Parent Fees and Funding Support for the Child Care Sector - April 10, 2020

Ministry of Education
Early Years and Child Care Division

315 Front Street West, 11th Floor
Toronto ON M5V 3A4

TO:  Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Service Administration Boards, Chiefs of First Nations with Child Care Agreements

FROM: Shannon Fuller, Assistant Deputy Minister, Early Years and Child Care Division

DATE: April 10, 2020

SUBJECT: Parent Fees and Funding Support for the Child Care Sector

Thank you for your continued partnership during this unprecedented time.

We know that the COVID-19 outbreak is having significant impacts on families and on the child care sector. This memo provides an overview of the next steps we will work through together to support parents and ensure that the child care sector is well positioned to play a critical role in Ontario’s economic recovery following this outbreak.

Parent Fees

The Minister of Education announced that effective April 9, all child care providers are prohibited from charging fees to parents where care is not being provided and that parents will not lose their child care space or be otherwise penalized as a result of fees not being paid during this closure period. If fees have been paid in advance by parents, child care providers should reimburse parents for any fees paid for April 9 and beyond.

We know that this will be much needed relief for parents, many of whom may be facing layoffs or reduced hours themselves.

We understand that some child care operators have continued to charge parent fees during this period to continue to pay staff and avoid layoffs as well as to pay rent and other fixed costs and we are committed to working together to support the sector.

Child Care Sector Funding

As you know, the federal government has announced federal supports for businesses and individuals related to COVID-19, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for businesses and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for individuals.

For your ease of reference, below is a link to the federal government site that outlines all federal supports in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:

While salary is the most significant cost for operators, clearly there are other fixed costs. We are committed to working with you and our federal colleagues on an approach to support the child care sector. We know that we need to move quickly and look forward to our next steps.

We are also sending a communication to child care operators in regard to today’s announcement and will copy you on that communication.

Thank you,

Shannon Fuller