Member Update, June 9, 2020, 4:00PM

Ontario to Reopen Childcare Spaces

Today, the Ontario government announced its plan to reopen child care centres across the province to support the next stage of the province's reopening framework. Developed in consultation with Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and medical leaders at The Hospital for Sick Children, the plan will require child care operators to follow strict health protocols to ensure the safety of child care staff and children.

As the province continues to implement its Framework for Reopening the Province, 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;
  • 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.

Effectively immediately, staff can re-enter child care facilities and begin preparation for reopening. When these operators have met all the strict and stringent guidelines for reopening, they will be permitted to reopen.

Based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with strict health and safety protocols in place, the government is now enabling summer day camp programs across the province to reopen this summer.

Strict health and safety guidelines were developed by the Ministry of Health in partnership with public health, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and municipalities, and distributed to local public health teams earlier this month. At this time, overnight camps are not permitted to operate in the summer of 2020.

If you have questions about how childcare may impact you, don’t hesitate to reach out at member.support@onpha.org.