Parents who are affected by the closure of schools and/or school-based child care centres can receive support from the Ontario government.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce says a full withdrawal of services could require parents to make alternative arrangements with a strike also impacting full-day child care centres located in schools.

To address these potential realities, Lecce says the Support for Parents initiative offers financial support to parents for each day of school that a child misses on account of a labour disruption, or each day of child care that is not available if offered from a closed school.

Eligible parents of children up to age 12 (Grade 7), or up to age 21 for children and youth with special needs, in a publicly funded school, qualify for:

$60 per day for children aged 0-6 who are not enrolled in school yet but attend a school-based child care centre that is required to close on account of the strike.

$40 per day for students in Junior Kindergarten (JK) and Senior Kindergarten (SK).

$25 per day for students in Grades 1 up to and including Grade 7.

$40 total per day for students in JK up to and including Grade 12 with a special need(s).

Funding will also be retroactive for qualifying parents to cover costs already incurred due to labour disruptions that have occurred during the current 2019-20 labour negotiations.

More details about this financial support can be found by visiting www.Ontario.ca/SupportForParents or by calling the Support for Parents Helpline at 888-444-3770.

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During a strike, licensed child care programs, including before- and after-school programs, will be allowed to extend their hours, request temporary relocation to avoid labour disruptions and request an increase to the number of children they are licensed to support.

The province also intends to allow day camps to open to school-aged students without it counting against their 13-week per-year operating limit.

The ministry is also considering other ways to support students with special needs during any strike action by teacher federations and/or education worker unions.

Parents can use the licensed child care finder to contact local operators about available licensed programs in their area.

On November 4, 2019, a central agreement was ratified between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA), with the agreement of the Government of Ontario.

On December 10, Minister Lecce announced a tentative agreement with the Education Workers’ Alliance of Ontario.