How to get government child care funding during Ontario teachers strike

Union claims Ford government’s child care benefit is a ‘bribe’ ahead of school strikes
The president of EFTO says a newly announced childcare program is a bribe. These comments come following an Ontario government announcement that they’ll offer childcare support in the event of rotating strikes. Morganne Campbell reports.

On Wednesday, the Ontario government announced it will pay parents whose children are affected by striking teachers.

Four different unions representing education workers have been without contracts since last August.

READ MORE: Ontario education minister announces $25 to $60 a day for child care funding during strike action

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) began holding a series of weekly one-day rotating strikes in early December.

Two other unions, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), will join the OSSTF in holding strikes next week.

Childcare credit for Ontario families affected by education strikes could cost up to $48 million per day
Childcare credit for Ontario families affected by education strikes could cost up to $48 million per day

The Ford government says it will give parents between $25 and $60 per day as compensation for the strike.

Who is eligible?

Parents with children in junior kindergarten to Grade 7 as well as children with special needs up to Grade 12 (or up to age 21) that are in a publicly funded school that has closed due to a strike.

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This includes children who are enrolled in daycare at a school or institution closed by a strike.

How much are parents eligible for?

The government has listed four different scales on its website that will be used in the event of a strike.

It will pay $60 for children that are six years old or under and attending a daycare that gets closed by a strike.

READ MORE: Where are Ontario teachers striking next?

It will provide $40 a day for kids in junior or senior kindergarten and $25 per day for students in Grades 1 to 7 at schools affected by a strike.

It will also hand out $40 per day for students in junior kindergarten to Grade 12 (or aged 21 and under) with special needs.

How to apply?

The government has an online application or parents can also mail in a paper-based application. Instructions for mailed-in applications are on the form.

Parents are required to submit separate applications for each child. The government says if you have three kids, you must apply three times and only one parent can submit an application.

You will have four weeks to apply following the end of labour disruptions.

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How and when will I be paid?

A recipient can either choose to be paid through direct deposit or by a cheque.

READ MORE: Elementary teachers to hold 1-day strike Monday, includes Toronto, York and Ottawa boards

If the recipient is paid by direct deposit, it will be on a weekly basis although it will take at least two weeks before you see some cash in your bank account.

If you are paid by cheque, you will get one lump-sum payment after the labour dispute comes to an end.