Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You would be eligible for funding if:

  • your child is 18 or younger when you apply
  • you live in Guelph or Wellington County
  • your family income is below the “low income cut-off”, which is also called the LICO

To see if your family income is below the low income cut-off, we look at your:

  • family size (how many people are in your family)
  • family income (how much money the adults in your home make)

Families with income (we look at Line 236 on your income tax) below the current Statistics Canada Low Before TAx Income Cut-Off (LICO) can get full funding (up to $400 per child).

You can see the current LICO chart at: https://www.childrensfoundation.org/what-we-do/free-to-grow/guidelines-eligibility/guidelines-eligibility-overview

Click HERE to see what documents you need to show us your family size and income.

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We can provide up to $400 per child per calendar year (which is January to December) for each child in your family.  We look at when the activity is taking place to determine which calendar year it falls under.

Please note: It is not a guarantee that you will get $400 for your child because it depends on how much funding we have overall.  Funding is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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We fund sports, arts, music, camps, and other recreational activities. Beginning in 2019, we also fund life-skill development activities, such as CPR and first aid courses, babysitting courses, driver’s education, and tutoring. Click HERE for a full list of the activities we fund.

If you don't know if the activity you want is eligible for funding, call us at 519-826-9551 ext 23 or email freetogrow@childrensfoundation.org

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CLICK HERE to see the steps to open an online account and apply for funding.

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You need:

  • Most current year’s Canada Child Benefit (CCB-OCB) Notice which shows:
    • Your marital status (e.g. single, divorced, or married)
    • The number of children in your family
    • Your family’s net income

This is the portion of the CCB Notice we look at:

Canada Child Benefit Notice Sample

I don’t have the CCB-OBC Notice. What can I use?

You can use:

  • The Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB) Notice (looks the same as the CCB-OCB)
  • The GST-HST Credit Notice (looks the same as the CCB-OCB)

Other alternatives:

  • A recent Ontario Works (OW) Statement that shows your name and monthly amounts:

OW Statement

  • A Statutory Declaration from Immigrant or Settlement Services
    • This option is only for refugees and immigrants

Note: The size of the document should be less than 8MB if you are uploading it on the computer or emailing it. If you are uploading, we ask you o black out your Social Insurance Number (SIN) number. For privacy reasons, we do not keep your personal documents on file.

Please contact us if you don’t have any of these documents.

 

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When using the online system, you will be asked to upload your financial document(s). You don’t need to use a scanner. Instead, you can take a photo of your financial document(s) using your cell phone and then upload it as a JPEG. Make sure the photo is clear and legible, like this one:

 Canada Child Benefit Notice Sample

If you can’t upload your financial information, please email it to freetogrow@childrensfoundation.org, fax it to  519-766-4870, or mail/drop it off at our office at 87 Waterloo Avenue.

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Not usually. The sports, recreation, arts, and life-skill organizations in Guelph-Wellington may tell you about our program or help you apply, but they do not typically submit the application for you. You must apply directly to us, either through our online system or through a paper application.

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If you've just opened an account, you will get an automatic email with a link to "activate" your account.

If you don't see it immediately in your email inbox, check your Junk/Spam folder:

 Spam

 

For Gmail accounts, you could also check your Promotions folder:

Promotions

 

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Your Username is your email address. Passwords can be re-set by clicking HERE. 

You will be asked for your email and you will receive an automated email with a link to re-set your password.

 

Note: If you don’t see the email in your inbox right away, please check your Junk/Spam folder (or Promotions folder for Gmail accounts).

 

Junk/Spam Folder

Spam/Trash

 

Promotions Folder

Promotions

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Yes. You can see in the online system the status of your applications, whether they have been approved or are still waiting to be approved ("pending"). You can also see how much funding your child potentially has remaining for the year.

Please note: available funding is not guaranteed as it depends on our overall availability of funds and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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It usually takes up to a week to hear back from us, but can take up to two weeks during very busy times. If you don’t hear back within one-two weeks, call or email us to check on your application.

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The application process usually takes one week to complete if you have given us everything we need. We recommend applying at least 2 weeks before the activity to give us enough time.

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You can apply for as many activities as you want. Each child has maximum funding of $400 per year. For each activity, you must apply again (either online or on paper).

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YES, you always need to apply again and give us the details of the new session/activity and costs. You may also need to give us more recent information about your income. We typically update once a year with the new Canada Child Benefit Notice.

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You can apply but we cannot pay you back as we can only pay the organization that provides the activity. However, most organizations can refund you once they have received confirmation that we will be funding the activity, so you could ask them if they will do that in your case.

 

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No, we cannot fund an activity that has already taken place in the past. The activity has to be upcoming. In some cases, if the activity has started but the session is still underway we may be able to fund it.

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As soon as you know your child isn't going to participate in the activity we've given funding for please contact us at 519-826-9551 ext. 23 or email freetogrow@childrensfoundation.org to let us know. It’s important to let us know right away as we may be able to cancel or change the funding for that particular activity depending on the cancellation and the organization's refund policy.

As well, if the child did register for the activity but withdrew early we need to know.  For example, if you were approved for funding for two weeks of camp but ended up only registering for one week, we need to know.

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No. Funds are not transferred from year to year or from child to child in a family.  Even though each child has a potential maximum funding of $400, it doesn’t mean that you will always get $400 for each child. It depends on our overall available funding, and we do fund on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Jumpstart logoThe Children’s Foundation is proud to be the the Community Ambassador for Jumpstart Canadian Tire in the Guelph and Centre Wellington area. Jumpstart is a national organization that funds kids to participate in sports and physical activities.

In the past, as Jumpstart's Community Partner, we had responsibility for reviewing and approving applications to allocate their funding in the area. Families were eligible for funding for a maximum of $400 per year, per child regardless of whether the funds came from Jumpstart or the Free to Grow Program.

Changes as of February 2021

Jumpstart launched a new application portal and is now managing the entire review and approval of applications internally. With this change, we will no longer be 'pooling' our financial resources to spread the dollars in our community. What does this mean exactly?

  • Families can now apply to Jumpstart for separate funding for their eligible activities (such as sports and sports camps).
  • Jumpstart funding is up to $300 per activity, subject to Chapter discretion and/or local demands.
  • Children can be funded for successive seasons in an activity, up to a maximum of $300 per activity. The annual maximum amount a child is eligible to receive is up to $600, subject to Chapter discretion and/or local demands.
  • Jumpstart funding can also cover equipment costs.
  • Jumpstart funding will be separate from funding available from the Children's Foundation Free to Grow Program, however our expectation is that families will apply first to Jumpstart for eligible activities. This way, our Free to Grow funding can help more kids participate in non-eligible Jumpstart activities, such as music, dance, the arts, and life-skill opportunities, as well as supporting mental health therapies.

How We Can Help You

  • When doing an application in the Jumpstart application portal, you can invite us to be a "Collaborator" and we can help you fill out your application with you. You will still be the one to do the final Submit, but we can walk through it with you.
    • If you would like our help, invite Free to Grow Program Assistant, Maria Fitzpatrick, to be your Collaborator. Her email is maria@childrensfoundation.org
  • We have created some detailed instructions on how to set-up an account, make an application, invite us to be a Collaborator and more.
    • To see written instructions on how to apply to Jumpstart - CLICK HERE 
    • To download video instructions for appying by computer - CLICK HERE
    • To download video instructions for appying by cell phone - CLICK HERE

If you have any questions or need support, please contact Free to Grow Program Assistant, Maria Fitzpatrick, by emailing is maria@childrensfoundation.org or calling 519-826-9551 ext 23.

CLICK HERE to go directly to the
Jumpstart application portal.

 

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