UPDATE! Ontario Child Care Closures due to COVID-19
This afternoon Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that publicly funded schools will remain closed until at least May 4th, and all licensed child care will be closed for at least another two weeks.
GOVERNMENT NEWS RELEASE: Ontario Extends School and Child Care Closures to Fight Spread of COVID-19
“Public schools will remain closed to teachers until Friday, May 1, 2020, and to students until Monday, May 4, 2020. As these dates come closer, this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice. The closure may be extended if necessary to protect the health and safety of students, families and staff. Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed until April 13, according to the Declaration of Emergency, which only allows closures to be extended for one 14-day period at a time. Select centres designated to support frontline health care workers and first responders will remain open.”
Call for Stabilization Funding
The OCBCC and our members and allies have been advocating for emergency stabilization funding to closed child care programs since the original closure order. Over 8000 people have sent messages in support of our Emergency Plan for Ontario Child Care. In light of today’s news we will re-double our efforts.
Here’s what you can do to help:
- If you haven’t already, send a letter to your MPP and Minister Lecce telling them that emergency funding to closed child care programs is urgently needed.
- Complete the Ontario Nonprofit Network’s flash survey about the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the non-profit sector. This survey only takes a few minutes and will help us to have the data necessary to make an even stronger argument about the need for emergency funding. Deadline is April 2nd.
- If you are an educator or centre director and would be willing to speak to media about what your program is facing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We need folks from child care programs facing financial hardship who will speak publicly to the media about the difficult situation in our sector.
- Join us online with the AECEO and Institute for Change Leaders starting on April 7th for an online Building Skills for Change training series.
Emergency Child Care for Essential Service Workers
The OCBCC would like to extend our deep gratitude to all the educators and staff – including many of our members – who are working hard to provide emergency child care services for essential service workers in their communities.
We recognize how important this service is, but also how vitally important it is that these programs be made as safe as possible for educators, children and families. We will continue to advocate for robust health and safety supports and protections for all these services.
The Childcare Resource and Research Unit is maintaining a collection of news, responses, research, and health and safety protocols on child care and COVID-19.
Child care and COVID-19: Information on the situation in Canada.
Staff are adding to the collection daily, so it is a great source of up-to-date information.
National Network on Early Learning and Child Care HR Innovation and Decent Work
Today marks that final day of our federal innovation project on ELCC HR Innovation and Decent Work. Since August our two amazing Project Officers, Abigail Doris and Rachel Vickerson, have collaborated with people across the sector and across the country to talk about decent work in early learning and child care, and to collect and develop a toolkit of HR resources. If you haven’t already, check out the HR Innovation section of our website for more information, resources and videos.