Province financially supporting childcare centres as more parents return to work

 

As plans proceed to reopen more businesses and get people back to work, the Ontario government is pledging to support parents by making sure they’ll have access to local licensed child care as well as EarlyON Child and Family Centres.

The government says it will help cover operating costs for child-care providers who are struggling financially, as well as waive their licensing fees in an effort to keep them sustainable and ready to open when parents return to work.

“We are taking action to protect local child care spaces for parents as they return to work. Our plan is focused on two objectives,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

“The first was focused on saving parents money by prohibiting child care providers from charging families during the closure period. The second objective was focused on protecting child care spaces across our province, so families can re-enter the workforce with confidence that local centres will be accessible and safe.”

Specifically, the province’s plan includes the following time-limited approaches:

  • support for fixed operating costs for eligible child care and EarlyON Centres, while providers are prohibited from charging parent fees while the Emergency Order is in effect
  • direct and rapid funding delivery through municipal service managers for centres that currently receive funding (and a straightforward application process for child care centres that do not currently receive provincial funding by allowing them to apply directly to the Ministry of Education)
  • direction that all child care centres will be required to maximize all available support under Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, including staffing costs retroactively to March 15, 2020, in addition to federal-provincial rental subsidy supports
  • red tape reduction and cost savings by waiving all child care licensing applications, renewals and revision fees
  • automatic extension of child care licenses set to expire during the emergency period
  • protecting existing base funding for licensed home child care agencies, and regular funding and wage enhancement grant funding for licensed home child care providers who have remained active during the emergency closure

The province is also assisting parents financially by providing a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools.

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