Who’s eligible for free emergency child care in Ontario from today?


Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced a suite of additional measures and supports to protect children, staff, and families as Ontario from the Omicron variant last week. Among the supports was free emergency child care for school-aged children of critical and frontline workers starting today, January 10.

“Throughout this pandemic, critical staff on the frontlines have continued to carry out their work – from nurses, to personal support workers, to grocery workers and pharmacists – so that we can protect our communities. We owe it to them to ensure their children are cared for during this period,” Lecce said in a statement. “We thank education and child care staff, operators, and all Ontario families for their hard work, vigilance and kindness through this incredibly difficult time.”

The following workers are eligible for free emergency child care:

  • Health care workers, including doctors, nurses, health care providers and those who work in long-term care and retirement homes, as well as individuals who manufacture or distribute medical/pharmaceutical supplies
  • Individuals performing work in relation to the administration, distribution or manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines
  • Education staff who must attend schools to provide in-person instruction and support to students with special education needs
  • Child care workers, including those staffing the emergency child care programs
  • Truck drivers and transit workers
  • Construction workers
  • Grocery store and pharmacy workers
  • Public safety (police, fire, paramedics, provincial inspection/enforcement), justice/court and correctional system workers
  • power workers
  • Non-municipal water and wastewater workers
  • Frontline staff in Children’s Aid Societies and residential services
  • Individuals working in a homeless shelter or providing services to homeless persons
  • Individuals working in developmental services, violence against women services, victims’ services, anti-human trafficking and those engaged in interpreting or intervenor services for persons who are deaf or deaf-blind
  • Food safety inspectors and individuals working in the processing, manufacturing or distribution of food and beverages
  • Workers involved in the collecting, transporting, storing, processing, disposing or recycling of any type of waste
  • Certain federal employees, including RCMP, Canada Border Services, Canadian Armed Forces and Canada Post workers
  • OPS staff employed in Radiation Protection Services
  • OPS staff performing critical tasks related to environmental monitoring, reporting and laboratory services
  • Employees of a hotel or motel that is acting as an isolation centre, health care centre, vaccine clinic or housing essential workers
  • Funeral, burial and cremation services operators
  • Any individual whose child was registered in an emergency child care program delivered by a Consolidated Municipal Service Manager or District Social Service Administration Board during the time period beginning on April 6, 2021 and ending on April 16, 2021.

To confirm whether or not your family is eligible for access to emergency child care, please contact your local service system manager.


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