Ontario Unveils Next Steps Of Plan to Catch Up
Catch Up Payments Announced to Deliver More Money into Parents’ Pockets
Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, announced on Thursday the next steps on Ontario’s Plan to Catch Up, anchored by the government’s commitment to keeping students in class learning for the entirety of the school year.
Following the release of EQAO results for 2021-22, which are consistent with global trends, it is clear that Ontario students need to remain in class without interruption, with a special focus on catching up in math, reading, and writing.
Building on the government’s Plan to Catch Up on investments, new initiatives announced today include:
- the launch of the Catch Up Payments web portal for direct payments to parents for additional tutoring supports, supplies or equipment that enhance student learning;
- Math Action Teams deployed to underperforming school boards;
- new digital resources to support parents, students and educators;
- new universal screening for reading for Ontario’s youngest learners; and
- the extension of the government’s historic tutoring support program.
Catch Up Payments
The Ontario government has launched Catch Up Payments, offering parents $200 or $250 per child to help offset costs as they support their children as they catch up. This new initiative commits a total of $365 million in direct financial relief for parents.
“It could not be clearer that we must keep students in class without disruption, with a focus on catching up on the fundamentals – reading, writing and math – after two years of pandemic-related learning disruptions,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education in a news release. “We are expanding tutoring supports, assessing every young child’s ability to read, and hiring more staff to ensure all kids get back on track and ultimately graduate into good-paying jobs. While we have provided over $600 million in learning recovery investments to publicly funded schools, we are also providing parents of all school-aged children direct financial relief that can be immediately reinvested to support their children.”
Starting Thursday, parents with school-aged children up to 18 years old can apply for payments of $200 for each child, while parents with school-aged children with special education needs, up to the age of 21, can apply for $250. Families can apply for Catch Up Payments through a secure website where they can create a unique profile for each eligible student. Applications for Catch Up Payments will remain open until March 31, 2023.