NORTH BAY -- Free emergency childcare will soon be available to essential workers in the Nipissing District.

The District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board announced that they are working with licensed childcare services in the area to provide front-line workers with the childcare they need.

"We heard from many essential workers that they are struggling to find childcare for their children, as many have no alternative options at this time," said Lynn Démoré-Petre, the director of children’s services for the social services board.

However, to adhere to social distancing requirements, the spaces are limited and will have a maximum of 24 children per daycare.

"The DNSSAB has been working very hard to get some emergency childcare spaces up and running," social service board chairman Mark King said in a news release. "New protocols have been established to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and this limits the number of spaces that can be opened."

The social services board says that they recognize the demand for this service will be high, so it will be taking applications through a centralized application process for all of the daycare sites.

The North Bay YMCA will be home to the first emergency childcare space to open on April 14.