CIJA COVID-19 Family Resource Guide
This resource guide has been prepared by CIJA for our Federation partners to provide relevant and timely information for your constituents. The guide contains useful resources for families, and includes information from provincial governments and the Government of Canada. We will continue to share the most recent information on our website (cija.ca) and social media feeds (@CIJAinfo on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).
COVID-19 Provincial Support
COVID-19 Provincial Support and General Information
For an overview of how Education, Child Care, Employment, Businesses, Housing & Tenancy, Transportation, Travel, Mental Health, and Medical Service Plans are impacted by the provincial response to COVID-19, please click here.
Schools and Education
British Columbia has suspended K-12 learning in all classrooms. A decision on when and how to return will be made in partnership with school districts and independent schools. The province has also frozen student loan payments for six months, until September 20, 2020. Information and updates on school closures are available at this link.
Support for Students
To help those with B.C. student loans, the Province is freezing B.C. student loan payments for six months, starting March 30, 2020. Federal student loan payments are being frozen as well.
Students attending British Columbia’s 25 public post-secondary institutions, who are experiencing emergency financial pressures, will benefit from a one-time investment of $3.5 million in emergency financial assistance. This will supplement existing student emergency financial assistance, and can be used to help with a broad range of costs, including living expenses, food, travel, portable computers and other supports for students who are not already able to study remotely.
The full announcement is available here.
Financial support for child-care providers and early childhood educators was announced, and centres that remain open are eligible for seven-times their average monthly government funding, covering an estimated 75% of a facility’s average monthly operating expenses.
Additional details on enhanced funding for child-care providers is available here.
The announcement regarding support for child-care providers during COVID-19, click here.
Support for children with special needs
The BC Ministry of Children and Family Development is establishing an Emergency Relief Support Fund for children and youth with special needs and their families. The fund will provide a direct payment of $225 per month to eligible families over the next three months (to June 30, 2020).
Further details are available here.
The BC Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has published a poster on managing COVID-19 Stress, Anxiety and Depression, which is available here. For information from MindHealth BC, click here. Anyone in need of help can call one of the following numbers:
- 9-1-1 in an emergency.
- 1-800-SUICIDE(1-800-784-2433) if you are considering suicide or are concerned about someone who may be.
- 310Mental Health Support at 310-6789 (no area code needed) for emotional support, information, and resources specific to mental health.
- Kid’s Help Phoneat 1-800-668-6868 to speak to a professional counsellor, 24 hours a day.
- Alcohol & Drug Information and Referral Serviceat 1-800-663-1441 (toll-free in B.C.) or 604-660-9382 (in the Lower Mainland) to find resources and support.
COVID-19 Provincial Support and General Information
For an overview of how education, child care, employment, businesses, housing and tenancy, transportation, travel, mental health, and medical service plans are impacted by the provincial response to COVID-19, please click here.
Support for Students
The Alberta Government is implementing a six-month, interest free, moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans currently in repayment. Alberta Student Loan repayments will be paused beginning March 30, 2020. Interest will not accrue during this period. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause. Borrowers may continue making payments during this period if they choose and this will not affect their eligibility to receive the benefit. Details are available here.
Schools have been cancelled across Alberta, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All Grade 6 and 9 provincial achievement tests and Grade 12 diploma exams have been cancelled. Additional information, including about graduation criteria, report cards, provincial assessments, and educational resources, is available online.
COVID-19 Provincial Support and General Information
For the Province of Saskatchewan COVID-19 information page, please click here.
Public Health Measures
Information about public health measures, including information on events and gatherings, schools and daycares, workplaces, and travellers is available here.
Student Loan Repayment Moratorium
Effective immediately, a six-month student loan repayment moratorium has been put in place, mirroring a similar federal provision. This provides individuals with student loans immediate relief, and comes at a $4 million cost to the provincial government.
As a preventative and proactive approach, school closures began March 20th for pre-K to Grade 12 schools in Saskatchewan. Every student will receive a final grade based on their current grade, and students will progress to their next grade level next year. Every student who is eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate. The Ministry of Education and School Divisions will work with Saskatchewan Post-Secondary Institutions to adapt entry requirements for programs commencing in the next academic year.
Support for Children, Youth and Families
Social Services is acting on the request from the Saskatchewan Youth in Care and Custody Network to delay transitions to independence for young people. This mean that any youth that “ages out of care” during the COVID-19 pandemic will not be transitioned out of their current housing. Case workers are contacting impacted youth and their caregivers to ensure that supports and services continue.
To help families receiving the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), any families who were receiving part-time benefits because their children were attending school will receive full-time benefits, retroactive to March 1, 2020. The CCS helps parents with low to moderate incomes with the costs of licensed childcare.
Day Care Facilities
As of March 23, 2020, all daycare facilities are limited to maximum of eight children unless they can configure the facility so that a maximum of eight children are kept in room and be in accordance with the Saskatchewan childcare guidelines for care.
All daycares that are co-located with a long-term care or personal care home that meet the above restriction shall be segregated with a private entrance so that there are no shared common areas with the home and no interaction between daycare children and residents of the facility.
Further details on both schools and daycares is available here.
Child Care Options for Health Workers and Other Pandemic Response Workers
The Government of Saskatchewan is re-purposing childcare facilities in schools to provide childcare services to support staff in health care and other employees who are delivering services related to the pandemic response, beginning Monday, March 23. Further details are available here.
Updates from the Manitoba Government on their response to COVID-19 are posted online through news releases. The most recent updates are available here.
Public Health Directives
Information on public health directives, and updates from public health officials, are posted here.
In keeping with social distancing strategies outlined to Manitobans, and in consultation with key stakeholders, public health officials have advised that all in-classroom learning in Manitoba kindergarten to Grade 12 schools will be suspended indefinitely for this school year. This is being done to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Manitoba. Classes will resume as soon as public health officials advise that it is safe to do so.
A letter to parents about the decision, including further details, is available here.
Child Care for Essential Service Workers
Manitoba’s critical and essential care workers are on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. Essential services include health-care providers, emergency service providers, corrections workers, law enforcement workers, fire and paramedic workers, and direct social services and child protection workers. We will continue to create dedicated childcare options for front-line and essential services staff who need them.
Further details and resources are available here.
Help Next Door initiative
Help Next Door MB is a network of helpers coming together as a community. If you are a volunteer ready to provide your support or someone who needs a helping hand through these difficult times, this platform can connect you.
Schools & Childcare
The Government of Ontario has ordered the closure of all daycare services and learning institutions (including independent schools).
Public schools will remain closed to teachers until Friday, May 1, 2020, and to students until Monday, May 4, 2020. As these dates come closer, this decision will be re-evaluated based on public health advice. Private schools, licensed childcare centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed until April 13, according to the Declaration of Emergency, which only allows closures to be extended for one 14-day period at a time. All EQAO and secondary school testing has been cancelled for the remainder of the school year.
The Ministry of Education has launched a Learn from Home portal to offer at-home math and literacy activities for students in kindergarten through grade 12. English and French-language materials will continue to be added to Learn at Home on a regular basis to provide new and compelling content throughout this period. Recent updates include supplemental STEM learning resources created by third-parties and a parent resource that is focused on reading and writing. The Learn at Home portal can be accessed here.
There will be six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief for student borrowers, in partnership with the federal government. Further details are available here.
Emergency Assistance from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
The Government of Ontario has made $200 million in funding available for the following services and agencies; shelters, food banks, emergency services, and charities and non-profits. The funding will also go to people and families who are struggling financially but are unable to access federal support programs, said Ontario Social Services Minister Todd Smith on Monday at Queen’s Park. Anyone can apply through the Government of Ontario website here.
The Gouvernement du Québec has ordered the closure of all daycare services (childcare centres, as well as subsidized, non-subsidized, family and non-regulated daycare centres) and learning institutions (elementary and secondary schools, vocational training and adult education centres, private schools, CEGEPs, colleges and universities) until May 1. Public schools are not expected to offer online courses.
Open School was developed as a resource for children of all ages to access educational materials from home. This resource is available here.
For further information on Quebec schools, click here.
Emergency school daycare services are open to the children (aged 4 to 13) of health care, social services and essential services personnel.
The Gouvernement du Québec has published a COVID-19 Self-Care Guide, providing information on prevention, treatment, advice for the workplace, and how to care for children and the elderly. The Guide is available at this link.
Learning at Home: Resources for Families
Schools in New Brunswick are closed indefinitely, so the province has compiled online educational resources for children of all ages. No requirements are posted on the site. Families know best what learning expectations will be reasonable based on their own circumstances.
The website is available here.
To enable students to continue studying while schools are closed, the province has made several online resources available for families in English and French. An overview of changes due to COVID-19 are available here.
Nova Scotia’s Learning Continuity Plan is designed to support learning for P-12 students in the province in different ways during COVID-19. The plan allows learning to continue while keeping students, their families and school staff safe. It also allows regional centres of education, CSAP and teachers flexibility to meet the unique needs of their students. An overview of the plan is available here.
Information and resources for parents and families are available here.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Child Care for Essential Workers
Regulated childcare services for children (one to 13 years) are permitted to operate in order to support and enable essential workers to provide critical services if they have no other options available. If you are an “essential” worker in need of childcare, please visit Essential Worker Child Care Service Application for more information.
The application is available here.
As of Tuesday, March 17, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has suspended all in-school class instruction throughout English District schools. This suspension will continue for an indefinite period, as part of province-wide efforts to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Further information can be found in the public releases are available here.
Mental Health and Wellness
The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. You may be experiencing a high degree of uncertainty, worry, anxiety and stress about the health and safety of your loved ones, and how COVID-19 may disrupt the lives of you and your family.
Mental health and wellness resources are available here.
Prince Edward Island
COVID-19 Updates and Resources
News, public health directives, resources, and information for businesses and residents are available here.
An overview of provincial COVID-19 supports and services is available here.
Supports for Families and Youth
Resources for families and children, including mental health and educational resources, information about school closures, and changes to spousal and child support payments are available here.
Information on co-parenting and COVID-19 is available here.
Following the recommendations of the Chief Public Health Office, all public schools will remain closed until at least May 11. For the duration of school closures, students and families will have access to online and offline home learning materials. We recommend home learning focus on three key areas; health and well-being, literacy and numeracy.
Further information, and educational home learning resources, are available here.
Frequently asked questions about school closures in PEI are available here.
Emergency Child Care Services for Essential Workers
In response to COVID-19, all licensed childcare centres across the Island are closed until further notice. The province is working on implementing emergency childcare services for children, in order to help alleviate the pressures. Frequently asked questions about school closures in PEI are available here.
More information is available here.
Health Canada COVID-19 Information
The Federal Government has published several online resources to help Canadians learn about COVID-19, including about symptoms and prevention. Click the links below for information about:
- Symptoms and Treatment
- Updates on COVID-19 in Canada
- Community Advice and Guidelines
Students and Recent Graduates
To assist students and recent graduates currently repaying their loans, the government has placed a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans, as explained here.
Mental Health Resources for Children and Families
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Canadian Mental Health Association
Children’s Mental Health Ontario
Canadian Paediatric Society
- How can we talk to kids about COVID-19? Be “realistically reassuring”
- COVID, youth, and substance use: Critical messages for youth and families
Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
School Mental Health Ontario
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
Passover Resources for Children and Families
PJ Library Passover
The PJ Library Passover Hub has everything you need to know, including a cheat-sheet companion to our own PJ Library Family Haggadah (which you can download for free). It is available here.