TORONTO -- Ontario parents will receive another round of pandemic pay, as the provincial government doubles the COVID-19 cheques for families.

The Ford government announced families will receive $400 per school-aged child in 2021 – up from $200 last year – and $500 for children with special needs to help cover increased technology costs of online learning among other COVID-19 expenses.

"It won't solve every problem, but it helps," Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said in the Ontario Legislature. "It's one of the simplest, quickest and most direct ways we can make a difference."

Since the pandemic began, the province handed out $200 payments twice to parents of children aged 12 or younger and once to parents of older children who attend secondary school.

The province says any family will be eligible for the latest pandemic payment program, regardless of family income, and those who received the benefit last year won’t need to re-enroll.

The government says the additional payment will cost another $908 million in 2021, for a total of $1.8 billion since the start of the pandemic.

No details have been provided yet on how or when parents can apply.