Emergency child care centres mobilized for essential and critical workers in the Leeds and Grenville region
A child care centre for children of essential and critical service workers is up and running in Kemptville and another will soon open in Brockville.
The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville has received authorization from the Ontario government to open licensed child care centre spaces in both of these larger Leeds Grenville communities.
“The establishment of these centres has been a collaborative effort of the Upper Canada District School Board, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit and the non- profit child care operators,” said Alison Tutak, Leeds Grenville’s Director of Community and Social Services.
Workers that are eligible for emergency child care, include, but are not limited to, police officers, firefighters or individuals providing fire protection services, regulated health care professionals, unregulated health care providers working in health care, paramedics and individuals who perform work that is essential to the delivery of core services in a municipality.
Locations: The licensed child care program in Kemptville is operated by the Kemptville Family Resource Centre (KAFRC) and is already operational to provide care. In Brockville the program will be operated by Kampus Kids Early Learning Centre with an anticipated opening date for care this Sunday, April 5th.
To support members of the essential and critical workforce, licensed child care services will be available at no cost to families, and funded by the Province of Ontario, for children under age 12. Services will operate from 6 am to 9 pm, seven days a week.
Emergency child care services are reserved exclusively for children of essential and critical service workers identified in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville “List of Workers Eligible for Emergency Child Care,” who have no other child care alternatives.
“The safest option for families is to have children remain at home, if possible,” Ms. Tutak said. However, making child care available for frontline workers is needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
Applications go to the United Counties Community and Social Services department
Applicants for emergency child care must apply to the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. Child Care operators will not be taking applications and will be directing all applicants to the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.
The goal is to approve eligibility and provide access to these emergency licensed child care spaces as quickly as possible, following an application process for families.
For details on eligibility visit https://www.leedsgrenville.com/en/index.aspx# or call 613-342-3840 ex. 2351.
Additional information can be found on the province’s Emergency Child Care Website, https://www.ontario.ca/page/child-care-health-care-and-frontline-staff
Due to limited space and in order to maintain provincial health and safety requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Counties will approve access to child care spaces for eligible families on a first come, first served basis. Once eligible workers complete and submit the online application and proof of employment, they will be contacted by United Counties Children’s Services staff.
Additional measures for a safe environment
Physical distancing is difficult when caring for young children so additional measures are being taken, in consultation with the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Public Health Unit and to maintain a healthy and safe environment at the child care centres.
- Daily screening of children and staff
- Increased disinfection
- Reduced group sizes and limiting the number of people in the centre to 50 as per Provincial order
The Counties Community and Social Services department continues to work closely with its provincial, public health and community partners to determine how this service may be expanded if needed.