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Emergency child care coming soon for school-age children of eligible workers

Whitby, Ontario â€“ Licensed child care programs for infants, toddlers, preschool and centre-based kindergarten programs will remain open during the province-wide shutdown. However, care of school-age children whose parents are not eligible workers is prohibited from January 4 to 8, 2021, as per the Ontario government’s Safer at Home Restrictions. Full-day care programs for school-age children will only be available for eligible workers, at no cost to families.

The province-wide shutdown announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford on December 21, 2020 and will be in effect as of December 26, 2020. From January 4 to 8, 2021, publicly-funded elementary schools will offer virtual learning for students, and the before and after school program will be closed.

This targeted emergency child care approach is not the same emergency child care that was offered from March to June 2020. During this five-day period:

  • Licensed child care centres approved by The Regional Municipality of Durham and Province of Ontario will offer emergency child care for school-age children.
  • Eligible child care centres are restricted to regular hours of operation; care is not provided 24-hours a day.
  • Registered early childhood educators are not responsible for managing the requirements of each child’s individual virtual learning environment.
  • Licensed home child care providers are exempt from this change and may continue to provide service to all school-age children, as well as infants, toddlers and preschool age groups.
  • Licensed child care programs in centres for infants, toddlers and preschool children are also exempt from this order.

Child care operators of before and after school programs are prohibited from charging fees or otherwise penalizing parents during this time period. More information, including an online application form for families, will be made available at durham.ca/ChildrensServices in the coming days.

To learn how licensed child care operators are helping prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit the Children's Services web page.

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“We continue to work with our partners at the Ministry of Education to ensure children in Durham Region have access to welcoming, engaging, inclusive and safe early learning environments throughout this pandemic.”

- Lisa McIntosh, Director of the Children’s Services, Region of Durham

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For media inquiries, please contact Corporate Communications.

View this press release on the Region of Durham's website.

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