March 17th, 2017

Breakdown of Rate Changes

Effective April 1, 2017, our rate charges are changing.

The first change involves the charge rate when you choose to have an Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region Direct Support Person.

When you choose to have an EAFWR Direct Support Person, Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region becomes the employer of your Direct Support Person, and takes on certain responsibilities in that role. EAFWR puts a great deal of effort into the recruiting and matching of our Direct Support People with the families we serve. We value, as we know you do, the work they do in supporting your child and your family. One way of recognizing the important work that they do is to pay Direct Support People a fair wage. Being good stewards of your funds is important to us. At the same time, we also believe it is important that Direct Support People are compensated appropriately for the good work that they do. As such, we have committed to paying our Direct Support People a Living Wage.

On April 1, 2017 we will begin paying all of our Direct Support People a living wage of $15.42.

Currently our hourly wage rate is $13.36. We will be increasing it by $2.06 to reach our living wage target of $15.42. $1.07 of this increase will come from wage enhancement that comes for EAFWR’s budget. This additional $1.07 is not included in your cost rate since it is covered by EAFWR.  The remaining $0.99 will come from the increase in charge rates.

For those of you who send EAFWR your receipts for reimbursement, the second change we are making will be an increase to our administrative fee from 8% to 10%, starting on April 1, 2017.  Below is a breakdown of how that 10% is used.


In the past, we promised you that we would only charge you enough to cover our costs. While committed to keeping our service fees as low as possible, what we have been charging has not been enough. As a result, each year we have gone further into debt. The increase in the administrative rate will help us to better pay for the supports and services required to reimburse your invoice.

Our Support Coordinators will work together with you to take a look at what the impact will be to your funding and how we can help you with this change. We are hopeful that this change will acknowledge the important work that our Direct Support People and EAFWR staff do in working together with you.

If you have any questions or concerns related to any of this information, please connect with your coordinator.


What is Living Wage and why are our rates for DSPs changing?

EAFWR is committed to becoming a Living Wage Employer. Living Wage reflects what a wage earner needs to earn, based on what the cost living is in their community. It is a wage that allows the wage earner to live with dignity and participate in their community.  It is based on a belief that everyone has the right to enjoy good health, recreation, culture, raise their children and participate in community activities rather than just “surviving”.  EAFWR shares this vision for both its employees and those we serve, bringing us to our decision to move to a “living wage” for all our Direct Support People. The living wage in Waterloo Region, for those people who do not receive health care or other kinds of benefits is $15.42.  If you want more information about the living wage please visit