Free home child care available to essential City of Hamilton workers during pandemic

The City of Hamilton is partnering with three licensed home child care agencies to offer free emergency home child care to essential frontline workers during the pandemic.

Eligible workers include those in health care settings, police, fire and paramedics, transit (HSR) workers and correctional officers.

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Paul Johnson, Hamilton’s emergency operations director, says the three child care agencies are Todays Family, Wee Watch Golfwood, and Wee Watch Galbraith.

Johnson says the city decided to move ahead with licensed home child care because of the “small number of children that are allowed” under provincial legislation.

He adds that “keeps the numbers low which allows for the proper care to be provided for children and limits the risk of the transmission of COVID-19.”

He also stresses that the three agencies are “required to have strict pandemic plans in place and are working closely with public health to mitigate any exposure possibilities in these child care settings.”

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All three partner agencies provide child care in their homes and accommodate 12-hour shifts for children of essential staff aged 12 months to 12 years.

Johnson say spaces are limited, but “we’ll try our very best to ensure that our front-line workers and essential services have access to child care while they do their important work.”

The provincial government announced on Sunday that a number of licensed child care operators across Ontario would be exempt from a provincial order to shut down, allowing them to reopen their doors for essential workers.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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