Emergency child care available for school-aged children of designated essential service workers during remote learning week

As part of the current lockdown measures imposed by the Province of Ontario as of December 26, school-aged children in publicly-funded elementary schools will participate in remote learning from January 4 to 8, 2021. During this period, emergency child care services will be available for designated essential service providers who are not able to accommodate their school-aged child's learning or care at home.

Essential workers who require emergency child care during this period are encouraged to verify whether they meet the Provincial eligibility requirements. If they meet these requirements, they may contact an emergency child care provider from the Provincially-approved list directly to register their child(ren) for care.

During January 4 to 8, 2021:

  • child care programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers will operate as usual
  • home child care programs are permitted to provide child care to kindergarten and school-aged children
  • there will be no child care programs for kindergarten and school-aged children operating in child care centres
  • child care providers not operating during this period are prohibited from charging fees during this time and parents will not lose their child care space(s).
Emergency child care services are reserved exclusively for children of essential service workers identified in the Province of Ontario's List of Workers Eligible for Emergency Child Care who have no other alternatives. The safest option for families is to have children remain at home if possible. The list of eligible workers is available at www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-provincewide-shutdown#B.

Once the Ministry of Education approves Emergency Child Care locations in Toronto, eligible parents are to contact agencies directly to register their child(ren) for care. These emergency child care programs will adhere to all requirements set out in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 and all current Ministry of Education and Toronto Public Health guidance. Centres will be located across Toronto in existing licensed child care facilities.

Three City-operated child care centres, as well as the City's Toronto Home Child Care Agency, have expressed interest in providing emergency child care as part of this process. They are: Shoreham Early Learning & Child Care Centre, Taylor Creek Early Learning & Child Care Centre, and O'Connor Satellite Early Learning & Child Care Centre. Should they be approved by the Province in the coming days to provide emergency child care services for school-aged children of essential workers during the week of remote learning, they will be included in the list of other approved emergency child care providers once it becomes available at www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-provincewide-shutdown#section-4.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports, and economic recovery measures. Check www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.


"The City of Toronto was the first municipality to offer emergency child care when the pandemic began to help our frontline heroes. I commend City staff as well as our partners at the Province of Ontario for making this service available again for essential workers. I’m pleased that three of our City locations as well as our Toronto Home Child Care Agency have offered to provide emergency child care services to support some of the families of the essential service workers we rely on during the current lockdown period." - Mayor John Tory


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