Child Care and Family Recreation
You may want to find someone to look after your young children, occasionally or full-time, so that you can work, run errands or just have some time to yourself. Below you will find some information about how to begin the search.
Finding interesting things to do with your children is important for your happiness and the happiness of your children. This page will also give some initial ideas.
What is on this page
There are many Daycare Centres in Kingston, where qualified child care workers organize activities and supervise many children in licensed and regulated programs. Daycare Centre costs are high; they will charge between $20 and $55 per day depending on the age of the child and the type of care required.
Contact the Ontario Early Years Centre for information on the type of child care that is appropriate and available for your children.
Please also review the Queen’s Child Care Guide for extensive information on child care.
Finding Someone to Look After your Child
Types of child care besides Licensed Daycare Centres include Licensed Private Home Child Care, Unlicensed Independent Caregivers, Before and After School Programs and Summer Camp and Recreational Programs. The City of Kingston provides information about available options and other resources. The following are only three of many organizations whom you can contact about childcare:
169 Union Street, 613-533-3009 & 96 Queen’s Crescent
For children between birth and 6 years Monday to Friday from 7:50am to 5:30pm
153 Van Order Drive., 613-542-0060
Numerous centres located throughout the city for infants to 12 years of age
1066 Hudson Drive, 613-384-1231
Early Years Centres are places where parents and caregivers can get answers to questions, information about programs and services that are available for young children, and an opportunity to talk to early years professionals, as well as other parents and caregivers in the community.
Another option is to speak with other families in your community about performing daycare services for each other. This would eliminate the time and travel required to take a child to daycare, and would probably not cost as much, especially if everyone in the group takes turns looking after the children. Try starting your own playgroup with other parents. This can help you to make new friends and practice your own English conversation skills. Check here for some ideas about starting your own playgroup.
Child Care Subsidies
In Ontario, international student and scholars families (those without Permanent Resident status) are also not eligible for the subsidies which Canadian parents can receive for childcare.
However, the federal Child Tax Benefit program supplements the income of families by providing monthly benefits to assist in the cost of raising children. If you are a visitor to Canada, you can still receive the Child Tax Benefit. You must have been in Canada for at least 18 months and have filed an income tax form to be eligible. Your child must also be under the age of 18.
The full-time Queen’s student in your family can purchase a family membership. The membership will only allow you access to certain activities, at specific times. This means that your family can participate in swimming, badminton and some other activities. Call 613-533-2500 for more information. The Athletics and Recreation Centre is located on Earl Street, behind (North of) the JDUC.
The Ontario government created Ontario Early Years Centres to be a place where parents and caregivers can get answers to questions, information about programs and services that are available for young children, and an opportunity to talk to early years professionals, as well as other parents and caregivers in the community. Contact information: 1066 Hudson Drive, 613-384-1231.
The library has a wide variety of activities for children. There are story hours, puppet shows, film showings and other special events. The program is open to all children and it is free. To borrow books, you must obtain a library card by showing proof that you live in Kingston.
The downtown branch of the Kingston Public Library is at 130 Johnson Street and their telephone number is 613-549-8888. The library is open on Monday to Friday from 9am to 9pm, Saturday from 9am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. For more information about the Saturday Morning Program, call 613-549-8888. The downtown branch of the library network is closed for renovations. Check their website (linked above) for information about their programming for children at other locations around Kingston.
There are many low-cost programs and summer camps run by the City of Kingston. A Parks Activity Program is a drop-in program that runs during July and August at 11 different parks around the city for children from 5 to 13 years old. To find out more about this or any other seasonal program, pick up a brochure at the Parks and Recreation Department of City Hall, located at 216 Ontario Street or call 613-546-4291.
The YMCA offers a wide variety of activities for children of all ages. Contact the Y for a description of their programs. The YMCA is located at 100 Wright Crescent and the telephone number is 613-546-2647.
This organization provides a wide variety of activities for older children (ages 4 to 18 years) during the year and in the summer. An evening program includes computers, arts & crafts, gym program and basketball. There is a summer camp for 3 different age groups which encompasses indoor and outdoor games, arts and swimming. The evening program is free and the fee for the summer camp is subject to a sliding scale (based on the family income). Visit their office at 559 Bagot Street for more information or call 613-542-3306.
Due to seasonal conditions, the following activities may be unavailable at certain times.
- Go skating on the rink in Market Square (winter only).
- Take a tour of Kingston with your child on the Tour Trolley which leaves from Confederation Basin (in front of City Hall).
- Walk amongst the various goods for sale at the Farmers Market (behind City Hall).
- Experience art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (on Queen’s Campus) with your child. Children’s art tours are periodically scheduled. Call 613-533-2190.
- Visit local museums such as the Pump House Steam Museum or the Marine Museum.
Support for Parents
Parenting in a new country may be at times, very difficult. There are people in Kingston who are there to talk with you and to provide support:
417 Bagot Street, 613-549-7850
Individual, couple and family counselling for relationship problems as well as family life education programs are available. A fee will be charged according to your income.
(for women), 32 Bader Lane, 613-533-2977
The Ban Righ Foundation offers special support to parents. They have a common room, a kitchen, and study space, as well as use of a typewriter and lockers. The Single Parents Resource Guide, available at the Foundation office, is a handbook that contains information on all the organizations in Kingston that provide valuable resources for parents, whether single or not.
The Chaplain provides personal and confidential service and acts as a confidante and advisor. You can also consult with other religious leaders by calling the appropriate phone number. Please see the list of people and numbers on the Spiritual & Religious Support page.
51 Bader Lane, 613-533-2963
Formerly known as the Women’s Centre, the Levana Gender Advocacy Centre has a resource library with information on many women’s issues including parenting.
Useful Parenting and Family links
- Canadian Pediatric Society
- Canada Institute for Child Health
- Best Start (Ontario)
- Human Early Learning Partnership
- Better Beginnings Better Futures
If you have further questions, after reviewing the information above, advising is available (without an appointment) from the International Student Advisers at the Queen’s University International Centre from Monday to Friday between 1:00pm and 4:30pm.