Emergency child care services set up locally during lockdown

Emergency child care is available at centres across the city for the school-age children essential workers who have no other options when elementary schools are shut down starting Monday, the city has announced.

The 35 child care programs approved to provide emergency care include three city-operated child care centres, the city’s Toronto Home Child Agency and 31 licensed child care programs based in communities.

The measures were announced Dec. 31 to help designated essential workers cope with the current lockdown imposed by the province, requiring pupils in publicly funded elementary schools to learn remotely from Jan. 4 to 8. The lockdown has since been extended to Jan. 22 and the emergency child care services have been similarly extended.

Families that meet Ontario’s definition of essential workers can apply directly to any of the child care providers on the list. The service is free and is funded by the province.

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What’s available

Below are the child care centres available to essential workers in four communities covered by Streeter. None seem to be available in the Forest Hill, Leaside or Beaches areas.


Central Toronto

YMCA Child Development Centre (YMCA),
15 Breadalbane St., 416-513-1164


Don Valley

Maryvale Jr YMCA
1325 Pharmacy Ave., 416-447-8115


North Toronto

Columbus Early Learning Centres – St. Charles
50 Claver Ave., 416-789-7011


Riverdale-East York

Blossoming Minds Learning Centre
1530 Danforth Ave., 416-546-9830

Chester Jr YMCA
115 Gowan Ave., 416-421-8101

George Webster Jr YMCA
50 Chapman Ave., 416-288-0997

McGregor Jr YMCA
555 Mortimer Ave., 416-463-2976

O’Connor Satellite Early Learning and Child Care Centre
1665 O’Conner Dr., 416-392-6545


You can see the full list of available child care centres for essential workers’ families across the city online.


This story has been revised since its original appearance to include the extension of the program to Jan. 22.