Support for Families

COVID-19 has been tremendously challenging for parents and caregivers. On this page, we have outlined supports available and helpful advice. 

Learn more about supports for individuals

Learn more about supports for business, not for profits or nonprofits

Learn more about supports for seniors 

Learn more about supports for mental health 


 

Financial Support for Learners

There is one-time funding to support children, youth and students during the 2020-2021 school year. The deadline to apply is February 8, 2021. Eligible applicants will receive a one-time payment of:

  • $200 for each child or youth up to Grade 12
  • $250 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs

You are eligible to apply if you live in Ontario and are a:

  • parent or guardian to a child or youth up to Grade 12
  • secondary school student over the age of 18
  • parent or guardian to a child or youth that is 21 or younger and has special needs

Find out if you are eligible and how to apply.

 

Return to School: Additional health and safety measures

The following new health and safety measures will be put in place in all Ontario elementary and secondary schools when students return to in-person learning:

  • students in Grades 1 to 12 must wear masks or face coverings:
    • in schools, including in hallways and during classes
    • on school transportation
    • outdoors during recess, where distance cannot be maintained
  • enhanced screening protocols (Ontario’s COVID-19covid 19 school and child care screening tool, will be updated to reflect the new screening criteria)
  • targeted COVID-19covid 19 testing will be expanded

Learn about all regional public health measures and restrictions.

Learn about how we are keeping students and staff safe at school and what to expect if there is a COVID-19 case in your child's school. Students, teachers and school staff need to check for symptoms of illness every day before going to school. Take the COVID-19covid 19 school screening.

 

Helpful advice on returning to school

It may be challenging for children to adapt to a structured school routine after months of physical distancing at home. Parents can prepare kids for a return to the classroom by:


 

Post-Secondary Students

Deferral of OSAP payments

From March 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020, students were not required to make any loan payments, and interest did not accrue on student loans. Any payments made during this period went entirely towards your loan principal. As of October 1, 2020, you are required to resume repaying your loan, meaning:

  • payments will be withdrawn from your account if you are on pre-authorized debit
  • if you make payments through online banking or cheque, you are required to send in payments

If you need help repaying your loans, you can apply to lower your monthly payments through the Repayment Assistance Plan.


 

Supports for children and youth

Operating child care centres

Child care centres and home-based child care services for non-school-aged children will remain open with enhanced health and safety measures during the declaration of emergency. Emergency child care for school-aged children will be available for health care, public safety and other frontline workers while in-person instruction is not permitted in elementary schools. When elementary schools are open for in-person instruction, targeted emergency child care for school-aged children will not be available. As of September 1, 2020, child care and early years programs are open with enhanced health and safety measures, subject to provincewide shutdown restrictions. Learn how we are keeping children, parents and staff safe as child care and early years programs reopen with strict health and safety protocols.

Child welfare

Children’s aid societies continue to operate and provide services to children, youth and families. Societies are being encouraged to use technology where possible and appropriate, while also observing local public health recommendations. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, youth in care who turn 18 and former youth in care who turn 21 will not age out of the supports and services they are currently receiving through children’s aid societies.

Guidance in congregated care settings

Get information about children’s aid societies

Children with special needs

Service providers are offering some services through telephone and video applications where appropriate and have resumed offering some in-person services for children with special needs and their families, in accordance with public health guidelines. You can contact your service provider for updated information and to discuss what services may be available.

Get information about services for children with special needs

Get information about services under the Ontario Autism Program

Youth justice facilities

Some services at provincially-operated youth justice facilities and probation offices are cancelled or are being provided through technology.

Get information about Youth justice facilities


 

Mental health and addictions support

It's normal for you or your children to feel overwhelmed, stressed, confused, scared or angry during this time. COVID-19 can be difficult for children to understand, especially if they know someone who's sick. Pay close attention to how your child is feeling and if you or your child are feeling anxious, experiencing other mental health or addiction challenges or you can’t access your regular in-person counselling support, there are services you can access online or by phone.

Find Mental Health Supports

Self-care is important. Parents and caregivers take better care of their children when they take care of themselves, too.

The following resources can be shared with your child:


 

Educational activities for children

The Federal Government created these educational activities to teach children about what they can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19: