility; and/or
    • accessible information and communication technologies
  • for projects other than ramps, accessible washrooms, accessible doors, elevators, accessible lifts and pool lifts (known as non-flat rate activities), you must provide 1 external cost estimate (quote). You must submit a rationale if you cannot provide an estimate and an explanation of how you calculated your project costs
  • you must provide a description of the community support you have to ensure your project is a success. Please refer to question 33 in the applicant guide for more details

If your project is for new construction, renovation or retrofit of an existing space:

  • you must submit a digital picture of the project space to improve (GIF, JPG, JPEG). Your picture must demonstrate the accessibility barriers for persons with disabilities

Note: Please do not submit a picture for an accessible information and communication technology project.

Ineligible projects/costs

  • Retrofit of motor vehicles (for example, cars, vans, buses) for community or individual use
  • Construction, renovation or retrofit activities that aim to decorate or improve esthetics of a building or its surroundings
  • Construction, renovation or retrofit activities for personal use
  • Project activities in a private home or dwelling
  • Contingency costs
  • Routine repairs and maintenance costs, or general costs (overhead, administrative, operating costs and amenities, etc.)
  • Employee salaries and benefits

How we assess your application

Flat rate project activities (this includes applications that have a combination of both flat rate and non-flat rate) will be screened and funded in the first year. In year 2, non-flat rate project activities will be screened and funded.

ESDC will screen applications, using a first-come, first-served approach, and organizations will be prioritized in the following order:

  • not-for-profit regulated and/or licensed child care centres not located on public school property
  • for-profit regulated and/or licensed child care centres not located on public school property
  • not-for-profit regulated and/or licensed or for-profit regulated and/or licensed child care centres located on public school property

Additionally, considerations may also be given to:

If your application is eligible, ESDC will screen and/or assess your project using the following criteria.

1. Project description

Your application should:

  • describe the need for your project, including the current barriers to accessibility and safety for persons with disabilities. This includes children with disabilities, parents/guardians with disabilities, and employees with disabilities
  • explain the support you have for your project in your community (refer to question 33)

2. Project impact

Your application should explain how your project will increase or contribute to the overall accessibility and safety of the ELCC centre for at least one of the following:

  • current or future children with disabilities attending the ELCC centre
  • current or future parents/guardians with disabilities; and/or
  • current or future employees with disabilities of the ELCC centre

For projects other than ramps, accessible washrooms, accessible doors, elevators, accessible lifts and pool lifts:

  • your application should explain how your project will allow persons with disabilities to participate in and contribute to their ELCC centre

3. Project costs

For project activities other than ramps, accessible washrooms, accessible doors, elevators, accessible lifts and pool lifts (known as non-flat rate activities):

  • your project costs must be reasonable and detailed, and support the project activities

Project cost higher than anticipated costs for the project activities

Flat rate costing is calculated based on standard accessibility projects and takes a number of factors into consideration. If there are known issues with your project that would impact the project costs, please provide this information. You can note this in the additional information section in the calculator.

It is important to note that it is normal to have unexpected costs in construction projects. We strongly recommend that a contingency budget of approximately 20% of the total project cost is available by your organization. This is to help offset any additional costs that may arise. Please note that contingency costs are not an eligible expense when applying for funding.

Steps to apply

You have to apply by January 28, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. EST. If you have any technical issues applying, we ask that you let us know as soon as possible.

Gather your supporting documents and information

Read the complete applicant guide before filling out your application. This guide includes details for each question of the form.

A complete application package includes:

  • a completed Application for Funding (EMP 5684) (electronically or by hand). Print and sign the signature pages
  • an electronically completed calculator (EMP 5678) for all activities (flat rate and non-flat rate)
  • a digital picture of the early learning and child care centre or facility to improve (except for ICT projects)
  • for non-flat rate projects, you will need to provide 1 external cost estimate (quote) or a valid rationale explaining why a quote could not be obtained. Details on how you arrived at this estimated cost must be provided

Note: If your application is incomplete, it may be considered ineligible for funding.

Apply by email

  • Send your complete application package by email to ESDC.ELCC.EAF-FA.AGJE.EDSC@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca.
  • Indicate the following information in the subject line of your email(s):
    • name of your organization
    • if you have to send your application package in multiple emails, specify if it is part 1 or part 2

Note: there is a size limit of 13.5MB for sending emails. You may need to check if your email was sent properly containing your supporting documents. We will not accept cloud based documents.

Apply by mail

  • Send your complete application package by mail to:
    EAF ELCC 2021 CFP
    Coordination unit mailstop: 402
    National Grants & Contributions Delivery Centre (ESDC)
    140 Promenade du Portage, Phase IV, 4th floor
    Gatineau QC K1A 0J9

Note: we will not accept submitted applications via USB key, CD or other storage devices. Applications sent using such means will be deemed ineligible.

PDF forms help

The application and the calculator use PDF form technology.

To complete these forms, you must download and save the documents to your computer first.

Do not complete the forms in your internet browser.

These forms require the latest version of Adobe Reader, version 8 or higher, including:

  • Acrobat Reader DC, or
  • Foxit Reader

They are only accessible through Mac or Windows computer systems. Mobile devices (smartphones or tablets) are not compatible with the forms.

If you do not already have such a reader, there are several available on the Internet. The latest version of Adobe Reader and Foxit Reader can be downloaded for free.

If you are having issues or need an alternate format, please contact us.

After you have applied

You will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt after you send your application by email. Please retain the email in case you encounter technical difficulties.

We will notify you of the outcome of the review of your application within 16 weeks from the end date of the submission period.

Contact us

If you have questions or need accommodations, please email us at ESDC.ELCC.EAF-FA.AGJE.EDSC@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca. We will answer questions sent before January 28, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. EST.

Information sessions

We will hold information sessions, which will be voluntary for individuals who would like further information. You will be able to participate online or by teleconference.

The dates for the sessions are as follows:

  • December 9, 2021 (French: 11 a.m. EST, English: 1 p.m. EST)
  • December 15, 2021 (French: 1 p.m. EST, English: 2:30 p.m. EST)
  • January 13, 2022 (French: 11 a.m. EST, English: 1 p.m. EST)

We will also provide a demonstration of the calculator during the session and we will be available to respond to any of your questions.

If you are interested in taking part in an information session, please send an email to ESDC.ELCC.EAF-FA.AGJE.EDSC@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca. In your email, please indicate the date and your preferred language that you would like to attend the information session. We will provide you with the information and instructions on how to participate.

In your email, please indicate if you would like to attend an information session in English or French. Please let us know if you will be requiring an accommodation to participate.

Glossary

Accessibility project activity

A project element that addresses a barrier to accessibility. It directly contributes to increasing the degree to which an environment can be considered an “accessible facility”.

Accessible facilities

For the purpose of this funding process, an accessible facility is defined as:

  • all or any portion of a building, structure, workplace, passageway or park that offers barrier-free access for persons with disabilities
  • more precisely, facilities where persons with disabilities are able to reach, enter, access and fully participate in programs and services
Activities – Flat rate
The most commonly requested EAF activities. These include ramps, accessible washrooms, accessible doors, elevators, accessible lifts and pool lifts.
Activities – Non-flat rate

Other types of accessibility activities not included under Flat rate. These could include, but are not limited to, accessible playgrounds, multisensory rooms, accessible kitchens, accessibility equipment and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects.

Some ICT project ideas include:

  • purchasing specialized accessible communication equipment
  • modifying a website to make it accessible for persons with disabilities
  • installation of an FM loop system
  • installing visual-audio fire alarm systems
  • purchasing screen readers
  • installing voice recognition software and speech synthesizers
  • installing adaptive technology for a client services desk to render them accessible for employees with disabilities
Barrier
A physical, architectural or technological obstacle that makes it difficult for persons with disabilities to access or circulate within community spaces and workplaces. Barriers prevent persons with disabilities from using public spaces on an equal basis with others.
Exclusive use of child care facility on school property

Project activities exclusive for the use of the child care centre/program and located in spaces that are used only by the centre/program. School children cannot use the resulting space/equipment when the child care centre/program is operational.

First-come-first-served

Applications that arrive earliest get processed before the applications that arrive later in the process.

Home based child care

Child care provided in a private residence of a licensed or unlicensed caregiver.

Indigenous organization

Organizations that:

  • have mandates that support First Nations, Inuit, Métis or non-affiliated; and
  • are governed by people who self-identify as First Nations, Inuit, Métis or non-affiliated
Racialized community

This is a term often used in place of visible minorities and refers to a wide variety of people or communities of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Regulated and/or licensed ELCC centre

Child care centres that are regulated and/or licensed by the province or territory, which means they must meet clearly defined government standards to receive a license to provide the child care services.

Regulations can include:

  • specific qualifications for staff
  • emergency preparedness
  • a menu plan that meets nutrition guidelines
  • adequate space for play, sleeping, and eating
  • health and safety standards programming for children; and
  • monitoring/inspection visits from provincially or territorially mandated authorities
Renovation

To create a new space to enhance accessibility, without adding additional square feet. For example, making an accessible washroom in what was previously a storage room.

Retrofit (upgrading an existing space)

Install (new or modified parts or equipment) in something previously constructed. For example, to make upgrades to your existing washroom to include accessible features.

Visible minorities

The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as "persons, other than Indigenous peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour".

The visible minority population consists mainly of the following groups:

  • South Asian
  • Chinese
  • Black
  • Filipino
  • Latin American
  • Arab
  • Southeast Asian
  • West Asian
  • Korean; and
  • Japanese
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