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Minister of Education announces expanded childcare services (update)

The list of eligible workers is now much longer 
stephen lecce
(FILE/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov)

Ontario is expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive emergency childcare.

The announcement comes as thousands of students attend school remotely to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce revealed the expanded list at a rare weekend news conference this morning.

Workers now eligible for childcare include Canada Post employees, staff with the RCMP or Canada Border Services, court services staff, power workers and those providing services to the homeless.

Lecce says childcare will also be available for education staff who are required to attend school in-person to teach students who cannot learn remotely.

Ontario residents working in victims services, providing frontline services with children's aid societies or intervenor services for the deaf and deafblind are also among those on the list.

Earlier this week, the province announced schools across southern Ontario would not be returning to in-person classes on Monday as planned, but would instead continue attending classes remotely until at least Jan. 25.

The move was prompted by soaring case numbers that have seen Ontario record more than 3,000 new infections per day for weeks.

The province recorded 3,443 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, along with 40 related deaths.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 9, 2021.

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