On Thursday April 1, 2021, the Premier of Ontario implemented a province-wide emergency break to help curb the spread of COVID-19. However, increasing rates of community spread continue to pose a threat to the health and safety of school communities. As a result, the Ontario government has made the decision to close all publicly funded and private elementary schools for in-person learning as of April 19, 2021 and will move to virtual learning.
Child care for non-school aged children will remain open. However, as per the Ministry of Education, licensed child care centres and authorized recreation providers will be prohibited from serving school-aged children during the period when elementary schools are operating virtually (as of April 19, 2021). All before and after school programs are being closed during this period and will resume operation when elementary schools return to in-person learning.
To support parents of school-aged children who are required to work during this time, the Ministry of Education will be implementing a targeted emergency child care (ECC) program for school-aged children, at no cost to eligible parents, during the closure period.
Please note: children who are Junior/Senior Kindergarten-aged who are not registered in school but are instead attending licensed child care may continue to attend the licensed child care throughout this period as usual.
Those eligible for ECC include health care and other essential and frontline workers whose children are enrolled in school. Click here for the complete list of eligible workers. Please note that all parents/guardians living in the household must be working during this period to qualify.
Emergency child care placement is managed through a centralized application process for all sites. The DNSSAB will review applications for eligibility and determine the most suitable placement to meet identified needs and will then contact families directly. If the level of demand exceeds the capacity to provide emergency child care services, the DNSSAB has established a priority list for health care and essential workers. The DNSSAB will continue to work with licensed child care providers to expand the delivery of emergency child care based on demand.
Families may apply for Emergency Child Care by clicking the button below. Please note that the implementation of Nipissing’s targeted Emergency Child Care Plan is contingent on Ministry approval. Families who apply will only be contacted once that Ministry approval is granted.
It is important to note that there is currently evidence of COVID-19 community transmission within the North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit district.
Agencies must ensure that all requirements set out in the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 as well as all current ministry/ health unit policies and guidelines must continue to be followed, including the Addendum to the operational guidance documents for childcare and before and after school programs.
As you know, current health and safety measures include but are not limited to the following practices:
• Daily screening of everyone before entering the premises and keeping attendance records for contact tracing;
• Practicing the proper use of masks and eye protection, proper hand hygiene and physical distancing; and
• Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of toys, equipment and the premises.