HALIFAX -- New Brunswick has tweaked the federally funded essential worker wage top-up program to include private-sector home-care support workers and early learning and childcare enhanced support workers.

"This program sets out to help frontline workers who are providing personal care to our vulnerable population," Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder said in a news release. "These workers are vital to our COVID-19 recovery and I thank them for their contributions."

The government says that private-sector home-care support workers who provided direct, in-home personal care to clients of the Department of Social Development during the period from March 19 to July 9 will be eligible to receive the benefit.

The amount depends on the number of hours provided to the client during the specified period.

"The benefit will be distributed through the client who received the service to the private sector home care or family support worker," the province said in the release.

"Enhanced support workers working in early learning and childcare centres will receive monthly payments over 16 weeks of $500 a month and the first and last payments will be split to align with existing payment schedules," the release said.

The payment is retroactive to May 19 and will continue for 16 weeks.

More information about the updated wage top-up is available online.