COVID-19: Ontario Announces Expanded Emergency Child Care Eligibility List

April 17, 2020

This afternoon, the Ontario Government announced that it would be expanding the list of essential services workers who are eligible for FREE Emergency Child Care during the Covid-19 crisis.

Among those workers added to the list include:

  • Staff working in developmental services, victim services, violence against women services, anti-human trafficking services and child welfare services (children’s aid societies) and in children’s residential settings;
  • Additional staff identified by the Ministry of the Solicitor General, including:
    • First Nations constables;
    • Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management fire investigators;
    • Select critical staff in community corrections, such as probation and parole officers;
    • Contractors in institutional corrections services;
    • Frontline staff at the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit;
    • Critical staff at the Centre of Forensic Sciences; and
    • Critical staff operating the Provincial Emergency Operations Centres.
  • Staff working in shelters (e.g., serving homeless populations);
  • Power workers;
  • Pharmaceutical and medical supplies and device manufacturing workers;
  • Non-municipal water and waste-water employees; and
  • Federally employed staff including Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers and Canada Post employees.

This welcome change will hopefully stem the tied of front line workers forced to take leaves of absence to care for children affected by school and daycare closures across the province.

Employers can direct employees struggling with child care obligations to the government’s website dedicated to linking front line essential services workers with emergency child care here.

Employees wishing to locate available Emergency Child Care can find a list of providers by region here.

Let us hope this is only the first of positive announcements today regarding supports for critical essential services workers supporting vulnerable people.