Local News News Walkerton Herald-Times

Bruce County announces targeted emergency child care program

BRUCE COUNTY – The county is offering targeted emergency child care program for school-aged children of first responders and health-care professionals, contingent on provincial approval.

The Premier of Ontario announced the province would be in lockdown as of Boxing Day, for 28 days and ordered a range of time-limited public health actions to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

The county recognizes the importance of providing a trusted and safe environment for children so parents can work. The following measures are being implemented in the county:

  • Child care will remain open for infants, toddlers and preschoolers for the duration of the time-limited public health actions. This includes child care offered in licensed centres, in home-based settings and by authorized recreation and skill-building providers.
  • During the period when elementary schools are operating virtually (from Jan. 4 to 8, inclusive), licensed childcare centres and authorized recreation and skill-building providers will be prohibited from serving school-aged children. As such, all before- and after-school programs are being closed during this one-week period. These programs may resume operation when elementary schools return to in-person learning on Jan. 11.
  • To support the parents of school-aged children who may not be able to support their child’s learning and care at home due to their essential role, the Ministry of Education will be implementing a targeted emergency child care program for school-aged children, at no cost to eligible parents, Jan. 4-8, 2021.

The targeted emergency child care program for school-aged children (for the week of Jan. 4 – 8) is reserved exclusively for children of eligible workers (primarily first responders and health-care professionals) who have no other child care alternatives for their school-aged children.

Targeted emergency child care for school-aged children will be located within existing licensed child care settings in order to rapidly begin operations. A list of sites within Bruce County will be available once approved by the Ministry of Education.

Eligible parents may submit their requests for emergency child care for school-age children by emailing Bruce County Children’s Services at childcare@brucecounty.on.ca by noon on Dec. 29.

Please note that submitting a request does not guarantee emergency child care for school-age children as this will be determined by the availability of approved locations.