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Applying for financial support (EI): Information for child care and early years' workers relating to COVID-19

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Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario
Publication Date: 
19 Mar 2020


Information on Financial Support for Child Care and Early Years Workers Relating to Covid-19

As this public health emergency unfolds we know many educators and early years staff have questions related to work and financial support. Here is the best information we can gather at this time. 

If you have been laid off work due to mandated child care closures:

  • Apply for regular EI benefits. 
  • Typically EI provides 55% of your pre-tax income up to $54,200.
  • You will need to have worked between 400-700 hours in the last year (depending on location)
  • You will need a Record of Employment (ROE) from your employer. Your employer may have sent this directly to Service Canada, don’t delay applying until you have a hard copy of your ROE.
  • At this time there is a one week waiting period for regular EI, so you won’t be paid for one week.
  • You can find more information and apply for EI online:
  • Call for more information: 1-800-206-7218 

If you are unable to work due to sickness or self-quarantine
This applies to you if you are affected by COVID-19 or you have been asked to self-quarantine after returning from travel (see more specifics here)

  • Apply for EI sickness benefits
  • You will need to have worked for 600 hours in the last year
  • You do not need an ROE or sick note not to qualify
  • The one week waiting period has been waived
  • Apply online:
  • Once you have applied for EI you may contact the Covid-19 EI helpline: 1-833-381-2725

If you are self employed, do not have paid sick leave, or are otherwise not eligible for EI sickness benefits 
You may apply for the new Emergency Care Benefit. This benefit is for those who are sick, or staying home to look after others who are sick OR who are staying home to look after children who are not in school or child care. 

  • The Emergency Care Benefit will provide up to $900 every two weeks, for up to 15 weeks 
  • Applications open in April via CRA MyAccount, My Service Canada Account, and a toll free number that is yet to be announced
  • To apply you will need to fill out a REGULAR EI application (we recommend starting this process immediately)
  • If you’re employee, you need a record of employment. 
  • The benefit will be back paid if there was a wait period

If you are laid off and not eligible for Regular EI Benefit or the new Emergency Care Benefit 

  • You may apply for the new Emergency Support Benefit
  • Details about amounts and eligibility for this benefit have not been announced yet
  • Applications open in April via CRA MyAccount, My Service Canada Account, and a toll free number that is yet to be announced

More information will be published HERE as it becomes available.

Other Questions and Situations:
Below are some situations and questions that the AECEO has been asked about and has endeavored to find answers to:

Employers requiring staff to use vacation time during the temporary closure
The Employment Standards Act hotline explained that employers may assign vacation days to employees only in 7 day blocks, and only if an employee has 7 days of paid vacation time owed to them. Employers may not assign individual vacation days.
The AECEO does not support this practice - we believe as a decent work principle you should retain your vacation days. 

Workplaces requiring staff to attend work and perform other duties (i.e., cleaning, organizing). Must workers attend?

The AECEO does not support this practice and it contravenes public health advice to practice social distancing. Concerning requirement to attend, Ontario will be introducing Job Protection Legislation, but at this time it has not been passed. Should this legislation pass, it would mean that Job protection will be available for the following reasons:

  • The employee is under medical investigation, supervision or treatment forCOVID-19.
  • The employee is acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
  • The employee is in isolation or quarantine.
  • The employee is acting in accordance with public health information or direction.
  • The employer directs the employee not to work.
  • The employee needs to provide care to a person for a reason related to COVID-19such as a school or day-care closure

This information does not constitute legal or financial advice and is for information purposes only. We will update this post as more information becomes available.

This information applies to non-unionized workers, if you work in a unionized workplace we encourage you to read communications from your union or talk to your union steward.


Covid-19 Worker Info.pdf140.74 KB
fact sheet
Entered Date: 
19 Mar 2020
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