Urgent - Independent Home Child Care Providers Omitted from Phase 2 Vaccination Rollout!
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Petition Update May 3, 2021:
Unlicensed child care providers continue to be excluded as Essential Workers eligible for priority vaccination.
While the updated Phase Two Schedule for COVID-19 Vaccine Booking Eligibility was left open to interpretation and although several media sources reported that “child care workers” were on the list, the unlicensed sector has been excluded from Ontario’s updated COVID-19 vaccination plan under Phase 2 Group 1 Essential Workers.
Starting on May 3rd, “Remaining individuals working in licensed childcare settings (including all licensees, employees and students on educational placements who interact directly with children in licensed childcare centres and in authorized recreation and skill building programs, licensed home child care and in-home service providers, employees of home child care agencies)” will be eligible to register for their COVID-19 vaccine. The unlicensed sector is again omitted entirely.
Not only do we want unlicensed providers included as Essential Workers, but we also now want to know: How and why was this decision was made, and by whom?
Please sign the petition. Share with your family, friends, and neighbours, your City Councillor, Member of Provincial Parliament, and members of the media. Prioritization based solely on affiliation with a licensed agency politicizes vaccines and sends a clear message that both providers and children in the unlicensed sector are not as worthy of protection as their licensed counterparts.
Thank you for your support.
UPDATE: April 28 2021
Inequity in Ontario Child Care Worker vaccine rollout leaves 1,500,000 Ontario children unprotected!
On April 27th the Province issued a news release stating the following:
"Effective Thursday, April 29, 2021, child care workers in licensed child care settings will be eligible to book an appointment through the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line number at 1-833-943-3900 or directly through public health units that use their own booking system. Eligible workers in licensed child care settings will receive a letter from their employer. This letter must be available at the point of booking and taken to the vaccination appointment. In the coming weeks, eligibility will be expanded to child care workers in unlicensed child care settings across the province."
We have since met with the Ministry of Education to ask why the Independent sector has not been included alongside licensed home child care providers. Information was limited and no offer was made to change their decision. We are expecting further communication in the coming days.
75% of Ontario Children 0-12 years do not receive care under the licensed child care system.
Please continue to sign and share our petition. Thank you for your support.
ALL Ontario Home Child Care Providers should be included as Essential Workers in the Phase 2 COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
The Ontario Ministry of Health has included licensed home child care providers in their COVID-19 vaccine eligibility document: Guidance for Prioritization of Phase 2 Populations for COVID-19 Vaccination Version 1.1, but does not mention the Independent (unlicensed) home child care sector.
Independent (unlicensed) home child care providers were declared essential workers in April 2020 (Essential Businesses). They have kept their daycares open allowing parents to continue working throughout the pandemic. No different than those from the licensed sector, Independent (unlicensed) home child care providers have also exposed themselves, and their families, to risk from Covid-19 daily. Not only are they exposed to the children in their care but to any school-age siblings, parents, and many others in the community by opening their businesses. Working with very young children who cannot physically distance or use facemasks, puts Independent home child care providers into a very high-risk category of Essential Worker with little to no protection.
For many Ontario families, Independent home child care is the first and best choice. Independent home child care providers are committed to the well-being and safety of the children in their care. All Ontario children and families deserve to be valued and cared for--not only those in the licensed sector. Including Independent home child care providers as Essential Workers eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine validates and supports this message.
We ask the Ontario Ministry of Health, and all Ontario local public health units, to include Independent (unlicensed) home child care providers in the group of Essential Workers eligible to receive the vaccine for high-risk work-related reasons. Making them a high priority and giving them access to the vaccine will help to keep the economy of our province running and provide more protection for the young children in their care.
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