Emergency child care available for health care and frontline workers in Northumberland

Cobourg, ON – April 1, 2020 – Under the directive of the Provincial Government, emergency child care is being made available to eligible health care and frontline workers in Northumberland starting April 6, 2020. Northumberland County is working closely with local child care providers to ensure these essential workers, who are helping to keep the community safe during COVID-19, have access to reliable, professional child care services, free of charge.

“Local health care and frontline personnel are at work for our community, protecting our health and safety and ensuring essential services are in place during this pandemic. We are proud to support them during this challenging time by making child care services available to them,” states Warden Bob Sanderson. “We also recognize our Registered Early Childhood Educators for responding to this need and making safe and welcoming emergency child care spaces accessible to local families. We ask that participating families support child care staff by carefully observing all screening and sanitation requirements in place.”

Professions approved for access to emergency child care spaces include:

  • Animal welfare inspector
  • Child care worker working in an emergency child care centre
  • Compass Group Canada Ltd (Cook Chill Food Production)
  • Coroner
  • Correctional services
  • Direct Operated Facilities Branch of the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services
  • Employed under the Young Offenders; Youth Criminal Justice; or Child, Youth, and Family Services Act
  • Essential service worker for a municipality or First Nations
  • Essential service worker for the Ministry of Education
  • Fire protection and prevention
  • Health care
  • Paramedic
  • Police service

Licensed child care centres were legally required to close on March 17. This service is intended for those frontline workers who have no other options for child care, and only licensed centres or homes that are approved to operate emergency care will open. Rigorous health and safety procedures will be in place at each location to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, including a limited number of children and staff on-site, entrance screening for staff and families, and daily facility sanitation protocols.

While Northumberland County’s Community & Social Services Department is working closely with local child care providers, health partners and the provincial government to protect the health and safety of children, parents and staff engaged with this service, the safest option for children is to remain at home, whenever possible.

As there are limited emergency child care spaces available, the County may have to prioritize care based on the occupation and type of care required. Parents may be asked for verification of employment to ensure eligibility for care.

For more information, and to apply for emergency child care in Northumberland, please visit our Community Resources page.