City shares options for child-care centre, financial support for parents, if CUPE strike goes ahead

City shares options for child-care centre, financial support for parents, if CUPE strike goes ahead

The province made funding, regulatory and policy changes to keep camps and licensed child care programs open as well as provide support for eligible families, health care and licensed child care workers, if the strike takes place.

The City of Ottawa shared child care and financial options for families if education workers go on strike Monday.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees said 55,000 of its workers will walk off the job on Monday if a deal with the province isn’t reached by 5 pm on Sunday, and both sides were at the bargaining table over the weekend.

In a memo on Nov. 19, the City said the province made funding, regulatory and policy changes to keep camps and licensed child care programs opened as well as provide support for eligible families, health care and licensed child care workers.

Full-Day Supports Available to Families

The City said that licensed Extended Day Programs as well as Before and After School Programs will be permitted to offer a full-day program on instructional days if schools are closed to in-person instruction and if there is a strike.

Families who are impacted, are encouraged to contact their service provider or their school-based child care site to inquire about program availability. Families can also look for child care options through the online Child Care Registry and Waitlist.

Many Ottawa child care service providers are still assessing their operational capacity to determine if full-day programs can be offered to existing families, the memo added.

Children Services will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates to families through ottawa.ca/childcare as the situation evolves.

Fee Subsidy Supports for Families

Childcare fee subsidies are available to families living in Ottawa who financially qualify subject to program availability and families can apply for fee subsidies using the online Child Care Registry and Waitlist. Families who are receiving fee subsidies will be permitted to attend a full-day program in centre-based or licensed home-based child care.

These services would be at no additional cost from their current monthly parental fee.

Families can visit thechildcare costs page on ottawa.ca or contact 3-1-1 for more information and families are also encouraged to contact their Child Care Case Worker if they have any questions or need assistance

Financial Support for Health Care and Licensed Child Care Workers

Eligible health care workers and staff in licensed child care settings can access child care for their school-aged children at no cost. Eligible families can inquire about no-cost care directly from their service provider.

The City will be working with existing service providers to cover the cost of care for eligible families. The memo added that service providers with capacity are encouraged to offer placements to children of eligible health care and child care workers.

With files from John Marchesan and The Canadian Press

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