The Doug Ford government has announced a plan to help support parents impacted by teachers' unions job actions that close schools or school-based child care centres.
A statement from the province says a full withdrawal of services could require parents to make alternative arrangements, while a strike could also impact the operation of full-day child care centres located in schools.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce says in a statement the government recognizes the impact of union escalation on families is real, and unions expect hard-working families to bear the costs of their cyclical labour action.
"While unions impose hardship on families and students, our government is taking proactive steps to ensure students remain cared for — and families supported — in the event that unions decide to further escalate job action in their fight for enhanced compensation and other demands," Lecce says. "The contrast could not be clearer."
The announcement by the provincial government comes as another round of rotating strikes was held Wednesday by Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation members impacting several school boards across Ontario. Every major teachers' union in Ontario has started a work-to-rule campaign, and some have begun holding rotating walkouts.
The province says its Support for Parents initiative is to ensure that child care and other safe spaces are accessible as possible for any family impacted by strikes.
Financial support will also be provided to parents for each day of school a child misses on account of labour disruption, or each day child care is not offered due to a job-action related school closure.
The program offers up to $60 per day for a parent whose child up to age 12 cannot attend a a publicly funded school that closes due to a strike, with the amount reimbursed varying based on the age of the student.
The Ford government statement explains funding will be retroactive for qualifying parents to cover costs already incurred due to labour disruptions that have occurred during the current 2019-20 labour negotiations.
According to a report by The Globe and Mail, the plan is expected to cost provincial taxpayers $48-million daily.
More details about this financial support can be found here or by calling 1-888-444-3770.