TORONTO — During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government is temporarily preventing child care centres from collecting payments from parents, while also ensuring that their child care spaces are protected. Child care centres, with the exception of those accommodating health care and other frontline workers, were ordered closed to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep the children and child care staff safe.
An emergency order has been issued, and immediately prevents any child care operator from charging parent fees where care is not being provided. The order also means that parents cannot lose their child care space because they are not paying fees during this period. This will help provide much needed relief for parents during the outbreak.
"COVID-19 has imposed significant financial pressure on working parents," said Stephen Lecce, Education Minister. "We need to support our parents who may be facing reduced income or layoffs during the COVID-19 outbreak."
The child care sector, like many others, is facing significant financial pressures. Child care providers can seek supports for businesses and individuals under the federal government's Economic Response Plan.
"We are defending the interests of consumers and protecting parents' hard-earned money by ordering child care centres to stop charging fees for services not rendered," said Minister Lecce. "From protecting health and safety, to jobs and incomes, we will do whatever it takes to get our province and our incredibly resilient people through this."
The Ontario government will continue to work with the child care sector and federal, municipal and First Nations partners on a plan to ensure the sustainability of the sector during the outbreak.
- Child care centres have been ordered to close through a provincial Emergency Order.
- Some child care centres that are providing child care for health care and other frontline workers, and home-based child care providers (licensed and unlicensed), are permitted to continue to operate
- Over 1 million applications have been received through Ontario’s Support for Families. The simple online application gives parents a one-time payment of $200 for each child aged 0 to 12, or $250 for children 21 years old or younger with special needs.