The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is pleased to offer the Child Care Stipend Program to support Métis families when formal child care (e.g. licensed or private child care), do not meet a family’s needs. The Child Care Stipend Program evolved as a result of the temporary COVID-19 Child Care Support Program which was available to help parents when they did not have access to formal child care, or in-person school, due to closures of programs. The updated Child Care Stipend Program is designed to support families who are unable to access more formal child care arrangements and for on-going, regular child care, to support parents and caregivers who work, attend school, or have documented medical needs that require child care supports.

For non-school age children, the stipend is $150 per week, per family. For school-age children requiring child care before and/or after school, they will receive a stipend of $50 per week, per family. For school holidays, PD Days and other closures, school-age children may receive up to $30 per day, to a maximum stipend of $150 per week. All Métis families who meet the qualifications are encouraged to apply. Parents will receive payment directly from the MNO and banking information must be provided in order to make the payment.

Elgibility Criteria:

  • Children must be between the ages of 0-12 years
  • The parent/guardian, or child, must be an MNO citizen
  • Family must reside in the Province of Ontario
  • The family does not have access to formal child care in the community, or the child care available does not meet the family’s needs (e.g. due to shift work)
  • The parent(s) or guardian(s) must be employed, attending school, or have ongoing medical needs (such as regular appointments). Note: if the parent or guardian is working from home, the job duties which the individual is performing must impact child supervision during working hours.

The following are examples of situations that MAY be eligible for support by the stipend:

Non-School Age Children: Infant – Pre-School – Ages 0 – 4

  • The family is on a child care waitlist and cannot find acceptable private child care (that meets the parameters of the MNO subsidy program)
  • A child care centre is closed (for example due to public health, holidays etc.)
  • A family member, friend, or other support takes care of the child on a regular basis.
  • Regular or on-going child care is for a minimum of three days/week, or 10 days per calendar month.
  • If a family only requires part time care, they will only receive a half stipend of $75 per week, per family. (i.e. Under 20 hours per week)

School-Age children: Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6 – Ages 4 – 12

  • Support for external care over summer vacation, Christmas vacation, March break and PD Days (must provide school calendar).
  • Extended school closures due to public health or other external factors
  • A child has an extended absence from school, due to illness or due to public health measures. (Extended absences must be a minimum of five days and may require documentation)
  • Families with children who require before and after school care will receive a partial stipend of $50 per week, per family, when formal childcare options are not reasonably available.
  • Regular or on-going child care is for a minimum of three days/week, or 10 days per calendar month.
  • Applicants may be required to provide documentation that proves the child care arrangement.

The following are examples of situations that are NOT eligible through the Stipend:

  • Irregular child care: For example, Nightly babysitters or night-out babysitters.
  • The childcare being provided needs to be regular and ongoing
  • School closures due to weather related events (such as snow days)
  • Families who homeschool their children
  • Care for children when one or more parent is not working, in school, or on-going medical need (documentation is required.)
  • Homeschooling pods
  • Private school
  • Licensed child care and camps

Please note: The Child Care Stipend supports families with children up to age 12 in accessing child care, when the family does not have, regular, formal child care arrangements for their children, it is recognized that the stipend may not offset the full cost of alternative care. This program is NOT an income supplement, but it is meant to offset the cost of childcare when formal child care is unavailable. The MNO cannot guarantee the date of deposits. Early Learning and Child Care Program Coordinators will issue the stipend on a monthly basis. They will reach out to families on a regular basis, for updates on their child care situation. Failure to respond in a timely manner may result in delays to the stipend being issued or having your file closed.

CONTACT: If you need help with your application or would like to learn more about programs available to you, please contact the Early Learning and Child Care Team by phone at 1-800-263-4889 or by email at elccsupport@metisnation.org. If you email us, please include the MNO region or the municipality you live in to help us support you in a timely manner.

FAQ

Some of the main differences between the two programs are:

  • Support for children with special needs between the ages of 13-21 years is no longer available.
  • The former “subsidy” portion of the COVID-19 program, that supported families with hiring a Registered Early Childhood Educator, Ontario Certified Teacher, etc., is no longer available.
  • Families with non-school aged children who require child care are encouraged to apply to the MNO Child Care Subsidy Program.
  • Support for families who choose virtual school options is no longer available, unless there is a documented medical need within the household.
    Families who homeschool their children, outside the publicly funded education system, will no longer receive the stipend.

Yes, all families who qualified for the previous COVID-19 Child Care Program must apply for the new Program. Supports for the previous program will end September 30, 2021 and the new application will open Monday August 30, 2021 at 9am EST. The COVID-19 Child Care Support Program application portal will close for new applications on Monday August 23, 2021 at 4:30pm EST.

Receipts are not necessary. We may request information to confirm the child care arrangements. In addition, we may ask for proof of employment, school schedule, etc.

If your family is currently involved in an Early Learning and Child Care related program, it can take up to two weeks for your file to be reviewed. If you are a new family to the Early Learning and Child Care programs, the review process can take 3-4 weeks as we connect with the MNO Registry team to confirm MNO citizenship. Once approved, an ELCC program coordinator will send you a letter via e-mail informing you that you have been approved for the program. In addition, it is required that you sign a terms and conditions agreement stating that you agree to be an active participant in the program. Applicants who are declined will be contacted via e-mail with a letter describing why they were declined, and if possible a list of MNO programs that you may benefit from.

Each month an ELCC program coordinator reviews approved families and checks in on their child care situation. Once it is determined that a family qualifies for a monthly stipend, the ELCC program coordinator will process the payment no later than the 15th of each month. Funds will be paid via direct deposit into your bank account. To ensure that you receive payments in a timely manner, please ensure the following:

  • When submitting an application, please ensure you are attaching accurate banking information. This includes:
    • Void Cheque
    • Direct Deposit Form
    • Screenshot of banking information

  • Please note, our Finance team will NOT accept the following:
    • Savings account information
    • Credit Card information
    • Handwritten banking information

Banking information MUST be in the name of the applicant or the MNO citizen. If the banking information does not match, we will ask for banking information in the name of the applicant or the MNO citizen. Please ensure that any changes to banking information are sent to the ELCC program coordinator as soon as possible to avoid payment delays. All banking information is saved on a secure drive that only the Manager of ELCC, Supervisor of ELCC and the MNO Finance team has access to. Please ensure you are responding to the ELCC program coordinator each month to ensure your stipend is received in a timely manner.

The ELCC program coordinator will make four attempts to contact you and if there is no response the stipend will be placed on hold. The first attempt will be via email. The second attempt will be a follow up email. The third attempt will be a phone call. The fourth and final attempt will be via email with the note that failure to respond may result in your stipend being placed on hold. If an ELCC program coordinator fails to make contact after three consecutive months your application will be closed and marked dormant. The MNO Finance team works to ensure that all approved expenses are paid out in a timely manner however there may be delays due to high volume.

If you do not receive your monthly payment within three weeks of the 15th of the month, please reach out to the ELCC Program Coordinator and they will look into the status of your stipend. If you are new to the Early Learning and Child Care programs and are submitting banking information for the first time, please allow up to six weeks from the date that you receive your approval letter to receive your first stipend. This will allow our Finance team to add you into the MNO financial system.

Coordinators review each application on a case-by-case basis. If the application shows that the child care need started prior to the application submission, you may qualify for a back payment of up to a maximum of three months depending on child care need.

If the grandparent or sibling is providing regular, on-going child care, you may be eligible for the child care stipend. Regular or ongoing child care is for a minimum of three days a week or 10 days per calendar month. If the grandparent or sibling provides irregular care (such as babysitting for a night out) this is not eligible for the child care stipend.|

If your local school board has reopened to in-person learning, and schools have been deemed safe by public health, MNO cannot provide funding if families choose virtual-school, or home-schooling options. Some exceptions may be considered if a child or household has certain medical conditions and it is not medically safe to return back to school. If this is the case, please contact elccsupport@metisnation.org. Supporting documentation may be required.

Yes! Your family may be eligible for MNO’s Enhanced Extra-Curricular Reimbursement Program which is designed to help Métis families afford recreational activities for their children.

When you apply and are approved for the stipend program, you will be assigned an ELCC program coordinator. They will be in touch with you on a regular basis, and will provide information if your child care situation changes. In addition, if you do not need the stipend, they can place your file on hold, until you require it again.

If your employment is seasonal, you can only access the stipend when you are working. When you are not working, your stipend is placed on hold, and will resume when your work restarts. This includes any staff employed by district school boards who are not actively employed during the summer months. (Teachers, EA’s RECE’s, Administration and Support Staff.). If a school board employee is taking additional qualification courses or is teaching in a summer school program, they may qualify for the stipend if supporting documentation shows there is a child care need.

If you are not currently working, you cannot access the program. This program supports families who require alternate child care arrangements for employment, or education purposes. If you require child care supports for medical or mental-health reasons, please reach out to elccsupport@metisnation.org

All parents/guardians in the household must be employed or in an education program. If you require child care supports for medical or mental-health reasons, please reach out to elccsupport@metisnation.org

All stipend amounts are per family. Some examples are:

  • For non-school aged children, the stipend is per family- $150 per week.
  • For school aged children, the stipend is per family – $50 per week
  • For households with mixed age groups, the stipend is per family $150 per week.

Yes! MNO offers a Child Care Subsidy to help Métis families access safe high quality child care. The MNO Child Care Subsidy Program is for Métis families who have child care costs for their children attending a child care centre (ages 0-4) or a before and after school program (ages 4-12). Families who are receiving regional or municipal childcare subsidies can also access the Program to help cover additional costs.

The eligibility criteria is as follows: 

  • One parent or guardian must be an MNO Citizen
  • Applicants must have a child aged 0-12 in need of child care
  • Applicants must reside in Ontario
  • All Métis families who meet the qualifications are encouraged to apply

Updated: September 7, 2021