Emergency Child Care During Extended Virtual Learning
March 25, 2021 – The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board would like to address the concerns raised by essential workers in need of child care.
The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) announced on March 24, 2021 that virtual learning will be extended until April 12, 2021 for schools located in the Thunder Bay area. In the release, Dr. DeMille specifically states that the suspension of before and after school care will also be extended for this two-week period:
“We monitor the data and continue to see elevated numbers of school-aged children with COVID-19 along with a high rate of COVID-19 overall. What happens in the community with COVID-19 impacts schools posing both a public health risk and operational challenges for schools when there are cases.” – Dr. DeMille, March 24, 2021
The Order from the Medical Officer of Health also means that before and after school care continues to be suspended at all licensed child care centres, not just those located in schools.
Following these directives from TBDHU, TBDSSAB has received numerous inquiries from essential services workers in need of child care. Understandably, many families are frustrated and stressed. We want to take a moment to explain why child care continues to be unavailable to most families at this time.
TBDSSAB has worked with child care operators across the city of Thunder Bay to determine whether Emergency Child Care can be safely offered to families of essential workers within the TBDHU operating guidelines. At this time, two centres are able to provide Emergency Child Care for school-aged children of essential workers. These centres are at full capacity. Unfortunately, the remaining centres will not be offering Emergency Child Care under the current conditions.
It is worth noting that in those centres where Emergency Child Care can be offered, care can only be provided to existing child cohorts for those centres.
We empathize with the essential workers in need of child care during the school closures, and assure you that TBDSSAB has exhausted all avenues in the pursuit of emergency child care options for families.
April 13, 2021: Following the April 12, 2021 announcement from the province, TBDSSAB is currently in consultations with the health unit and our child care operators to determine the possibility of Emergency Child Care for school-aged children starting April 19. More information will be shared as soon as possible.
Media Release: Emergency Child Care During Extended Virtual Learning (PDF, 173KB)