As shared with Council on Wednesday, March 25, the Province announced its plan to support essential workers during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing emergency licensed child-care services for health care and other frontline workers.
Emergency child-care services are reserved exclusively for children of essential and critical service workers identified in the Province’s list of workers eligible for emergency child care, and who have no other child-care alternatives. This includes regulated health care professionals, first responders and individuals who perform work that is essential to delivering core services in a municipality. However, it should be noted that Ottawa Public Health does still recommend that children remain at home if possible.
On Friday, March 27, the Ministry of Education approved Ottawa’s initial plan to open three licensed municipal child-care centres, dedicated to caring for the children of health care workers and other essential frontline workers, at no cost to families. These centres will be funded by the Province of Ontario.
On Wednesday, April 1, Ottawa Public Health confirmed its support for emergency child-care that follows the Provincial guidelines, permitting for both centre-based and home-based locations with one care provider for no more than five children, and with each group in its own separate room.
The three approved licensed municipal child-care locations will open at the following locations and hours of operation:
- Esther By Child Care Centre (1550 Caldwell Avenue) – Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 5:45 pm
- Centre Éducatif Tournesol (194 McArthur Road) – Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 5:45 pm
- Dr. Ernest Couture Child Care Centre (2185 Riverside Drive) – Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 8 pm
How to apply
Eligible families can find more information and apply at ottawa.ca. Applicants will need to create an account on the City’s Child Care Registry and Waitlist and identify their need for emergency child-care services.
The centres will be staffed by City employees many of whom are Registered Early Childhood Educators. Each center will accommodate approximately 10 to 12 children, aged between 18 months and five years. Children’s Services will continue to review community needs and, if required, will consider providing emergency care on weekends and extended hours, working with the Province to obtain required licensing and approvals.
In collaboration with Ottawa Public Health, Children’s Services has been implementing measures to help prevent the spread of infection and developing prevention and control guidelines to maintain healthy and safe environments for families, children, and employees. This includes training staff, acquiring proper safety supplies, and developing stringent infection prevention, control and enhanced screening measures. These measures are expected to be completed next week with an anticipated opening date of Monday, April 13.
Update April 22, 2020
- 33 children have been placed or are in the process of being placed.
- Currently, 58 eligible children are on the waitlist who have an immediate need for emergency child care.
- A detailed review of the waitlist identified an enhanced care need for school-age children and children with special needs.