Ontario has extended emergency child care for school-aged children to January 25, continuing to offer free care in Durham Region for eligible health-care and front-line workers so they can provide critical services to the community amid Covid-19.
The list of eligible workers has been expanded to a broader number of front-line workers who are performing critical community functions, such as:
- Working with vulnerable populations;
- Maintaining food, hydro and water systems; or
- Supporting court and public safety operations
- Staff member of a school (as defined in the Education Act) who is required to attend schools to provide in-person instruction and support to students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning
Emergency child care is reserved exclusively for eligible workers, who have no other alternatives, and is free of charge to parents for school-aged children. Registered Early Childhood Educators will help support children in their online learning. Licensed home child care and child care for children in infant, toddler, and preschool programs remain open. Standard fees apply.
The Region of Durham said it continues to work closely with the Health Department, provincial government and other provincial partners to ensure that the health and safety of children, parents, and staff are at the forefront of service delivery. Stringent policies and procedures are mandated in all emergency child care centres to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19. This includes screening, surveillance, enhanced sanitization practices, and protocols if a child or staff have symptoms.
“We are pleased to support the extension of emergency child care to eligible families in Durham. We are confident that Registered Early Childhood Educators will continue to work with parents to support children’s engagement in remote learning while providing a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment,” Lisa McIntosh, Director of Children’s Services, Region of Durham.