Supports for Families with Young Children
Child Care Centres Remain Open
Following the Government of Ontario’s announcement on January 3, 2022, public and private elementary and secondary schools in York Region will move to remote learning. Licensed child care centres and home care providers across Ontario are able to remain open, with the exception of licensed child care centres for school-aged children. During the period when elementary schools are operating virtually, licensed child care centres, authorized recreation and skill-building providers and district school boards will be prohibited from serving school-aged children.
Licensed child care centres and home child care providers across Ontario can operate with strict health and safety measures in place.
Please visit the following pages to learn about:
Family Emergency Planning for COVID-19
York Region Public Health and Social Services are asking parents to plan ahead and make a Family Emergency Plan for COVID-19, in the event somebody in your household gets infected with COVID-19. This plan should include arrangements for an emergency caregiver, in case you cannot care for your children due to self-isolation requirements or because you are too ill or need to be hospitalized.
Tips for making a Family Emergency Plan
- Don’t wait, start your emergency planning now, before you need help
- Contact nearby relatives or close friends to make arrangements for the emergency caregiver for your children in case you cannot care for your children due to COVID-19
- If possible, select emergency caregivers who are not at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or getting severely ill. People who are at increased risk include:
- People who are older
- People of any age who have other serious health problems — such as heart or lung conditions, weakened immune systems, obesity, or diabetes
- Determine whether an emergency caregiver would come to stay at your home, or if your children would go to theirs? Remember, your children will have been in close contact with an infected person, so what is the safest approach for their care?
- Make a list of key phone contacts (family doctor, school, other family members, etc.) and any special instructions required for care of your children (are they on medication, do they have allergies, do they require specific routines)?
- Do you have others in your home, such as elderly parents, or pets who will require assistance too?
- Talk with your family about the arrangements that you are putting in place
- Print one copy of your plan for the emergency caregiver and another to give to emergency services, or a health care provider in the case of an emergency
For more information on how to make a family emergency plan, please review:
- Family Emergency Planning for COVID-19 (English)
- Family Emergency Planning for COVID-19 (Tamil)
- Family Emergency Planning for COVID-19 (Simplified Chinese)
- Family Emergency Planning for COVID-19 (Russian)
- Family Emergency Planning for COVID-19 (Urdu)
If you require assistance or advice on making a Family Emergency Plan for COVID-19, including making arrangements for the emergency caregiver, or need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for a caregiver to provide care, please contact:
- Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association by phone at 416-502-2323 or email @email
- Vaughan Community Health Centre COVID-19 Information Line at 905-226-7332
Resources and Supports
Taking care of a newborn or child(ren) can be challenging at any time, let along during a pandemic.
York Region has developed a handout for parents and caregivers that includes information on resources, services, programs and supports in York Region to help families and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This handout includes York Region resources and supports for families, including the Healthy Babies, Health Children Program, community resources, mental health supports and financial supports.
Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program
The Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) program is available to provide health information, resources and instruction to support individuals caring for a baby in the event the primary caregiver gets infected with COVID-19 and needs to self-isolate or become hospitalized.
If a caregiver has immediate questions, they can call Health Connections and speak to a Public Health nurse directly during regular business hours on Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Telephone Support for Parents with Children up to Age Six
Parents with young children from birth to age six can speak with an early years professional over the telephone about suggestions and strategies such as:
- Tips for creating routines for mealtime, bedtime, independent play and more
- Helping you to support the growth and development of your child
- Using play activities to support your child’s learning
- Completing forms or referrals for other community services
- Responding to challenging behaviours
- Learning about other resources to support families with young children
Parents who would like to connect with a York Region EarlyON Community Program Coordinator can send an email to @email. This support is provided through York Region Early Intervention Services and agencies providing EarlyON child and family programs and services in York Region.
Expectant and new parents can also access a registered nurse via online chat or by telephone at 1-800-361-5653 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
View additional resources in the External Links below to help families talk with their children about COVID-19 and offer wellness tips and strategies.
- All COVID-19 Resources
- COVID-19 and Children fact sheet
- Child Care Screening Posters
- Child Care Centre FAQs
- COVID-19 and Children's Mental Health
- COVID-19 Child Care Webinar (May 20, 2021)
- Important Information for Child Care Settings During COVID-19
- Public Health – Parenting
- Chat Live with a Registered Nurse
- Online Prenatal Program
- York Region Health Connection
- Children’s Services
- EarlyON Child and Family programs
- Children with special needs
- Home Child Care
- UNICEF - How to talk to children about COVID-19
- CAMH - Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Morneau Shepell - Tips for coping with COVID-19
- Telehealth Services for Children, Teens and Young Adults
- Anxiety Canada
- Talking to kids about COVID-19
- Child Mind Institute:
- Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
- Positive Parenting Program - Parents during COVID-19
- Positive Parenting Program - The parenting program you can do in your PJs
- Positive Parenting Program - Triple P takes the guesswork out of parenting
- Zero to Three - Tips for Families: Coronavirus
- Kids Help Phone
- Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies - COVID-19 and child welfare
- Family Services York Region
- Catholic Community Services of York Region – COVID-19 Resources
- Central Healthline
- Canadian Paediatric Society – COVID-19 Resources