KITCHENER -- Essential workers in Wellington County with school-aged children will have access to free child care during school closures this month.

On Tuesday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer issued a Section 22 order closing schools until at least April 18.

Wellington County, along with the City of Guelph, will fund an emergency school care program to cover the cost of child care for impacted families.

Anyone registering for the program must:

  • Live or work in Wellington County or Guelph
  • Work in an essential service
  • Need child care for two full days a week
  • Need child care immediately
  • Receive eligibility approval from the Children's Early Year Division

“We have implemented this programme in consultation with the Ministry of Education and with the support of the County of Wellington and the City of Guelph,” said Luisa Artuso, Director of the Children’s Early Years Division, in a news release. “We understand that child care is essential to ensure workers are available to support essential services in our communities.”

Applications can be made online.