Children's backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare on Tuesday May 29, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

The City of Toronto says it has approved 35 emergency child-care programs to accommodate essential service providers while schools participate in remote learning for the first week of January as part of the province-wide lockdown.

In a news release, the city says the services will be available at no cost for essential workers’ kindergarten and school-aged children. 

“Emergency child-care services are reserved exclusively for children of essential service workers identified in the province’s list of workers eligible for emergency child care who have no other alternatives,” the city said. “The safest option for families is to have children remain at home, if possible.”

For those who do not qualify as a designated essential service worker, there will be no regular child-care programs for kindergarten and school-aged children operating in child-care centres across Ontario.

As well, child-care providers not operating during this period are prohibited from charging parents fees during this time and parents will not lose their child care space.

Ontario’s publicly-funded schools and private schools are set to return to in-person learning on Jan. 11.

Secondary school students will be required to continue learning remotely until at least Jan. 25. and are scheduled to resume in-person learning on that date. 

All publicly-funded schools and private schools in northern public health regions are also set to resume in-person instruction on Jan. 11 for both elementary and secondary schools.

A full list of the 35 licensed providers can be found here.

Child-care programs for infants, toddlers and preschools will continue to operate as usual.