The Ontario government is once again providing financial assistance to families facing new education-related expenses during the COVID-19 era, with total support of $ 380 million.
Starting today, parents or guardians residing in Ontario can complete a simple online application on the Support for Learners web page. Applications will remain open until January 15, 2021.
The new Learner Support Program will provide one-time direct payments to help offset additional learning costs, whether their children attend school in person, online, or a mix of both.
The funds can help cover additional education expenses during COVID-19, such as textbooks, school supplies, technology, and development resources. The funding also helps cover additional childcare costs, whether the child is in daycare or at home. This initiative is part of Budget 2020, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.
The program was launched today by Premier Doug Ford, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, at the Vaughan Civic Center Resource Library.
“During this very difficult time, our parents have been the unsung heroes in the fight against COVID-19, whether it is screening their child before school or helping them learn from a distance,” said Ford. .
“Parents have been there for us, and our government will continue to be there for them. That’s why we are providing additional payments to help families with some of the costs of learning and child care as we fight the second wave of COVID-19. ”
Parents or guardians residing in Ontario can complete one application per child to receive a one-time payment of:
$ 200 for each child from 0 to 12 years old; or
$ 250 if their child or adolescent is 0 to 21 years old and has special needs
“COVID-19 has imposed many costs on families in this province, which is why we are again providing financial support directly into the pockets of working parents,” Lecce said. “Our priority remains to keep schools safe and open, and to support families every step of the way of this incredible challenge.
“Whether kids attend school online, in person, or a mix of the two, all parents in Ontario are feeling the strain of COVID-19,” said Phillips,
“Parents have told us that new spending to support their children’s education in this COVID-19 era is straining their wallets. This $ 380 million investment in families builds on the $ 378 million provided to parents during the first wave of COVID-19. So, for example, an Ontario family with three children, including one with special needs, would receive $ 1,300 this year to help cover the costs of an accessible workspace and technology for online learning. It is money well spent. ”
The government is committed to expanding support to those who need it most. Learner support is available to parents if their child attends a publicly funded, private, First Nations administered or federally administered school (in person or online), is homeschooled, is enrolled in a daycare or is at home.
This investment is in addition to the initial investment of $ 378 million the government provided in Ontario’s Action Plan: Respond to COVID-19, released in March, which has helped parents while schools and Ontario daycares were closed during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taken as a whole, Family Support and Learner Support programs provide significant financial assistance to parents with home learning and child care expenses.
Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover is the next step in a comprehensive action plan to respond to the severe health and economic impacts of COVID-19.