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Child care and online activities

Emergency child care for essential workers

Emergency child care is free of charge, for children 0 to 12 years old of eligible health care workers and other essential frontline workers.

  • Esther By Child Care Centre (1550 Caldwell Avenue)
  • Centre Éducatif Tournesol (194 McArthur Road)
  • Dr. Ernest Couture Child Care Centre (2185 Riverside Drive)
  • Andrew Fleck - Overbrook Child Care Centre (557 Queen Mary Street)
  • Andrew Fleck – George Street Child Care Centre (185 & 195 George Street)

Home-based emergency child care is provided by Andrew Fleck Children’s Services across the city.

Ottawa Public Health considers the safest option for families is for children to remain at home, if possible. Emergency child care centres are following strict Ottawa Public Health guidelines to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all families, children and employees.

This service is reserved for workers in the Province of Ontario’s list of workers eligible for emergency child care.

Families who meet the criteria for emergency child care must complete an online application. The child care service provider will contact families if a space is available. A signed ‘Consent to Accept Risk and Release of Liability’ form is needed when a placement is accepted.

As space is limited, the City will prioritize child care spaces for frontline health care workers on a first come first served basis.

For questions about emergency child care, email or call 613-580-2424 ext. 24100 and leave a message.

Licensed child care centres

Licensed child care centres, including municipal child care centres, and EarlyON Child and Family Centres are closed, except emergency child care centres.

Fee subsidies

The City will issue account credits to eligible families in receipt of a fee subsidy and full-fee families enrolled in Municipal Child Care Centres as a result of child care services closures.  Families who have a credit balance on their account will be reimbursed using the same method of payment used to make the original payment.

Preauthorized bank and credit card payments were suspended April 1, 2020 to help support families and will be reassessed as this situation continues to evolve.

Virtual EarlyON programs and resources for families

The EarlyON Child and Family Centres are working to ensure families in Ottawa have access to children’s programs and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are many virtual programs and resources for children from birth to age 6, their parents and caregivers. Here are some examples – check out the fact sheet below for a full list with all the details:

  • Online newsletters
  • Virtual Circle Time events
  • Virtual classes – cooking, dancing, story time, school readiness, yoga
  • Videos like science experiments
  • Art kits
  • Ideas for activities
  • Book reading
  • Virtual parenting support groups for new and expecting parents
  • Virtual parent workshops and education
  • Evening coffee chats
  • Access to basics for families in need
  • Telephone breastfeeding support or wellness calls
  • And more.

Fact sheet on EarlyON programs and resources [ 308 KB ] 

Francophone and Indigenous EarlyON programming is also available to support these communities .

Most EarlyON programming is now available virtually so families can contact any EarlyON centre regardless of where they live.