Child Care ReopeningPublished on June 09, 2020
The government announced its plan to reopen child care centres across the province to support the next stage of the province's reopening framework. The plan was developed in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and medical experts.
It will require child care operators to follow strict health protocols to ensure the safety of child care staff and children. Child care centres and home care providers across Ontario will be able to reopen with strict safety and operational requirements in place, similar to the safety guidelines required for emergency child care centres. Centres will be required to adopt specific rules, including:
- Cohorting ― putting children and staff in groups of 10 or less day over day;
- Establishing a COVID-19 response plan ― all child care settings will be required to have a plan in place if a child, parent or staff member/provider is exposed to COVID-19;
- Screening ― all staff and children must be screened prior to entry to the child care setting. Anyone feeling unwell must stay home;
- Daily attendance records ― child care settings must keep daily records of all attendees in order to support contact tracing;
- Cleaning ― child care settings must be thoroughly cleaned before opening and frequently thereafter;
- No visitors ― only essential visitors are permitted entry into the child care setting;
- Implementing drop-off and pick-up protocols in a way that facilitates physical distancing.
The government understands the integral role child care plays in the restart of Ontario’s economy, especially when it comes to enabling parents to return to work. But parents must have confidence in the child care system at this very difficult time. By imposing specific public health requirements, the government is signaling a firm commitment to keeping children, staff, and families safe.
Some parents may decide to not use their existing child care operator. The government is protecting those parents and their pocketbooks, by ensuring that they will not lose their spot, or be charged during this period.
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