Ontario announces one-time financial support for families in response to coronavirus

Apr 6 2020, 11:00 am

The Ontario government is offering immediate and direct financial support to parents while Ontario schools and child care centres remain closed from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, the Support for Families initiative was launched, offering a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those up to 21 years of age with special needs. The money will be made available through cheques and direct deposits.

“During this extraordinary time, we’re doing everything we can to support parents to keep everyone safe and ensure our children continue to learn and stay mentally active,” Premier Doug Ford said.

“This one-time funding will allow parents to access additional tools for our kids to use while at home and studying remotely. I want to remind everyone to stay at home and only go out if absolutely necessary. It’s the only way we are going to defeat this terrible virus.”

Residents can complete a simple online application at Ontario’s Support for Families web page to access this financial support.

And, parents already receiving Support for Parents payments through direct deposit will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application.

“Our aim during these extraordinarily challenging times is to continue supporting those impacted hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak — Ontario families,” Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce.

“School and child care closures have disrupted family life a great deal and our government will do whatever it takes to support them and keep them safe. This funding will flow to parents directly, to offer them immediate relief during this difficult time.”

Through this initiative, the government is providing over $300 million in relief to parents across Ontario as part of the $17 billion aid package for Ontario.

Lecce said it just takes a few minutes to sign up for the program and will offer money “directly into the pockets of parents and guardians across Ontario.”

On March 31, Lecce announced that schools will be closed at least until May 4. The continued closures will add more financial strain for families who must look after and help teach their children during the day.

“We recognize the sacrifice required from families,” Lecce said.

On April 6, students started online learning with the Learn At Home program which recommends elementary students spend between five and 10 hours on learning per week, depending on the age.

And high school students should spend three hours per course per week if they’re on a semestered system, or half that if their schedule isn’t split into semesters.

As of April 6, there are 4,347 total cases in the province with 137 reported deaths.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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