This memo is in follow-up to an emergency provincial order issued by the Ministry of Education on April 10, immediately prohibiting service providers to collect parent fees for child care services which are not being provided during the COVID-19 outbreak, while also ensuring parents will not lose their spot or be penalized as a result of not paying fees during this closure.
The provincial government referred Child Care providers to seek supports under the federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Plan for individuals and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for businesses.
On March 17, 2020, Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency and ordered the closure of all licensed child care centres, and all facilities providing indoor recreational programs including EarlyON Child and Family Centres.
Prior to the order, the decision to continue to collect families’ fees during the closure period was up to the individual service provider. The City of Ottawa, as the Service System Manager, does not have an ability to determine fees nor fee policy for child care programs. Providers were encouraged to communicate to parents their decisions and to support families during this difficult situation.
Families in receipt of a fee subsidy and full-fee families enrolled in Municipal Child Care Centres were issued account credits as a result of the child care services not being available in March. Families who had a credit balance on their account were reimbursed. In addition, preauthorized bank and credit card payments for April 1, 2020 were temporarily suspended to help support families and will be reassessed as this situation continues to evolve.