A reader asked for information regarding the homeschooling funding I accessed for Owen. I wrote her back, but figured it might useful to post about it again here.
Short story is this: homeschooling is legal in Ontario as long as you follow the notification requirements. If your child is (or would be) eligible to receive support in school due to physical or developmental issues, you should be able to receive the same support at home to support your child’s education. I accessed this funding for years and it made all the difference.
This is the legislation that allows your child to be homeschooled. The student is assumed to be receiving satisfactory education at home unless a third-party complains (usually a disgruntled in-law) at which point they will investigate.
Under this policy, your child may be eligible to access a number of school services, including this one:
Support Services Offered by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Families in which children are receiving home schooling have access to Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care school health support and personal support services (and equipment) through the local community care access centres (CCACs) of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Regulation 386/99 under the Long-Term Care Act sets out the eligibility criteria for these services. The first criterion is that “the person must be enrolled as a pupil at a school or be receiving satisfactory instruction at home in accordance with clause 21(2)(a) of the Education Act.” For a child who is receiving home schooling to be eligible for these services, the parent must provide the local CCAC with a letter from the school board (such as the sample letter in appendix C) indicating that the child is excused from attendance at school because the child is receiving satisfactory instruction at home.
The referenced regulation is spelled out here (you might need to find a better reference?):
i. in order to be able to attend school, participate in school routines and receive instruction, or
ii. in order to be able to receive satisfactory instruction at home in accordance with clause 21 (2) (a) of the Education Act.
If you are interested in this funding and your CCAC caseworker has no idea what you’re talking about, you are well advised to read up on it yourself! It’s probably still not well-accessed so some caseworkers may not have encountered it before. I seem to recall I skipped over our caseworker and went up a level – was a whole lot faster with better results.