Ford government to open select child care centres across Ontario to assist frontline workers

Doctors, nurses, police, firefighters and correctional officers will be able to access emergency local child care

The Ontario government is going to open select child care centres across the province to support health care and frontline workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a news release, the province said the government plans to exempt certain child care centres from the order to close all licensed child care centres due to the state of emergency declared last week.

“We need to help our nurses, doctors and frontline care workers to be able to focus on protecting the health and well-being of all Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “By allowing select child care centres to open their doors during these challenging times, our province’s courageous frontline workers can rest assured knowing that their families are also being looked after.”

Elliot said health care and other frontline workers, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, police and correctional officers, will be able to access safe, local emergency child care.

These child care centres will be required to follow existing health and safety requirements and have a plan in place should any staff, children or parents be exposed to the virus.

“During this unprecedented situation, we need to do everything we can to ensure our health care and other frontline staff have the support they need to continue to work,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “At the same time, we need to protect the safety of the staff and children at these centres. For that reason, we are putting strict measures in place, such as restricting the types of centres that can re-open and keeping the number of children in any one centre low.” 

Once emergency child care centres open, a list of locations will be made available on ontario.ca/coronavirus.

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