The Wage Subsidy program was introduced in 1987 to improve the salaries and benefits of child care workers and to make licensed care more affordable for all parents. The program provides funding to child care service providers, which enhances staff stability.

Wage Subsidy specifically refers to the combined amount of the former Direct Operating Grant, Wage Enhancement Grant and Provider Enhancement Grant. The Direct Operating Grant was introduced inn 1987 to enable licensed child care centers and home child care programs to increase salaries and benefits of staff and to maintain affordability of services. The Wage Enhancement Grant was introduced in 1991 to assist child care organizations, which were unable to commence pay equity adjustments under the original Pay Equity Act, to increase compensation to employees. The Provider Enhancement Grant was introduced in 1992 to enable child care operators to provide additional compensation to home child care providers.

The child care providers through the Child Care Wage Subsidy Utilization Statement report wage subsidy on a yearly basis. This process allows Ontario Works staff to monitor the funding outflow on a yearly basis. The utilization statement documents how wage subsidy funds were used in the past year and must be completed by the providers in receipt of wage subsidy. The Utilization Statement requires child care programs to account for all staff positions funded by wage subsidy and the total salary/benefits during the time period specified in the statement. The total of these items is then reconciled against the total amount of the wage subsidy received by the child care provider during the time period specified in the utilization statement.

Wage subsidy calculation forms are distributed to all child care providers in the St. Thomas-Elgin area every year to ensure each centre is receiving wage subsidy at their operating capacity.