The new Support for Learners program will provide direct one-time payments to help offset additional learning costs, whether their children attend school in person, online or a mix of both.
Funds can assist with additional education expenses during COVID-19, such as workbooks, school supplies, technology and developmental resources. The funding also assists with additional childcare costs, whether the child is in child care or at home. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.
“During this very difficult period, our parents have been the unsung heroes in the fight against COVID-19, whether it’s screening their child before school or assisting them with remote learning,” Premier Doug Ford said. “Parents have been there for us, and our government will continue to be there for them. That’s why we’re providing additional payments to help families with some of the costs of learning and childcare as we battle the second wave of COVID-19.”
Parents or guardians residing in Ontario can complete one application per child to receive a one-time payment of: $200 for each child aged 0 to 12; or $250 if their child or youth is aged 0 to 21 with special needs.
“COVID-19 has imposed many costs on families in this province, which is why we are again providing financial support directly in the pockets of working parents,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said. “Our priority remains keeping schools safe and open, and supporting families every step of the way through this incredible challenge.”
The government is committed to expanding support for those who need it most. Support for Learners is available to parents if their child is attending a publicly funded, private, First Nation operated or federally operated school (either in-person or online), is homeschooled, is enrolled in child care, or is at home.
This investment is in addition to the initial $378 million investment the government provided in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19, released in March, which assisted parents while Ontario schools and childcare centres were closed during the first wave of the COVID‑19 pandemic. Taken together, the Support for Families and Support for Learners programs provide significant pocketbook relief for parents with at-home learning costs and child care.