Ontario Child Care Tax Credit
Find out if you are eligible to receive a personal income tax credit to help with child care costs.
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The Ontario Child Care Tax Credit (known as Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) Tax Credit) puts more money in the pockets of families and provides the flexibility they need to choose the child care options that work best for them.
- Eligible families can claim up to 75% of their eligible child care expenses, including services provided by child care centres, homes and camps.
- As announced in the 2021 Ontario Budget, the government will provide an automatic top‑up of 20 per cent of the credit entitlement for the 2021 taxation year.
You can claim this tax credit when you file your personal income tax return.
How much you can receive
Families can receive up to:
- $6,000 per child under the age of seven (plus a top‑up of up to $1,200 for 2021)
- $3,750 per child between the ages of seven and 16 (plus a top‑up of up to $750 for 2021)
- $8,250 per child with a severe disability (plus a top‑up of up to $1,650 for 2021)
The Ontario Child Care Tax Credit is calculated as a percentage of your Child Care Expense Deduction. The Child Care Expense Deduction provides provincial and federal income tax relief toward eligible child care expenses.
The top‑up is calculated as an additional 20 per cent to the credit entitlement.
The Ontario Child Care Tax Credit supports families with incomes up to $150,000, particularly those with low and moderate incomes. Learn how the credit is calculated.
To claim the Ontario Child Care Tax Credit, you must:
- be eligible to claim the Child Care Expense Deduction
- have a family income less than or equal to $150,000
- be an Ontario resident at the end of the tax year
Eligible expenses include:
- caregivers providing child care services
- day nursery schools and child care centres
- boarding schools, overnight sports schools or camps where lodging is involved
- educational institutions (for the part of fees that relate to child care only)
- day camps and sports schools where the primary goal of the camp is to care for children
Ineligible expenses include:
- medical or hospital care, clothing or transportation costs
- fees related to education costs at an educational institution (such as tuition)
- fees for leisure or recreational activities (such as tennis lessons)
- child care services provided by the eligible child's parent or a person under 18 years of age who is connected by a blood relationship (such as a sibling)
How to claim
To claim the Ontario Child Care Tax Credit, file your tax return and submit a completed Schedule ON479-A, Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) Tax Credit.
You must keep the receipts for child care expenses incurred throughout the year.
How the tax credit is calculated
The amount you could receive is calculated using your Child Care Expense Deduction, multiplied by the Ontario Child Care Tax Credit rate that is based on your family income (that is, the incomes of family members used in determining your Child Care Expense Deduction).
|Family income||Rate calculation|
|Up to $20,000||75%|
|Greater than $20,000 and up to $40,000||75% minus 2 percentage points for each $2,500 (or part of) above $20,000|
|Greater than $40,000 and up to $60,000||59% minus 2 percentage points for each $5,000 (or part of) above $40,000|
|Greater than $60,000 and up to $150,000||51% minus 2 percentage points for each $3,600 (or part of) above $60,000|
|Greater than $150,000||0%|
For example, if your income is $10,000, your Ontario Child Care Tax Credit rate will be 75%. If your income is $45,500, your rate will be 55%.
For the 2021 taxation year, your credit will automatically be topped up by 20 per cent.
Contact the Canada Revenue Agency
If you have questions about the Ontario Child Care Tax Credit, please contact Canada Revenue Agency's:
More information is also available on the Canada Revenue Agency website.