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
You can apply to lower your monthly loan payments for six months at a time through the Repayment Assistance Plan.
How it works
We calculate the new amount of your payment by considering your:
- family income
- family size
- outstanding OSAP loan
If your application is approved, you and both the provincial and federal governments will be making payments on your loans.
Your payments will grow gradually as your income grows but are never more than 20% of your family income. You may not have to make any payments at all.
Use the Repayment Assistance Estimator to see if you could be eligible for repayment assistance.
How to apply
There are two ways you can apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan.
- fill out an application online using your National Student Loans Service Centre account
- complete a paper application
You have to re-apply to the Repayment Assistance Plan every six months.
If you received OSAP loans for the 2016-17 academic year, you will not owe more than:
- $7,500 for a two-term academic year
- $11,250 for a three-term academic year
Go to the Ontario Student Opportunity Grant page for complete details.
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 province wide 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.
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.
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.
Youth justice facilities
Some services at provincially operated youth justice facilities and probation offices are cancelled or are being provided through technology.
Updated direction for congregate care settings
Effective November 2021
The ministry is providing guidance to congregate care settings to protect the health and safety of residents, staff and visitors across the province. Specific direction for youth justice open and secure facilities has also been provided to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This guidance outlines ministry-specific direction for MCCSS-funded and licensed congregate care settings within the context of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen. It is intended to be followed with other applicable legislation and health guidance including local public health direction in response to local community spread.
See COVID-19 Guidance for MCCSS-funded and Licensed Congregate Living Settings and Interim Direction for additional detail.
Programs and services for children with special needs
Find programs and services for your child and your family. Eligibility varies and can depend on your child’s needs, family size or household income.
Contact your ministry regional office for more information about support and services that are available near you.
Learn about resources, support, services and programs for families of children and youth on the autism spectrum.
Learn about the rehabilitation services and supports for children and youth up to 19 years old with physical and/or developmental disabilities and/or communication disorders.
Find out how to connect with a dedicated service planning coordinator who can connect you to cross-sectoral services, and monitor your child’s needs and progress through a single Coordinated Service Plan.
Learn about mental health support for children with behavioural, emotional, mental health and addiction issues.
Find resources and support for families with children and youth affected with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
Find resources for this program that is designed and delivered by Indigenous Service Providers.
Child protection services
Child protection services are delivered by children’s aid societies and are governed by the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, (CYFSA).
Learn about children’s aid societies and how they determine if a child needs protection. Learn how to locate a specific children’s aid society, to recognize signs of child abuse or neglect or to review a decision by a society or licensee.
Learn about licensed residential settings for children and youth, existing programs in this area and how we’re making improvements to care for children who live there. Learn about our 12 quality standards and our efforts to help children and youth better understand their rights.
Children under 18 can receive protection services in Ontario. Learn about specialized services that are available for people who are 16 or 17 and need protection.
Learn how to make a complaint to a children’s aid society (including an Indigenous children’s aid society), the Child and Family Services Review Board or the Ontario Ombudsman.
Ontario Autism Program
The Ontario Autism Program offers support to all eligible families of children and youth on the autism spectrum. You can select the services and supports that are most important to you and your child.
If you have previously registered your child for the Ontario Autism Program or already submitted your registration form and supporting documents to the ministry, you do not need to register again.
Ontario Autism Program
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.
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:
Kids Help Phone is available 24 hours a day for young Canadians (aged 5 to 29)
- this service provides confidential and anonymous care from professional counsellors
- call 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT to 686868
- Canada Youth Network
- COVID-19: Youth mental health resource hub is a collaboration of Jack.org, Kids Help Phone and School Mental Health Ontario
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: