INNISFIL, ONT. -- Licensed child care workers and early childhood educators are next to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario.

Cheryl Peyton with Little Star Child Care said they were busy making a game plan. "We're having a staff meeting via ZOOM tonight, and they are all getting their instructions to do it tomorrow."

Peyton said they had waited long enough to qualify for the shot. "It's about time. We've been considered an essential service since we opened in 2020. It gives us a sense of relief to know that we have some barrier against COVID."

Troy Chatten has one child in daycare and one at home. The father of two said he's relieved child care workers would be vaccinated. "It's a huge safety concern [and] a relief for us. We've actually kept our son home for a couple of weeks because of the numbers rising. We've seen a bit of a curve, so we sent him back. It's a piece of mind knowing they're going to be vaccinated and safe for everybody."

Innisfil's Simcoe Child Care Services director, Kim Yeaman, said it offers peace of mind for her staff.

"Our staff members have worked all the way through the entire pandemic, and with the age group of zero to four, those children are the unmasked population, so obviously their exposure could be extremely high, and they are feeling the stress of that."

Eligible workers in licensed child care settings need a letter from their employer to get the shot. To make an appointment for the vaccine, call the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line number at 1-833-943-3900.

The province did not approve anyone working in non-licensed settings for this round of shots but did say those workers could be eligible in the coming weeks.