The Ontario government is further expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive free emergency child care during the COVID-19 outbreak.

While this program previously only applied to select frontline workers, it has now been expanded to include other essential ‘frontline’ workers, including truck drivers.  

The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. 

“While our frontline workers are looking after us, we need to make sure we’re looking after them and their families,” said Premier Ford. “Providing emergency child care for our essential workers gives parents one less thing to worry about when they’re on the job saving lives, protecting us, or keeping shelves stocked with food and necessities.” 

On March 22, 2020, the government announced an emergency order directing certain child care centres to reopen subject to physical distancing constraints as part of the province’s support for health care and other frontline workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The list of essential workers eligible to access emergency childcare has now been further expanded. To accommodate more children, 37 additional centres have been approved and will be reopening in the coming days. 

“We are providing emergency child care to more frontline workers because in these unprecedented times, we will do whatever it takes to keep families safe and supported,” said Minister Lecce. “They are making tremendous sacrifices every day, and we will be there for them every step of the way.”

The additional frontline workers who can now access emergency childcare services include truck drivers (driver’s licence Class A and Class D).

“OTA and the trucking industry appreciate the continued recognition by the Province of the essential role the industry is playing in helping Ontarians through this crisis,” said OTA president Stephen Laskowski. “We are pleased to see drivers included in the expanded list of eligible frontline workers for emergency child care.”

More details can be found here.

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