Thunder Bay – LIVING – The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) is planning for Emergency Child Care that will be available to families of essential workers in the District of Thunder Bay by January 10.
On January 3, the Province announced additional public health measures to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. As part of these measures, schools will move to remote learning until at least January 17, 2022. The Province announced Emergency Child Care for school-aged children would be available to families of essential workers with no other child care options. Child care programming for infant, toddler, and preschool children remains open.
TBDSSAB is working with its funded child care operators to determine what the capacity in the in the District of Thunder Bay is for Emergency Child Care. An application will be submitted based on the determined capacity to the Province of Ontario to offer free, full-time Emergency Child Care for school-aged children of essential service workers with no other child care options.
The application process for Emergency Child Care services will open January 5, 2022 at 4pm. Eligible families can apply online at www.thunderbaychildcare.ca. TBDSSAB will contact eligible families to confirm eligibility, and to notify families when a space becomes available. Pending approval, Emergency Child Care may be available as early as January 10, 2022.
With funding from the Province of Ontario, Emergency Child Care services for school-aged children will be available at no cost to eligible families. Emergency Child Care services are reserved exclusively for school-aged children of essential service workers who must report to a work location, as defined by the Province of Ontario. An updated list of who is eligible for Emergency Child Care is included in Schedule 4 of the “Reopening Ontario” Act, Rules for Areas in Step 2: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200263#BK8
Operating requirements for Emergency Child Care are determined by the Province. Local locations will be determined based on approval by the Ministry of Education. Child care hours and service options will vary by centre. In addition to following health and safety protocols related to the physical space, screening, and personal protective equipment, child care centres offering Emergency Child Care are required to accommodate virtual learning. Due to staff shortages across the child care service system, it is expected that demand will exceed available spaces.
Eligible families can apply online at www.thunderbaychildcare.ca.