Ottawa

Free daycares for essential workers to open in Ottawa, Kingston

Three new daycares are opening up in both Ottawa and Kingston, Ont., so that some essential workers have child-care options during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will be paid for by the Ontario government

Three daycares will open April 13 in Ottawa for parents whose work has been deemed essential by the province. (Charles Contant/CBC)

Three new daycares are opening up in both Ottawa and Kingston, Ont., so that some essential workers have child-care options during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Jim Watson announced the new daycares during a teleconference on Friday.

Parents in Ottawa can start applying for spots for children aged 18 months to five years old starting today,  April 3. Priority will be given to parents who work in the health-care sector, the city said. 

The three daycares in Ottawa are set to open on Monday, April 13. Each centre can accommodate up to 12 children.

The province is paying for the daycare service, so it's entirely free.

Ottawa's daycare locations:

  • Esther By Child Care Centre (1550 Caldwell Ave.), Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
  • Centre Éducatif Tournesol (194 McArthur Rd.), Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
  • Dr. Ernest Couture Child Care Centre (2185 Riverside Dr.), Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

First responders and people delivering core municipal services are also eligible to apply for spots through the city's website

Ottawa Public Health still says keeping kids at home during the pandemic is the "safest option," if it's at all possible. 

The City of Kingston also announced free daycare for essential workers on Friday. 

Kingston's daycare locations:

  • Bayridge Drive Child Care Centre (1035 Bayridge Dr.) Offers care for infants to five-year-olds as of April 13.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Kingston (559 Bagot St.) Offers care for kids ages four to 12 as of April 6. 
  • La Maison Montessori Kingston (1134 Johnson St.) Offers care for kids ages two-and-a-half to 12 years as of April 13.

All essential workers in Ontario qualify for spots and can apply online, the City of Kingston says. If demand for spaces exceeds supply, Kingston will give priority to health-care workers, just like Ottawa.

Ontario's list of essential workers who qualify for emergency child care includes:

  • Regulated and unregulated health-care providers like doctors, nurses, paramedics, and personal support workers.
  • Police officers and members of a police force other than an officer, as defined in the Police Services Act.
  • Firefighters and those engaged in providing fire protection services or employed in a fire department, as defined under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
  • Coroners.
  • Those working in correctional institutions, including those in the Institutional Services Division or Community Services Division, along with certain other justice-related settings.
  • Animal welfare inspectors.
  • Individuals employed in the direct operated facilities branch of the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
  • Those performing work that is essential to the delivery of core services in their communities, as determined by the municipality or First Nation.
  • Those working in emergency child-care settings.

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