Yesterday, January 15th, 2020, the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, announced the Ontario government’s plan to offer parents up to $60 per day if strike actions close schools or school-based child care centres.
He explained that “Our aim has always been to reach a negotiated settlement that keeps kids in class, which we have done successfully with multiple labour partners to date. We recognize the impact of union escalation on families is real, and unions expect hard-working families to bear the costs of their cyclical labour action. While unions impose hardship on families and students, our government is taking proactive steps to ensure students remain cared for — and families supported — in the event that unions decide to further escalate job action in their fight for enhanced compensation and other demands. The contrast could not be clearer.”
When school boards close schools, and even daycares situated within a school close during a full withdrawal of services, parents are often scrambling to make alternative arrangements for their children.
The Ontario Ministry of Education has launched a Support for Parents initiative to make sure that child care and other safe spaces are as accessible as possible for any family impacted by strikes. It will also provide support to parents who are facing increased costs.
From the media release:
“Financial support will be provided 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 yet enrolled in school 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 Ontario.ca/SupportForParentsor by calling the Support for Parents Helpline at 888-444-3770.
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