Support for Learners program expanded to include older students

(Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)




With in-school classes being cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols, the Ministry of Education has expanded the Support for Learners subsidy program to include older students who are now forced to learn from home.

The application process opened Jan. 11 and will close Feb. 8, 2021.

The purpose of the Support for Learners financial support program is to support children, youth and students in their continued learning during the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2020-21 school year. 

The Support for Learners program provides eligible applicants with a one-time payment of $200 for each child/youth up to Grade 12 and $250 for each child/youth up to age 21 with special needs.

Previously, the program targeted children in the elementary panel.

“The expanded Support for Learners program is now open, to help working parents of students aged 3 through Grade 12 with direct financial support during this pandemic,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education in a statement. “Our government will continue to provide relief to families to help offset additional costs for Ontario’s students. COVID-19 has imposed many costs on moms, dads and caregivers across the province and we are committed to helping them through this incredible challenge. Parents should apply as soon as they can.”

To apply, only one parent or guardian may do so for each child/youth and a separate application for each child or student must be submitted. The parent or guardian should have custody of the child. This could include a parent or guardian with shared custody.

It is up to the child’s parents or guardians to determine who will apply. The Support for Learners program is not involved in these decisions and they will not accept more than one application per child.

If you have applied and received funding under programs that are now closed such as the Support for Parents or Support for Families, you can still apply for the Support for Learners program.

If you are a secondary student over the age of 18, you can apply on your own or one of your parents or guardians can apply for you.

When applying, you will need the following information for each child or youth:

  • the name of their school and school board (if applicable)
  • their date of birth
  • a valid email address
  • your banking information (bank name, branch or transit number and account number)

All information that you provide about a student should match their school’s record (if applicable).

The Support for Learners program will send payments to the account of:

  • the parent or guardian who is applying for their child (not to a child’s account)
  • secondary students who are over the age of 18 and applied on their own.

Payments can be made through e-tranfer, direct deposit or if banking information can not be provided a cheque can be special requested in your application.

“Our priority remains on keeping schools safe,” added Minister Lecce. “And supporting families every step of the way.”

To date, 1,450,000+ cumulative applications have been received for Ontario’s youngest learners. $228M+ payments have been processed.

For more information and to apply for the Support for Learners expanded program please visit