Emergency Child Care (Ontario Only)

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Tuesday May 5 2020
2019-2023/129

Ontario Only: Ford gives with one hand and takes with the other!

On April 17, 2020 the Ford Government announced an expansion of eligible workers able to access free emergency child care in Ontario.

Added to the list of workers were, “federally employed staff including Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency and Canada Post employees.” We thought this was a win for postal workers in Ontario.

What the Ford Government didn’t announce was a behind the scenes directive to municipal child care service managers to restrict access to two-parent families, unless both parents are on the list of “designated” workers. A little like giving with one hand and taking with the other.

If you are a sole-support parent, or if your partner is on the designated list you would be eligible to apply.

CUPW will be writing to Premier Doug Ford to raise concern with this directive and to request that it be removed.

If you are a two-parent family please see the list of “approved professions” to determine if you can apply for free emergency child care.

Approved professions:

  • Health care
  • Police Service
  • Fire protection and prevention
  • Paramedic
  • Coroner
  • Correctional services
  • Compass Group Canada Ltd (Cook Chill Food Production)
  • Child care worker working in an emergency child care centre
  • Direct Operated Facilities Branch of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
  • Employed under the Young Offenders; Youth Criminal Justice; or Child, Youth and Family Services Act
  • Essential service worker for a municipality or First Nations
  • Pharmaceutical and medical supplies and device manufacturing workers
  • Non-municipal water and waste-water employees
  • Federally employed staff including Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers and Canada Post employees
  • Individuals working in grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Truck drivers (class A and D)
  • Individuals who are supporting food processing and/or the food supply chain
  • Those who provide intervenor and/or interpreting services for people who are Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind, as well as people who have a combined loss of both hearing and vision
  • Individuals who work in retirement homes
  • Auxiliary workers in health care settings including cooks and cleaning staff in hospitals and long-term care homes
  • Essential service worker for the Ministry of Education
  • Staff working in developmental services, victim services, violence against women services, anti-human trafficking services and child welfare services (children's aid societies) and in children's residential settings
  • Animal welfare inspector
  • Additional staff identified by the Ministry of the Solicitor General, including:
    • First Nations constables
    • Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management fire investigators
    • Select critical staff in community corrections, such as probation and parole officers
    • Contractors in institutional corrections services
    • Frontline staff at the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit
    • Critical staff at the Centre of Forensic Sciences
    • Critical staff operating the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre
  • Staff working in shelters (e.g., serving homeless populations)
  • Power workers
  • Provincial Offences officers, Provincial Court staff
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) emergency personnel
  • Members of the Canadian Armed Forces or the Department of National Defence

We regret any confusion and inconvenience arising from the misleading messages regarding child care that have arisen in Ontario. This provides even more evidence for accessible, quality, and affordable national childcare program for all families.

In Solidarity,


Dave Bleakney
2nd National Vice-President