The battle against COVID-19 in Ontario is unfortunately still raging on, and it is taking a toll on children’s learning throughout this school year. As schools are closed and classes are moved online, parents have to cope with supervising their children at home and making sure that they are still learning effectively. The Ontario government recognizes that this comes at an additional cost to families, and in response they established the Support for Learners program.
With the recent lockdown, this program has been expanded so that high school students are also eligible, and the application deadline has been extended to early February. For parents who may not be aware of the program or the extension, please read on to find out more!
What is the Support for Learners Program
The Support for Learners program provides a one-time financial support for the 2020-2021 school year affected by the pandemic. It was initially announced in November for younger children and children with special needs. However, due to additional lockdown it has been extended to children in high school in January.
For each child or youth up to grade 12, the parent or guardian is eligible for a one-time $200 payment. For each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs, the payment is $250. Eligibility is based on the child’s age and not based on schooling status, which means that students who are for example homeschooled or in child care, are eligible. The current deadline to apply is February 8, 2021.
How to Apply and What to Expect
Eligible parents and guardians can review the details and apply at this web page by February 8. If you have more than one eligible child, you must submit an application for each one. Although the program page indicates that you may receive payment within two weeks, many parents say that they have yet to receive the payment even when they applied in December. So you should expect that the payment may take some time.
Extra Support for Your Children’s Learning
As we explored in an earlier blog post, not all children can learn effectively from an online classroom setting, yet there are many alternatives. Parents may consider using this one-time payment towards such options as online tutoring, which offers safe and personalized learning outside of school. TeachRequest’s online tutoring service is an especially effective choice, featuring customized lessons and coaching by tutors who are Ontario Certified Teachers, and a purpose-built online tutoring platform.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information – we are here to help your children succeed and prevail in this challenging learning environment. Meanwhile please stay safe and make the most out of spending time at home with family!