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Some empty daycare centres continue to charge parents amid COVID-19 closures
TORONTO -- A North York parent says she was shocked to learn she will have to pay daycare charges even though she has to look after her two small boys herself.
Stephanie Coelho got a notice from her daycare that said it was closing for three weeks, but would continue charging parents.
“During the three weeks that the centre is closed they’re saying they will still be charging all families,” Coelho said.
Coelho says she agrees it’s a good idea to close down daycare centres to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, but says it’s unfair parents still have to pay for a service they are not receiving.
Her children attend city-licensed Brookhaven Child Care in North York and she received a notice that’s said, “childcare has been directed not to operate from March 14th through to April 5th, 2020. All fees will continue to be charged for these days.”
Coelho says her employer asked her to self-isolate for the next three weeks, so she is currently not being paid. She says she shouldn't have to pay for childcare she is not getting.
“When I go back to the centre on April 6 I will have an $1,800 bill to pay when my kids weren’t even at the centre.”
On Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency, which shut down all licenced daycares in the province. CTV News spoke with other families who also said that their daycares were charging them for services not rendered.
Other parents are saying that their daycares will not be charging them.
One family shared a notice with CTV News Toronto from a private daycare operator that said that childcare fees will be credited towards future service.
“There will be no charge for the period of the centre closure,” the notice said.
Coelho says that if the province and the city are shutting down all daycares, then all polices should be the same.
“I just don't get how some daycares are charging families and some are not. It’s just not fair."
CTV News Toronto reached out to the Ontario government and a spokesperson in the minister of education's office said that considerations surrounding daycare expenses are currently being reviewed.