TO: Chiefs of First Nations with Child Care & Child and Family Programs Agreement
FROM: Shannon Fuller
Assistant Deputy Minister
Early Years and Child Care Division
DATE: May 11, 2020
SUBJECT: Child Care and Child and Family Program Funding – COVID-19 Outbreak
Thank you again for your continued partnership during this unprecedented and evolving time.
We know that the COVID-19 outbreak is having significant impacts on First Nations communities, families and the child care and early years sector.
This memo provides an update on the next steps in working together to sustain child care and child and family programs in First Nations communities during this unprecedented time and support the re-opening of these programs following the conclusion of the state of emergency.
For all First Nations with Child Care and/or Child and Family Program Funding
First Nations that currently have a transfer payment agreement with the Ministry of Education (the Ministry) will continue to receive cash flow based on the terms of their 2019-2020 service agreements and allocations (less one-time funding adjustments) to sustain their child care and/or child and family programs.
Information regarding the 2020-2021 transfer payment agreements and accompanying Ontario Child Care and Child and Family Program Business Practice, Service and Funding Guideline will be shared once it is available.
In Communities where Emergency Child Care is being Offered
Given the unprecedented circumstances at this time, the Ministry will connect individually and work with First Nations who have been approved to operate emergency child care to identify costs, in offering emergency child care programs. The Ministry recognizes that
emergency child care fees may be higher than the maximum current daily per diem rate in your community. Your Early Years Advisor will be communicating with you about next steps in the coming weeks.
In Communities with Licensed Home Child Care
While home child care providers are currently permitted to operate, the Ministry recognizes that many providers have closed or seen a reduction in the number of children in their care as a result of COVID-19.
Provincial base funding for licensed home child care agencies and wage enhancement/home child care enhancement grant will continue to flow under the terms of the 2019-2020 service agreement to support sustainability during this closure period.
Additional Supports for Child Care Centres and Home Child Care Agencies
The following changes have been made to provide additional supports to the child care sector during these unprecedented times:
Licensing application, renewal and revision fees will be waived during the emergency closure period and for 60 days after the order is lifted.
Licenses set to expire during the emergency closure period will be automatically extended by 6 months.
The requirement to provide updated vulnerable sector checks and first aid training renewals for existing child care centre staff and home child care providers and their families will be extended during the mandatory closure period. During this time, child care providers will maintain strict health and safety meatures as regulated by the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
The federal government has announced supports for businesses and individuals related to COVID-19. For your ease of reference, below is a link to the federal government site that outlines all federal supports in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
We are grateful for your partnership and look forward to our continued collaboration going forward. Please continue to let us know how we can support your efforts during this challenging time. Early Years Advisors will be following up with First Nations regarding next steps related to funding, where applicable.