Programs for your family

For your spouse

The International Spouses of UW group brings together international spouses of Waterloo students, professors and staff members. This is a chance to meet other spouses, learn about Waterloo and go on outings together. The group also plans many events for the whole family!

For your children

If you're bringing your children to Canada, there are different school aged programs for your child depending on their age. In Canada, children usually begin kindergarten at the age of five. Certain schools offer a junior kindergarten and will accept children at age four. In Canada, children under the age of 12 may not be left alone. Legally an adult must be present at all times, or the child must be enroled in school.

Elementary or primary schools offer schooling to children between kindergarten to grade eight. Middle schools (if applicable) accept children from grades five to eight. Secondary schools (commonly known as high schools) offer curriculum to youth in grades nine to twelve.

Waterloo Region’s school system

Waterloo Region has four school boards for children aged 4-18:

To enrol your child in school, tuition fees for the Waterloo Region District School Board and Waterloo Catholic District School Board range from $14,000–$18,000 per student, per year. However your child’s tuition fees might be waived if you're registered as a full-time student in a non-ESL program and can provide proof that you've paid your tuition fees to the University of Waterloo. Visit The Centre in-person, or online, to submit a proof of enrolment request to obtain a letter confirming your program of study and that you've registered and paid your fees. Along with this letter, you’ll need to provide the school board with a copy of:

  • your passport
  • your study permit
  • your children’s passports
  • proof of residence in Waterloo Region (e.g. rental agreement or utility bill)

Waterloo Region’s daycare centres

Waterloo Region has a range of childcare facilities for children between one and four years old. Facilities are in great demand, so be sure to apply for a spot for your child as early as possible. Daycare centres are available on the University of Waterloo campus and in the community, both as full-day and half-day programs.

Note: While registering your child in a daycare is costly, you may qualify for a bursary, like the Graduate Student Day Care Bursary and/or income tax credits to help you with the expense.