Sault Ste. Marie to open child care for health care and essential service workers

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The District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board (DSSMSSAB) has received approval from the Province of Ontario to open the first centre in our community to provide licensed emergency child care for children of health care providers and other essential service workers.

This centre will be operated by the YMCA at their McNabb St. location and will open on April 13, 2020.   “For 120 years, the Y has been here for our community in times of crisis, and this is no different,” YMCA CEO Tracey Cooke said. “We have been working diligently on plans to provide needed services to Sault Ste. Marie and are proud to partner with Social Services to support our front line workers by providing emergency child care.”

To support members of this essential and critical workforce, this licensed child care service will be funded by the Province of Ontario at no cost to families, and available for children under age 12. Services will operate with extended hours up to 14 hours a day, and if required, seven days a week.

Emergency child care services are reserved exclusively for children of essential and critical service workers identified in the Province of Ontario’s “List of Workers Eligible for Emergency Child Care,” and who have limited alternatives.   Priority will be determined by Social Services based on eligibility and available spaces.

There a number workers that are eligible for emergency child care, including, but not limited to, regulated health care professionals, unregulated health care providers working in health care, paramedics, police officers, firefighters or individuals providing fire protection services, as well as individuals who perform work that is essential to the delivery of core services in a municipality. Child care staff who are working in the emergency child care program are also eligible to access this care.

Essential service workers are to complete and submit the online application available at and will be contacted by Social Services staff to receive more information.

Additional measures, in consultation with Algoma Public Health, are being taken to maintain a healthy and safe environment for Early Childhood Educators, children and families. Precautions include daily screening of children and staff, increased disinfection, reduced group sizes and limiting the number of people in the centre to 50.

“I want to recognize the Early Childhood educators and the YMCA for providing this critical service. This is understandably a period of uncertainty and concern for members of our community, but as this initiative demonstrates there are many people working hard to ensure we get through the COVID-19 pandemic together,” said Mayor Provenzano



  1. Is there an online petition against this? This puts so many people at risk. The “powers that be” have abused their powers here. Zero logic! And the provincial government approved this?!

  2. There have been many disasters that started off with good intentions, I hope I’m wrong but, suspect otherwise. I would hate to think of a daycare as a breeding ground for disease and infection however, circumstances as they are, daycares right now, are a giant incubator, similar to a cruise ship or packed subway train. I hope the staff were given the opportunity to say no thanks and the ones that said yes, will be getting hazard pay.

  3. I think this is a horrible decision. :(. Makes me so nervous that the virus is about to go BOOM with all these children from different homes playing together.

    I run a home daycare and I am not taking the risk to reopen until social distancing is lifted enough to open the schools

  4. Wow!! So have or will the parents of these children been/be tested? You know, to make sure they haven’t passed anything onto their children. Not everybody shows symptoms right away. I would think that health care workers are at high risk. Will the children be tested? Aren’t children in the high risk category, like seniors? Will social distancing be enforced with the children? Will they all be wearing masks? So many questions!! I can’t believe what I just read here. Is this a delayed April Fool’s joke?

  5. People are already not following the distancing recommendations. This will just make it worse. Puts front line workers and their children at even more risk. This virus is already running rampant in nursing homes now we are going to put children at risk also. We should be able to come up with a better idea.

  6. So children will play together from all different households. Not sure how this could be done safely as someone with no symptoms can be infectious and there’s no way to screen that? I understand there’s a need, but perhaps as suggested people could be provided daycare funds and have a relative or friend take care of them.

  7. i think this is very risky ..i know the importance but I dont know if this can be done safely ,, and iif this goes bad well it’s he politicians that should be charged .. if they are comfortable with that ..try it ,, or a mother to but their child in harms way good for them ,, BAD IDEA <, I like jd Poliquin idea a lot ,, a grandparent could be paid for watching the kids at their home ,,

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