Essential Worker Child Care Service Application

During the COVID-19 pandemic public health officials advise that children are safest when cared for at home. However, it is realized that essential workers who are providing health and related public services during this pandemic may not have access to private child care.

Important Facts:

  • Limited child care services will be available for children ages one to 13 years in existing child care centres, family child care homes, and schools, subject to availability.
  • Existing health and safety requirements will apply but reduced child care group sizes will be implemented in order to protect the safety of staff and children as recommended by public health.
  • Regulated child care services typically operate between 7:30am-5:30pm, Monday-Friday.
  • School-based child care will be available for school-aged children only and will operate between 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday.

The following three options are available for essential workers who require child care:

Option 1:

You are able to arrange, or have already arranged, child care in a home environment with family members, or trusted friends or neighbours. Public health officials advise this is the preferred arrangement during the pandemic. Families using this option will be reimbursed up to $200.00 per child/per week, upon submission of invoices and receipts.

If you are unable to arrange child care in a home environment as noted above, the following options are available at no cost:

Option 2:

Child care for school aged children in a school (ages 5 – 13).

Option 3:

Child care for pre-school aged children in a regulated child care centre or family care home.

Program Eligibility:

Individuals required to report to a place of work deemed as an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic are considered an essential employee (e.g., health care workers, pharmacists, first responders, police officers, correctional officers, public servants, early childhood educators, grocery store workers, restaurant employees, gas attendants and workers who are essential to supply critical goods such as food and medicines).

Essential employees are not eligible for essential service child care where:

  1. An adult is residing in the home is working from home.
  2. A person is residing in the home and able to care for children.

Verification of your status as an essential employee is required from your employer.

Application Process:

STEP 1: Obtain Employer Confirmation

Before you begin the Essential Worker Child Care Service Application Form you must receive confirmation from your employer that you are an essential worker. If you do not have this confirmation, your application is deemed incomplete and will not be accepted.

Have your employer complete the form below and return it to you. Your employer may fill out the form, sign it and scan (or take a picture) and return it to you electronically. If your employer returns a physical copy to you, you must scan it or take a picture of it and upload it during the application process. Scanned documents or pictures must be legible, otherwise application processing may be delayed.

Employer Verification Form

STEP 2: Apply

Once you have obtained an electronic version of employer confirmation, you must upload it during the application process.

NOTE: You will not be able to save your application and it should be completed in one sitting. Any information you enter may be lost if you close your browser.

NOTE: Only submit one application per family.

NOTE: Incomplete applications will be declined and you will be notified.

Essential Worker Child Care Service Application

STEP 3: What happens next?

Your application will be assessed for eligibility.

One of several things will happen:

  • Your employer may be contacted to verify the information submitted with your application;
  • Your application is accepted. You will be notified, via email, and provided with further information on next steps; or,
  • Your application is declined, as it does not meet the eligibility criteria, the terms and conditions have not been met, or it is incomplete. You will be notified, via email of this decision.


Due to the large numbers of applications we have received, the application process may take several days.