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Ontario to offer child care for more essential workers; Ford won’t give dates to reopen

The province is expanding the list of essential workers who can receive emergency child care.  The additions include people who work in the food supply chain, retirement homes, grocery stores, and pharmacies and federal employees including the military.

“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.”

In late March the government opened up 100 child care centres and 40 Licenced Home Child Care Agencies.  To accommodate the new essential employees’ children the province will open up another 37 centres.

The additional frontline workers who can now access emergency childcare services include:

  • Workers in grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Truck drivers (driver’s licence Class A and Class D)
  • Workers in the food supply chain, including food processing
  • Workers in retirement homes
  • Auxiliary workers in health care settings, including cooks and cleaning staff in hospitals and long-term care homes
  • Interpreters and intervenors who support people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) emergency personnel
  • Provincial officers and onsite staff in Ontario courts
  • Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence staff working in Ontario
  • Additional workers supporting public safety and correctional services

Premier Doug Ford was questioned about opening up the economy of the province in light of recent announcements from Quebec and Saskatchewan with firm reopen dates. Ford said we are different than other provinces, with more people, and how COVID-19 is spreading.  He reiterated that he would not be giving hard and fast dates to reopen but says, “We are heading in the right direction. We started to see a trend yesterday with the lowest amount of cases we have seen yet.”  But, Ford reiterated the economy will open up in a “trickle”. Ford said he would not risk the health of people in Ontario to open up the economy too early and risk a spike in COVID-19 cases.

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