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Provincial government permitting regulated child care services for essential workers

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Press release
Publication Date: 
25 Mar 2020


Executive Council
Education and Early Childhood Development
March 25, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials advise children are best cared for at home. However, it is recognized that some essential workers may not have access to at-home or private child care at this time. Therefore, the Provincial Government is permitting the limited operation of regulated child care services for children aged one to 13. This will help support and enable essential workers in providing critical services if there are no other options available to them.

An Essential Worker Child Care Service Application Process has been launched for essential workers in need of child care. Essential workers are encouraged to fill out the form as soon as possible. For this purpose, essential workers include all health care workers, paramedics, firefighters, police and correction workers, early childhood educators providing essential worker child care services, and other public servants required to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be no charge to for this service as it is covered under the compensation grant being provided to child care centres as announced last week.

Information is being distributed to child care centres and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will work with them to facilitate contact between applicants and the centres that are able to provide service.

“During this unprecedented situation, it is necessary that we take actions to ensure essential workers are able to provide critical services, focusing on sectors that we anticipate will experience the greatest pressures as more cases of the virus develop. I thank our public sector unions for their input as we have worked to move this service forward.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“We have had discussions with some child care providers to help inform our planning and have consulted with public health officials on advice on how the service can be provided safely. The department is pleased to facilitate this service to ensure essential workers have the supports they need as they carry out their critical work to assist the people of the province at this time.”
Honourable Brian Warr, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

Media contacts
Jeremy Reynolds
Office of the Premier

Tina Coffey
Education and Early Childhood Development
709-729-1906, 687-9903