Skip to main content

Emergency back-up child care for military families

Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) has partnered with Kids & Company, a licensed provider of centre-based child care, for a pilot project to offer emergency back-up child care to eligible Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) families.

Designed to help when an emergency or unexpected event leaves them scrambling for last-minute child care, this service is provided at no cost to CAF families. It is available in selected cities in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. This is a one-year pilot project until 31 March 2025.

Frequently asked questions

  • Who is Kids & Company?
    Established in 2002, Kids & Company is a licensed, centre-based child care provider with over 100 locations. 
    • Licensed: Means that provincial authorities inspect, monitor and regulate their business and the services they provide.
    • Centre-based: Refers to child care services offered in commercial buildings, similar to a classroom setting, that must comply with licensing and early learning programming requirements.
  • What is emergency back-up child care?
    Emergency back-up child care is a type of occasional care – it’s a temporary child care option that families can access in emergencies or unexpected events when regular child care arrangements fall through or aren’t available. 
  • Who is eligible for care?
    This service is available to care for dependent children (12 and younger) of CAF members living in the same household as the CAF member. 

    Kids & Company provides emergency back-up child care for children aged 5 and under. The service is only available for children aged 6-12 in the event of a planned school closure (e.g., PA/PD day).
  • When should I use this service?
    This service is available to respond to occasional child care needs arising from emergency or unexpected events. That is, the service is for a one-time care requirement. Each available emergency back-up child care spot is for a full day. 

    The need for care must be related to military operations. This includes tempo-related issues (e.g., having to report for duty on unexpected or short notice), absences due to deployments or trainings, sudden health issues (e.g., occupational injury), or death. Additional disruptions at home during this time may result in the need for such care.

    Examples of situations like this could be: 
    • The usual child care provider is sick;
    • The partner/spouse suddenly must work on a scheduled day off or has a job interview;
    • The partner/spouse has a physical or mental health emergency; or
    • There is a family emergency, such as a death in the family.

    If you are looking for other forms of child care, including part-time care, full-time care or extended hours care, here are other resources that may be able to help:
  • Where is this service available?
    For this pilot project, the service is available only in the following locations:
    • British Columbia
      • Vancouver and area (Langley, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey)
      • Victoria
    • Alberta
      • Calgary and area (Cochrane, Okotoks)
      • Edmonton and area (Sherwood Park, St. Albert)
    • Manitoba
      • Winnipeg
    • Ontario
      • London
      • Toronto (including Etobicoke) and the Greater Toronto Area (Aurora, Brampton, Burlington, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Whitby)
      • Ottawa (including Nepean, Kanata)
    • Nova Scotia
      • Halifax and area (Bedford, Dartmouth, Eastern Passage, Hammonds Plains, Lower Sackville)

    Browse all locations
  • When is this care available?
    Emergency back-up child care is available Monday to Friday, from 7 am to 6 pm (local time in each location). Some locations may offer longer hours.
  • Is care offered in both official languages?
    At this time, Kids & Company only provides child care in English.
  • How much does this cost?
    This service is available at no cost to military families. 
  • Am I guaranteed a spot?
    Spots are subject to availability and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure the service helps as many families as possible, each family has access to up to 5 spots per child during this pilot project (until 31 March 2025).
  • How do I book a spot?
    To book emergency back-up child care, call the Family Information Line (FIL) at 1-800-866-4546. The FIL can be reached 24/7. FIL will screen for eligibility. If eligible, FIL will provide a unique code (one unique code per spot). You must contact the FIL for a code to directly book a CFMWS-paid emergency back-up child care spot with Kids & Company.
  • What information do I need to have on hand to book a spot?
    When you call the Family Information Line (FIL), you will be asked to confirm that you are a military family member, the age of your child/children who require care, your location, and the reason you require emergency back-up child care.

    If FIL refers you on to Kids & Company, you will be required to provide the following information about your child/children:
    • Health history; 
    • Personal information; 
    • Immunization records; and
    • Allergy information. 

    You will also be required to sign a parent consent form.