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WATCH: Ontario education minister announces $400 per child COVID-19 benefit

Watch the livestream feed of the press conference here

Ontario's education minister highlighted the province's plans to give parents more money through the Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit at a Wednesday press conference.

Stephen Lecce was joined by Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board,  at the press conference, held at the Boys and Girls Club of Durham.

They were also joined by Lindsey Park, MPP for Durham.

Lecce said the third round of Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit payments, which offset additional learning costs, will be doubled to $400 per child in Grade 12 or younger, or $500 per youth with special needs up to the age of 21.

This amounts to a funding announcement of $980 million.

The investment is part of the 2021 Ontario budget.

The government is automatically providing this round of payments to parents who received Support for Learners payments, and they can expect money to begin flowing on April 26, 2021.

Parents who did not apply for or receive the Support for Learners program can apply for the new funding starting May 3 with a deadline of May 17. 

Parents will receive $400 for each child aged 0 to Grade 12 and $500 for children and youth 21 years old or younger with special needs, doubling the $200 and $250 received in the last round. This brings the government's direct support to parents since the start of the pandemic to more than $1.8 billion.  

In response to a reporter's question, Lecce also said he wants to assure families that the province's intention is to proceed with the April break.

You can play back the livestream of the press conference above.