Ontario Closing At-Risk Workplaces to Protect Health and Safety

Published on March 24, 2020

Ontario to Open Select Child Care Centres across the Province

TORONTO — In order to support health care and frontline workers during this COVID-19 outbreak, Ontario plans to exempt certain child care centres from the order to close all licensed child care centres pursuant to the state of emergency declared earlier this week. This initiative is being done in partnership with service system managers and First Nations partners.

"We need to help our nurses, doctors and frontline care workers to be able to focus on protecting the health and well-being of all Ontarians," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "By allowing select child care centres to open their doors during these challenging times, our province's courageous frontline workers can rest assured knowing that their families are also being looked after."

Health care and other frontline workers, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, police, and correctional officers, will be able to access safe, local emergency child care. These child care centres will be required to follow existing health and safety requirements and have a plan in place should any staff, children or parents be exposed to the virus.

"During this unprecedented situation, we need to do everything we can to ensure our health care and other frontline staff have the support they need to continue to work," said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. "At the same time, we need to protect the safety of the staff and children at these centres. For that reason, we are putting strict measures in place, such as restricting the types of centres that can re-open and keeping the number of children in any one centre low." 

Once emergency child care centres open, a list of locations will be made available on ontario.ca/coronavirus.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario schools will be closed from March 14 through to April 5, 2020 in an effort to keep Ontario’s students safe from COVID-19.
  • On Friday March 20, Ontario launched the first phase of Learn at Home and Apprendre à la maison, a new online portal that will provide resources for families so students can continue their education while schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
  • Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Additional Resources

Media Contacts