Province says Ontarians can use home-based child care amid coronavirus pandemic

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The Ford government announced Thursday that a large portion of the Ontario economy will begin to reopen next week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The move is sure to leave some parents scrambling for child care but a spokesperson for Education Minister Stephen Lecce told Global News that home-based child care has always been an option for those in need since Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency on March 17.

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“Home-based child care (licensed and unlicensed) continues to be an option for parents who need care, as it is not included in the emergency order to close,” spokesperson Alexandra Adamo told Global News through email. “We continue to provide emergency childcare available to our essential workers who continue to aid in the fight against COVID-19.”

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Some Ontarians may be surprised to learn that these options already existed.

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When the emergency order was issued, it stated that all licensed child care centres were closed but Adamo says that did not include licensed and unlicensed home-based child care centres.

Parents in need of child care should learn more about the fate of schools and other child care options soon.

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In Thursday’s announcement, the province said it would be giving an update on school closures and child care early next week.

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The first stage of the Ford government’s “Phase 2: Restart” plan allows private parks, campgrounds, marinas, golf courses and businesses that board animals to open on Saturday.

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On Tuesday, most construction sites, retail stores (outside of malls) and car dealerships are among the other employer options that will be allowed to open up shop with protections.