CHESTERVILLE – After extending the Christmas break due to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the “lockdown” procedures that began on Dec. 26, 2020, the Ontario Ministry of Education announced on Jan. 7, that publicly funded elementary schools in Ontario would remain closed for in-person learning until Jan.  22, with additional spaces for free emergency childcare for children of eligible essential workers between four and 12 years of age. 

Prior to this announcement, Happy Face Nursery School (HFNS) had been operating an emergency childcare centre at Morrisburg Public School for 15 school-age children. HFNS executive director Cheryl Firlotte explained: following the Jan. 7 announcement, the number of spaces at the Morrisburg location was increased to 26 spaces from 15 and on Jan. 11 the emergency childcare centre in Chesterville was able to open with 26 spaces available for the school-aged children of eligible essential workers.

Firlotte explained HFNS is receiving further instructions from the Ontario Ministry of Education as to the list of eligible essential workers for free emergency childcare and suggests contacting the company by calling the office at 613-774-4707, or by email at for more information. She mentioned the infant, toddler and pre-school daycare programs are running.