Best Daycares in Waterloo by Area

Childcare is a major determining factor for families when they are considering a move to a new area. Understandably, parents like to gather as much information as possible when it comes to potential care providers, especially when they are unfamiliar with the availability and quality of childcare providers in a given community.

Of special note for daycares in the Waterloo Region, is the use of OneList. For the vast majority of daycares in the region, parents are required to apply and register their children using this central, online portal. Here, parents will find everything they need to know about fees, centre and home-based care, application procedures, and waiting lists.

Due to potential waiting lists at some of the centres, parents are encouraged to apply as soon as they think they may require childcare. Some parents register their children on OneList before they are even born!

We have put together this article as a quick guide to daycares for families that have recently moved or are considering a move to Waterloo, Ontario. Read on for information on daycares specific to the various areas that make up the city of Waterloo.

1. Simply Smart / Alexandra Daycare and Montessori in Uptown Waterloo

68 Alexandra Ave. Waterloo ON

Simply Smart / Alexandra Daycare is part of the Simply Smart Franchise and is located just south of Waterloo Park in Uptown Waterloo. Located only 5 minutes from Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Waterloo, and the Ion Light Rail Transit system (LRT), this daycare is ideal for those working or studying within the university communities.

Just down the street from Alexandra Park, Simply Smart has been providing children with home-cooked meals (made on-site), in a cozy, nurturing environment since 1979. The centre prides itself on building solid relationships with both the children that attend and their families. This is part of their holistic approach to childcare.

Simply Smart / Alexandra Daycare and Montessori offers care for children aged 18 months to 6 years. Their programs are divided as follows; Alpha 6 - 18 months, Beta 1.5 - 2.5 years, Gamma 2.5 - 5 years, and Kindergarten 4-6 years.

Uptown Waterloo is a vibrant community located near the Kitchener-Waterloo city border, close to Westmont Rd. a major artery running the length of the two cities. Home to a burgeoning condo market, the area offers upscale shopping and is the location of Vincenzo’s, a popular Italian grocery market. Also, nearby is Waterloo Park, a large, heavily wooded park complete with a summer petting zoo.

2. Kids and Company in the University Area of Waterloo

340 Hagey Blvd. Suite 105, Waterloo ON

Kids and Company is a daycare located in the 40,000 square foot building called Tech Town, at the north campus of the University of Waterloo. Along with the daycare, this new and modern facility houses retail spaces, a credit union, several offices, and an atrium.

Due to its proximity to the universities, this daycare is ideal for university students and employees. Children from infancy to age 5 are accepted and are well taken care of within the 8 classrooms of the centre. The daycare is located near Columbia Lake and the University of Waterloo Environmental Reserve, allowing for frequent wildlife sightings. The centre has a great outdoor space which includes, plenty of trees, sandboxes, and a climbing structure.

Children at the daycare are taught French, sign language, and yoga in addition to a unique physical activity and movement program called Munchkinetics.

The University area of Waterloo, is well, you guessed it! The place where our two world-class universities are located. The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are both situated on University Avenue and are an easy walk from one another.

Chock full of restaurants, bars, and take-out venues, the University area is home to thousands of students, especially from September to April.

With quick access to Highway 85 and the Expressway, the LRT and plenty of green space such as Waterloo Park and the University of Waterloo Environmental Reserve, this area has so much to offer students and residents alike.

3. Waterloo Infant Toddler Daycare Association in the Beechwood Area of Waterloo

368 Erb St W. Waterloo, ON

Waterloo Infant Toddler Daycare Association has been around for 30 years and offers an impressive 10,000+ square feet of space to the children that attend the centre and its staff.

The daycare offers infant, toddler, and preschool programs as well as a summer camp for 5 to 7-year-olds. The camp provides all meals and snacks and brings in special guests for the children to enjoy and learn from.

Attention is paid to cognitive and motor skills as well as learning about feelings, enjoying creative play, and free time.

Beechwood Waterloo is a popular, sought-after residential area. Only a seven-minute drive to the downtown core, Beechwood offers quick access to Costco, smaller grocery retailers, pizza places, and take-out sushi.

This neighbourhood is also home to the Westmount Golf and Country Club and is in close proximity to Grand River Hospital.

Upper Beechwood in particular is attractive to potential home buyers. With its 80s and 90s homes complete with mature trees on larger-than-average lots, the real estate in this neighbourhood tends to be more expensive than in other areas of KW.

4. Centre Éducatif Village d'Élisabeth in the Lincoln Heights Area of Waterloo

280 Glenridge Dr, Waterloo, ON

Centre Éducatif Village d'Élisabeth is a French Daycare located in the Lincoln Heights area of Waterloo. This daycare may be the perfect solution for Francophones looking for childcare delivered in the French language or for those parents wishing to immerse their child in the language from an early age.

The centre is in the Mère-Élisabeth-Bruyère school and does share some of its facilities. The daycare and school, however, are operated independently from each other.

The daycare provides a French-speaking environment for children 18 months and older. The centre has its own fully equipped kitchen and prepares fresh meals daily for the children.

Much focus is put on healthy eating and the desired effects of good nutrition. Administrators also emphasize their commitment to making the daycare accessible to those requiring financial subsidies as well as providing before and after school care to school-aged children.

Lincoln Heights is an area located in east Waterloo. The homes here date back to the wartime era and are full of nostalgic charm with their mature trees and large lots. This neighbourhood is home to the Moses Springer Arena, an attraction to active families and retirees. Residents can enjoy summer swimming lessons and indoor skating during the winter.

Situated close to a large variety of restaurants, and grocery stores and just minutes from the expressway, Lincoln Heights offers all the necessary amenities at a lower price point than some of the other neighbourhoods in Waterloo.

5. Waterloo Co-Operative Pre-School in the Bridgeport Area of Waterloo

Emmanuel United Church | 22 Bridgeport Road West, Waterloo, ON,

The Waterloo Co-Operative Pre-School in the Bridgeport Area of Waterloo is a parent-run initiative that has been successfully providing childcare for over 45 years. The preschool offers programs for children 18 months to 5 years and has a very good reputation within the community.

Parents are given the chance to be a partner in their child’s education by participating in the classroom and programs. A high level of family involvement is expected and is what makes this preschool so successful and unique.

There is an emphasis on fostering independence and social skills among the children as well as encouraging the development of motor skills and the ability to quietly sit and focus. Clean-up time is made fun and part of the routine through song and repetition.

Just north of Kitchener and on the east end of Waterloo lies Bridgeport, one of the KW’s oldest residential areas. It’s easy to see why home buyers have been flocking to this community as it allows easy access to nature, specifically the Grand River, in addition to all the usual amenities.

The area has grown so much over the years, that it is now divided into Bridgeport North, East, and West. Homes in Bridgeport range in age from over 100 years old to brand-new builds.

The Bridgeport Community Centre is a popular destination for residents as it boasts one of the largest skating rinks in the KW region. The abundance of trails and greenspace keep everyone active and offer a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

6. Rising Oaks Early Learning St. Nicholas in Laurel Creek / Laurelwood Area of Waterloo

525 Laurelwood Drive, Waterloo, ON

Rising Oaks Early Learning - St. Nicholas is located in the Laurelwood / Laurel Creek area of northwest Waterloo. This daycare offers full and part-time care for children aged 18 months to 5 years, as well as before and after-school care for the JK to age 12 students of St. Nicholas Elementary School.

The daycare has been in operation since 2001 and offers an extensive play-based program to the children that attend. Different types of play are encouraged for each age group and include; unoccupied, spectator, solitary, parallel, associative, and cooperative play. Play is respected as the primary way children learn about the world and is considered their “work” as they develop into knowledgeable and capable adults.

Rising Oaks Early Learning is a facility that offers a wide range of care for the children in the Laurelwood community and is popular with local families. Its convenient location in St. Nicholas Elementary School makes it easy for children to transition from daycare to elementary school.

Laurelwood is a much sought-after neighbourhood in west Waterloo. It is known for Laurelwood Public School, which was voted as the region’s best school according to the Education Quality and Accountability Office test that monitors the academic progress of students in grades three to six. St. Nicholas Elementary and Sir John A McDonald Secondary are also well-liked schools.

Popular with tech professionals, Laurelwood offers a nice blend of city amenities and soothing nature activities. The convenient Laurelwood Shopping Centre is the go-to place for residents for all their grocery, banking, and dining needs. The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier are also within a short drive or a quick commute on public transit.

Houses in Laurelwood are primarily town-homes or single-family detached, so finding a rental apartment in this area might prove challenging. Pride of ownership is evident in this community as one can see by the well-kept yards and manicured lawns.

Perhaps the greatest perk of living in Laurelwood is its close proximity to Laurel Creek Conservation Area. This natural gem has a lake, beach, hiking trails, and even campsites. Located just north of the Laurelwood area, Laurel Creek spans over 74 square km and is home to an abundance of wildlife. The conservation area also features a large reservoir and a lookout tower. Swimming is a popular summer activity for residents as is cross-country skiing in the winter months.

For those looking to live close to nature, there are residential communities surrounding the conservation area, such as the Lakeshore Neighbourhood.

7. Daycare Options for the Columbia Forest Area in Waterloo

For families looking for daycare in the Columbia Forest Area of Waterloo, Rising Oaks Early Learning (mentioned above) is a good option within proximity. Another option would be to research home-care providers in the area.

There are several popular Facebook Groups based in the KW area that can provide parental insight on where to find good childcare in the Columbia Forest area as well as Wee Watch, a licensed organization that helps match families with homecare providers.

Columbia Forest is located on the far west side of Waterloo. Before the construction of the Boardwalk, this area was considered to be on the remote, outer edge of the city. With the appearance of the Boardwalk, the area is now equipped with grocery stores, big box outlets, a Costco, several restaurants, and a cinema.

This area offers more affordable housing than Laurelwood, yet it is still close to that desirable neighbourhood and its amenities. Access to trails along the Wilmot Line provides residents with lots of opportunities to get outdoors and be active.

Schools in the area include; Abraham Erb Elementary School and Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School. Some students are bussed to Edna Staebler School, St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary, and Resurrection Catholic Secondary School.

8. Just for Kids YMCA Child Care in Rummelhardt/Boardwalk Area in Waterloo

485 Thorndale Dr. Waterloo, ON

The YMCA is Canada’s largest childcare provider and offers a consistent standard of care across the board.

Located close to Holy Rosary Catholic Elementary School and Westvale Public School, Just for Kids is located in a bright, modern building with ample outdoor space. As with all YMCA programs, family involvement is encouraged at the centre and the caregivers make it a priority to support each family with their personal needs. It is the intention of all YMCA childcare programs to not only meet the expectations set out by governing bodies but to surpass them.

The Rummelhardt/Boardwalk area is a fairly new and ever-growing addition to the KW Region. A bustling area of activity, the Boardwalk is very close to the Rummelhardt area and is home to numerous medical practices, grocery outlets, take-out venues, big-box retail stores, and a cinema.

Everything one could possibly need is within arms reach. For those who enjoy the outdoors, Red River and Westvale Park are great options for playtime with the family and the WCC Hydrocut Trails are just a short drive away.

9. Butterfly Learning Centre in the Northfield Area of Waterloo

30 Bathurst Drive Waterloo, ON

Butterfly Learning Centre in the Northfield Area of Waterloo is another daycare centre that encourages family involvement and emphasizes the importance of play. Located close to Northfield Dr. and Conestoga Pwy, the centre is near Sherwin Williams and a few industrial businesses. Situated in a bright, modern building, the daycare prides itself on guiding children in the areas of social competence, emotional and physical health, communication, and teamwork.

Motor skill development is also encouraged in addition to learning self-advocacy skills, independence, and self-control. The centre strives to include and support children who may have physical, developmental, or financial disadvantages and offers on-site training to students wishing to enter the childcare profession.

The Northfield area of Waterloo comprises a large chunk of the city’s north end. Spanning either side of the Conestoga Pwy, Northfield is a short drive to St. Jacobs. Close to the city-country border, this area is still near grocery stores, gyms, dollar stores, Walmart, and the Conestoga Mall.

For those who like to hike, Laurel Creek Conservation Area is also very close by for residents to enjoy. Northfield’s proximity to the highway makes this area a great choice for commuters or families that are actively traveling the city.


Waterloo, Ontario is a beautiful, popular place to live. Bursting with all the necessary amenities including the all-important childcare options, it is no wonder so many choose to call this area home. If you or anyone you know is considering a move to Waterloo and requires more information on the area, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help anytime!