Did you miss the February 15 Living Classroom Information Webinar? Access the slides here and FAQ below.

Space and logistics

Are there any required classroom specifications? What is the minimum space requirement for a Living Classroom in the LTC home? What is physically needed in the room?

Living Classroom requirements for space and equipment will depend on several factors, including the number of students in the program, the course delivery method (e.g., hybrid versus fully on-site) and the resources available. The LTC home and education provider should collaborate on the design of the education space to ensure that it meets the needs of both partners.

Refer to the Living Classroom Implementation Guide for more information about facility planning. Note that the specifications provided are examples, not requirements.

The Living Classroom support team can help LTC homes to conduct a feasibility scan and needs assessment, if needed. Include your request for support in your application.

Are there class size minimums/maximums?

Education providers may require a minimum number of students to enroll in each course in order to cover teaching costs. A minimum of 10 to 15 students is not uncommon, although smaller class sizes may be feasible, depending on the resources available.

The maximum number of students will be limited by the space and equipment available. When planning your Living Classroom, consider the location and population size of the community, including the number of potential students.

Is it possible to share a real-life example of a living Classroom?

Visit the Living Classroom website for more information about existing classrooms, as well as a video and a virtual tour of the Living Classroom at the Village at University Gates in Waterloo. To arrange an in-person tour, contact Scott Mitchell at scott.mitchell@the-ria.ca. For examples of school board Living Classrooms, contact Tammy Cantin at tcantin@cesba.com.

To learn more about the Living Classroom model, please refer to the Implementation Guide.

If partnering with a community college, could the lab be on-site at the college, while the LTC home is used for theory /curriculum delivery?

The most effective model for a Living Classroom is to have all education facilities (e.g., lecture hall, practice labs, computers, student lounge, faculty office, etc.) within (or in close proximity to) the LTC home. The value of learning on-site for the full duration of the program arises from the ability to enrich the PSW curriculum through integrated learning experiences. Integration includes, for example, inviting residents, family members and team members to be part of the education team.

The enhanced opportunity for experiential learning is a key differentiator that makes the Living Classroom model distinct from a traditional PSW program.

Will this webinar be held again at another time?

Not for this funding round. However, there will be additional webinars in the future when new funding opportunities are announced.

The webinar presentation slides are also available to help guide you. If you have further questions, please contact the Living Classroom support team at livingclassroom@the-ria.ca.

Partnership & eligibility

Can I apply without a partner? Can you support my organization to find a partner?

Yes, organizations can apply without a partner. Under PART 2: LIVING CLASSROOM PARTNER, select the option “We do not have a Living Classroom partner.”

If you need support to find a Living Classroom partner, we can help! To request support with partnership development, select that option in PART 5: RELATED TRAINING AND SUPPORT and provide any relevant details in the comment box.

If you have partnership questions or need help completing your application, please contact the Living Classroom support team at livingclassroom@the-ria.ca.

Can a LTC home and a career college partner?

Yes. Applications will be accepted from any of the following provincially recognized organizations in Ontario:

  • long-term care home
  • long-term care corporate office
  • public college
  • career college
  • Indigenous learning institute
  • school board
Can you clarify if the application is for LTC, education program or both?

Both. Applications will be accepted from either the LTC home or the education provider. Joint applications are strongly encouraged. We will accept separate applications from Living Classroom partners, although a letter of support from your partner organization is still required for each application, and the total combined funding amount for both applications should not exceed $100,000.

Can you clarify what is meant by school boards - community colleges or secondary schools? Can SHSM students completing PSW courses apply with an LTC partner?

Eligible education providers include community colleges, career colleges, Indigenous learning institutes, and school boards. There are 60 school boards in Ontario, and 26 school boards that currently that offer PSW certificate programs, primarily through Adult and Continuing Education departments.

There are a few PSW programs that are run through Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) programs in high schools using a separate model. SHSM programs are eligible to apply. For more information, contact Tammy Cantin at tcantin@cesba.com.

Can home care organizations apply?

Home care organizations are not eligible to apply for funding. However, home care organizations can still benefit from a Living Classroom in their community, as PSW graduates may work in home care settings.

Are programs that offer theory classes online eligible to apply?

Yes. Although the benefits of the Living Classroom model are best achieved through in-person delivery in a long-term care home, hybrid delivery models may be needed in some cases (for example, to reach rural and remote communities). The application form includes an opportunity to provide more details about the delivery elements of your PSW program, including hybrid options.

Is there currently a Living Classroom on any First Nations territory in Ontario?

No, we are not aware of any Living Classrooms in First Nations communities in Ontario. Indigenous learning institutes are encouraged to apply.

What if we have more than one academic partner?

While LTC homes often work with multiple academic partners to host placement students, a Living Classroom PSW program is typically delivered by a single academic partner within the host LTC home. Nonetheless, LTC applicants may choose to collaborate with more than one education provider within their Living Classroom. The application form invites you to identify one LTC home and one education provider, but there is also space to name additional partners and explain their roles. LTC homes with multiple locations may choose to work with a different academic partner at each site.

We are running a PN Program in our classroom as well as a PSW Program. Can we still apply if our classroom is used for PN students as well?

Yes, Living Classrooms can be multi-purpose. Applications will be accepted as long as the funding is applied to enhance the PSW program. Expenses that support only the PN program are not eligible.

We are in the process of building a new LTC home with a Living Classroom included. Can we apply?

Yes, LTC homes in development are eligible to apply. Please include details in the application about the status and timeline of the new development. Your proposed budget should also reflect the anticipated development timeline. Note that all funds must be spent by March 31, 2026.

We are running a NACC PSW program at a career college. We are looking to renovate to expand our program. Would we be able to apply for funding?

Career colleges are eligible to apply, but renovation costs are only eligible if they relate to the Living Classroom space within the LTC home. Please include as much detail as possible about your proposed expenses in your application.

Can a Living Classroom partner be French?

Yes, both English and French organizations are welcome to apply.

Funding & eligible costs

Are student tuition costs eligible?

No, tuition costs are not eligible. Please refer to the Ontario government’s PSW incentives program for alternative sources of funding for students. Also, students who started a district school board PSW program on or after April 1, 2023 will have their student fees waived or reimbursed.

Can we apply up to the $100,000 per site if we have more than one potential partner?

Yes. Each application for funding must relate to a single Living Classroom location. Organizations with more than one Living Classroom location may submit multiple applications.

How is the funding allocated and divided between partners?

Living Classroom applicants are invited to describe how they plan to allocate the funding and to submit a proposed budget.

The lead applicant (the organization that will receive and manage funding for the Living Classroom, including disseminating funding to the partner organization) is accountable for reporting on how the funds are spent and for ensuring that any required program evaluation activities are completed.

Does an organization qualify for a maximum total of $100,000 if they submit future applications?

Organizations may apply for grants of $30,000 (minimum) to $100,000 (maximum) for this current round of funding.

Funded organizations will be eligible to apply for future rounds of funding. Details about future funding and funding categories will be provided at a later date.

How does the funding flow? Is it up to $100,000 in a single installment?

The payment schedule will depend on the project timeline and activities. Funding may be paid in installments, based on deliverables. Details will be included in the Letter of Agreement.

Can the funding be used to pay the salaries of the practicum coordinators at the LTC homes?

Applicants are encouraged to utilize Ontario CLRI PREP LTC funding for practicum coordinators. The PREP LTC and Living Classroom programs are complementary. However, other related staffing costs for education partners and LTC are eligible. Please include details in your application.

Is there any opportunity for PN training?

The current funding opportunity is focused on PSW training only.

Would costs associated with bringing a portable on site for use as the classroom be covered?

Yes, costs related to Living Classroom education space are eligible. Please include details in your application.

We have an existing Living Classroom. Is this funding in addition to the funding that we already receive to run the program?

Existing Living Classroom programs that receive funding from other sources are eligible to apply. Applicants are encouraged to apply to the Living Classroom Fund to cover expenses that are not currently met by other sources of funding. In your application, please describe how the new funding will enhance your Living Classroom.

When submitting the budget, for example costs relating to a renovation, how precise of a cost must be included? Do you require a copy of a qualified contractor’s quotation?

Your proposed budget should include estimated costs within the eligible funding categories. Supporting documentation, such as copies of quotations, does not need to be submitted. Please see the budget template attached to the Application Guide.

Could providing transportation options to students be eligible under the 'other' funding category?

The “other” option has been included to allow applicants to identify additional cost categories that are essential to support your Living Classroom. These will be considered for approval during the application review process. Be sure to include an explanation of any such expenses in your application, including a description of the expense and a rationale for including it.

We currently pay for a recruiting service in order to find interested candidates for our Living Classroom. Would those recruiting service fees be eligible?

If expense is not listed in the Application Guide, please include the request and provide details in the application. These will be considered for approval during the application review process.

Will specific geographical areas be prioritized for funding? What is the current distribution of Living Classrooms?

Current Living Classroom locations can be found on the Living Classroom website.

A variety of factors will be considered when distributing and prioritizing funding, including areas of need (e.g., chronic shortages of PSWs).

Reporting

What are the reporting and financial accountability requirements for recipients? Do we have to submit receipts/proof of planned vs actual amounts spent?

See the Application Guide for more information about reporting requirements, which include regular narrative and financial reports, primarily for evaluation (rather than financial auditing) purposes. Submitting receipts is not required. Detailed requirements will be included in the Letter of Agreement.

PSW program requirements

Who can participate in the Living Classroom? Current PSW students? Or already graduated PSWs?

The Living Classroom program is intended to provide entry-to-practice training for PSW students. PSW graduates who are working in the LTC home may also benefit by being engaged as mentors and role models, for example.

How does the LC program differ from private career colleges offering NACC PSW programs with a LTC practicum? Does the career college follow the particular PSW program? Can NACC programs qualify?

The core PSW program delivered within a Living Classroom model must still meet the provincial requirements to grant a PSW certificate meeting MCU Vocational Outcomes. The added value of a Living Classroom program is the ability to enrich the PSW curriculum by integrating learning activities within the home. Integration includes, for example, inviting residents, family members and team members to be part of the education team. The enhanced opportunity for experiential learning is a key differentiator that makes the Living Classroom model distinct from a traditional PSW program. For more information about the Living Classroom model, please refer to the Implementation Guide.

Are we eligible to apply if we are teaching theory on location at the school and completing practicum hours in a LTC home?

No, this would not be a Living Classroom delivery model.

Are students still required to complete 300 practicum hours to graduate or does the LC on-site experience replace this requirement?

The students will still need to meet all competency requirements including their clinical hours.

The NACC PSW Program limits our ability to have students conduct any clinical prior to completing all the theory modules. Would the time in the LTC home be considered as only theory hours and not clinical hours?

The intent of the Living Classroom delivery is to integrate learning (theory and clinical) within the home. The education partner would need to ensure the student is completing both elements of the program.

What is the role of the clinical staff in the LTC home? Are they supposed to supplement college educators?

The Living Classroom model enables everyone in the LTC home, including clinical staff, residents, and families, to play an active role in the education program. Clinical staff are encouraged to provide preceptor support in collaboration with the education instruction staff. Both partner organizations should collaborate to explore how instructors and LTC team members can support each other.

Is employment with the LTC home guaranteed for students?

No, employment is not guaranteed. That decision remains with the LTC home.