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Ontario Government Supporting Parents as Economy Reopens

  

Province Protecting Child Care For Parents When They Return to Work – May 9th, 2020


TORONTO - The Ontario Government is protecting licensed child care in Ontario during the COVID-19 outbreak by ensuring parents retain access to local licensed child care, as well as EarlyON Child and Family Centres. 


The government unveiled a plan that, together with federal and municipal partnership, provides supports to licensed child care providers to ensure they remain sustainable and ready to open when parents return to work. 


"We are taking action to protect local child care spaces for parents as they return to work," said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. "Our plan is focused on two objectives. The first was focused on saving parents money by prohibiting child care providers from charging families during the closure period. 


The second objective was focused on protecting child care spaces across our province, so families can re-enter the workforce with confidence that local centres will be accessible and safe."


The plan is focused on protecting child care spaces for parents with a time-limited approach that includes: support for fixed operating costs for eligible child care and EarlyON Centres, while providers are prohibited from charging parent fees while the Emergency Order is in effect direct and rapid funding delivery through municipal service managers for centres that currently receive funding; a straightforward application process for child care centres that do not currently receive provincial funding by allowing them to apply directly to the Ministry of Education; direction that all child care centres will be required to maximize all available support under Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, including staffing costs retroactively to March 15, 2020.


In addition to federal-provincial rental subsidy supports; red tape reduction and cost savings by waiving all child care licensing applications, renewals and revision fees;

automatic extension of child care licenses set to expire during the emergency period; and protecting existing base funding for licensed home child care agencies, and regular funding and wage enhancement grant funding for licensed home child care providers who have remained active during the emergency closure.


The government's plan harnesses the full support of all levels of government and ensures the sector and the child care spaces families depend on remain available in urban and rural communities across Ontario. 


QUICK FACTS


The province is supporting parents during the COVID-19 outbreak by temporarily preventing child care providers from collecting payments from parents. Child care centres, with the exception of those providing emergency child care to health care and other front-line workers, were ordered closed to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep the children and child care staff safe.


Ontario is also helping parents pay for the extra costs associated with school and child care closures during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools.


There are over 5,500 childcare centres and 124 licensed home child care agencies across Ontario.


School Boards will not charge rent for child care centres or EarlyON centres located in schools, until the end of the closure period.

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Covid-19 wrap

Covid-19 wrap: At least 294,199 deaths worldwide and 4,305,340 cases

News 24 - 14 May 2020


Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.


The novel coronavirus has killed at least 294,199 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 19:00 GMT Wednesday.


At least 4,305,340 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. 


Of these, at least 1,473,700 are now considered recovered.


The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.


Many countries are testing only the most serious cases.


Over the past 24 hours, 5,157 deaths and 82,643 new cases have been recorded, with the most new fatalities reported in the United States with 1,599, Brazil with 881 and Britain with 494.


The US also has the highest number of deaths overall with 83,249 from 1,380,465 cases. At least 230,287 have been declared recovered.


Britain has the second highest toll with 33 186 deaths from 229,705 cases. Figures compiled by British regional health agencies put the number of fatalities at over 36 000. But these include cases where Covid-19 is only suspected to be the cause, in addition to people who tested positive.


It is followed by Italy with 31,106 deaths and 222,104 cases, Spain with 27,104 deaths and 228,691 infections and France with 27,074 fatalities and 178,060 cases.


The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Belgium with 76 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Spain with 58, Italy 51, Britain 49 and France 41.


China - excluding Hong Kong and Macau - has to date declared 4 633 deaths and 82,926 cases. It has 78,189 recovered cases.


In the past 24 hours, Lesotho has recorded its first infection.


Europe has a total of 160,846 deaths from 1,802,322 cases, the United States and Canada have 88 638 deaths and 1,452, 661 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean have 23,120 deaths and 405,864 cases, Asia has 11,207 deaths and 318,732 cases, the Middle East has 7,814 deaths and 246,834 cases, Africa has 2,448 deaths from 70,612 cases, and Oceania 126 deaths from 8,316 cases.


Corrections by national authorities or late publication of data mean the figures updated over the past 24 hours may not correspond exactly to the previous day's tallies.

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200 J'cans back home

200 J'cans back home; official warns of possible COVID-19 spike

  

BY KIMONE FRANCIS - Senior Staff Reporter

francisk@jamaicaobserver.com - Thursday, May 14, 2020


JAMAICAN health authorities are bracing for a spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases locally, following yesterday's arrival of more than 200 stranded Jamaicans from the United States and Canada at Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston.


The US has the largest coronavirus outbreak globally with 1.37 million infections and more than 82,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.


The Jamaicans arrived from Canada, Florida and New York — the epicentre of the outbreak in the US with more than 300,000 infections and close to 22,000 deaths.


A Government source who spoke to the Jamaica Observer yesterday, but asked not to be identified, said that authorities are expecting a sharp increase in the number though the arriving passengers will be quarantined at a St Ann hotel for a minimum of 14 days.

They will be tested for COVID-19 and will be subjected to daily temperature checks, the source said.


Jamaica has now recorded 509 COVID-19 cases.


Several Jamaica Defence Force members were among the group of 20 who arrived from Canada.

The army men, who were in the country for training under the Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP), became stranded after the country's borders were ordered closed on March 24.


Two passengers, who spoke to the Observer briefly before the media were prevented from continuing coverage of the Jamaicans' arrival, repeatedly expressed that they were happy to be home.


One of the passengers had been away for three months.


Journalists covering their arrival under the Government's controlled re-entry programme were yesterday escorted from the arrival hall of the NMIA by the police.


The journalists, who were initially granted access to the area to capture the arrival of the first batch of Jamaicans from Florida, were not given an official reason for their removal.


NMIA Chief Operations Officer Dale Davis announced forcefully that except for the Government-run Jamaica Information Service (JIS), no other media were allowed in the area.


He subsequently called on law men to see to the removal of media workers.


Army men were then instructed to man the entrance of the hall.


Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, who provided updates including a photo of passengers on one of her social media pages, said that the Jamaicans deserved privacy.


Johnson Smith blasted journalists in subsequent Twitter posts, suggesting that coverage of the passengers was insensitive and inhumane.


“Today was hugely emotional. Wonderful to welcome Jamaicans returning home but so many with different challenges. Is it too much to ask that they could have a little privacy? Furthermore, no one, including media, is ever allowed into the immigration and Customs hall!


“Jamaica encourages freedom of the press, the world knows it! That's why we are 6th in the world. But freedom of the press should not mean insensitivity nor inhumanity. Why would you want to witness passengers' health checks before transportation? People have a right to privacy,” said Johnson Smith.


She further added that JIS was “allowed to take some footage just to show there was nothing to hide”.


The Opposition People's National Party spokesman on information Julian Robinson, in a release last night, said “the blocking of journalists who turned up at the Norman Manley International Airport to provide coverage of the arrival of Jamaicans who were stranded overseas is unacceptable and an unnecessary blot on Jamaica's excellent ranking on the global press freedom index”.


“...The nation relies on the press to keep our people informed, and a matter of the arrival of Jamaicans who were stranded overseas on account of COVID-19 restrictions is of extremely high public interest,” said Robinson.


The JetBlue flight, which came in from Florida, landed about 10:00 am with 94 Jamaicans on-board.


A second JetBlue flight carrying more than 90 passengers from New York landed at 11:45 am.

The WestJet flight from Canada arrived sometime after 1:00 pm.

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