The Ministry of Education is providing up to $60 to parents affected by the rotating one-day strikes by all four teachers’ unions in the province, which have now been ongoing for the last several weeks.
So far, the province has paid out $7.1 million to parents affected by the labour disruptions.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) are all currently engaged in labour disruptions.
Recent bargaining talks between the province and ETFO and OSSTF ended this week without any deal in place.
Below are the number of applications the province has received as of Feb. 5.
Note: According to the ministry, the numbers “reflect the number of individual children for which an application has been filed. The ministry is not counting the number of parents who apply. These figures also reflect the number of applications that have been submitted, some of which may not be eligible for funding or have been submitted in anticipation of being eligible (i.e. a school or child care centre has not yet been closed on account of a strike).”
Applications received for children aged 0-6 who can receive $60: 17,925
Applications received for children in kindergarten who can receive $40 (either JK or SK): 114
Applications received for children in grades 1-7 who can receive $25: 392,186
Applications received for children with special needs between JK and Grade 12 who can receive $40: 36,089
Total number of applications received: 560,432
Who is eligible to receive assistance?
Parents are eligible to receive financial support if they have children in three separate categories:
- If your child attends a school-based child care centre that has to close because of a strike;
- If your child is in junior kindergarten up to and including Grade 7 at a publicly-funded school that has to close because of a labour disruption;
- If your child has special needs and attends a publicly-funded school up to and including Grade 12 (up to age 21) that has to close due to a labour disruption.
You are not eligible if your child attends a child care centre that is based outside of a school.
How much are you entitled to?
Parents are entitled to between $25 and $60 per day depending on the age of their child. Here is the breakdown:
- $60 for a child between the ages of 0 and 6 who attends a school-based child care centre that is required to close due to a strike;
- $40 for students in junior and senior kindergarten
- $25 for students from Grade 1 to 7
- $40 for students from junior kindergarten to Grade 12 who have special needs.
How do you apply?
Only one parent is allowed to apply per student and you can find the application on the Ministry of Education’s website or by clicking this link.
You also need to submit separate applications if you have more than one child.
What information do I need to apply?
The application requires you to provide you child’s name, birth date and school board. If your child is not enrolled in school, you have to provide the child care centre they attend, along with the name and phone number of the child care centre director or supervisor.
You also need provide contact information including your name, phone number, address and email.
If you want to receive the payment via direct deposit, you also need to provide banking information.
How will I receive my payment?
You can choose to receive your payment either by direct deposit or cheque. The application has a spot to provide your banking information in order to receive a direct deposit. It will take two weeks for the first deposit to be made and it will be made weekly for as long as you are eligible for.
Those who wish to receive payment by cheque will have only one mailed to them at the end of the labour disruptions.
How soon after a one-day strike can apply for payment?
You must apply for financial assistance within four weeks of any labour disruption ending.
How do I find out if my child’s school or child care centre is affected by a strike?
Most school boards will provide detailed information about whether they are affected or how they are affected by the labour disruptions and strikes on their websites and social media pages. You can find your child’s school board on the Ministry of Education website.
CityNews will also be posting information about strikes as soon as it is available.
The ministry is also allowing licensed child care programs to extend their hours, to request a temporary relocation in order to avoid any labour disruption and they will be able to request increasing the number of children they are licensed to support.