Learn how Ontario will keep children, parents and staff safe as programs reopen
EarlyON Child and Family Centres will remain closed to allow for planning that ensures the health and safety of children, families and staff upon reopening.
As part of the enhanced health and safety measures for reopening, licensees are required to:
Before they reopen, all child care centres, before and after school programs, and EarlyON Child and Family Centres, and First Nation Child and Family Programs must:
Review our Child Care Manual (Fifth Edition) for requirements that must be met in child care facilities to ensure the individuals who use them stay safe and healthy.
For more information, call the Info-Line at 905-688-8248 or toll-free at 1-888-505-6074, press 7, then:
For questions about child care and financial assistance, connect with a Children's Services staff member.
After completing the Health Screening Checklist, individuals that show any COVID-19 symptom(s), even if symptom(s) resemble a mild cold, won't be accepted into the child care centre.
When symptom(s) are present, individuals have the following options:
Failed screens, absences, and every serious occurrence report don't need to be reported to Niagara Region Public Health.
This policy overrides the Operational Guidance During Covid-19 Outbreak Child Care Reopening Guidelines for reporting suspect cases.
Call Niagara Region Public Health to report confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Call Niagara Region Public Health to report suspect cases proactively (before test results are back) if staff or children are symptomatic (have symptoms) AND they have had exposure.
An exposure is:
Don't report staff or children who are symptomatic and going for testing without any known exposure even if a serious occurrence report is completed.
Call Public Health when you suspect an outbreak. As per the Child Care Manual, an outbreak may be in effect when there are two or more children or staff, who are connected in the same child care setting, with similar signs and symptoms that:
In addition to a failed screen, exclusion from child care applies to those who:
Individuals aren't permitted to return to the child care setting until one of the following criteria is met:
Negative COVID-19 test results
Individuals who receive a negative test result must not enter a child care centre until 24 hours after symptoms resolve.
Positive test results
Individuals who receive a positive test must not enter a child care centre until the 14-day isolation criteria, as directed by Public Health has been completed, fever has gone away, and the individual has been consistently improving over the previous 72 hours.
Any child or staff who develop symptoms of COVID-19:
If a decision is made for testing, all siblings and family members are to remain home. If an alternate diagnosis is obtained, the child with no symptoms can stay in school.
These procedures also apply to home child care providers and / or any residents of the home, and will result in temporary closure. For example, a spouse of a home child care provider that has symptoms.
Individuals returning to the child care centre or home child care program with a negative COVID-19 result or health care provider note from a previous day doesn't exempt them from completing the entire screening tool successfully on the day of return to the program and every day after that.
A single, symptomatic (person with symptoms), laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff member, home child care provider or child, may be considered a COVID-19 outbreak. Public Health will provide direction and support.
Individuals who have no symptoms, went for testing, have no exposure, are awaiting results, and haven't been told by Niagara Region Public Health to isolate, don't need to be excluded from child care.
Refer to the Province of Ontario to review COVID-19 cases in schools and child care centres. This page is updated every weekday at 10:30 a.m. by the Province with the most up-to-date COVID-19 information available, including a summary of cases in schools and licensed child care centres and agencies.
Regulatory changes to O. Reg. 137/15 have been made under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, including serious occurrence reporting of confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.
Don't notify Public Health for every serious occurrence report unless it meets the criteria under 'When to contact Public Health'.
A serious occurrence report must be submitted under the category suspected / confirmed case of COVID-19 when one of the following individuals has a confirmed case of COVID-19 OR a suspected case involving the individual showing one or more symptoms AND the individual has been tested, or has indicated that they will be tested for COVID-19
When a serious occurrence is reported for a suspected case (as defined above) and the individual's test results are positive, licensees must update the original serious occurrence report submitted and add this information.
If a second individual develops a suspected or confirmed case, and there is still an open serious occurrence report, licensees must update the existing / open serious occurrence report to add this information. A new serious occurrence isn't required when there's an existing report.
However, where a second individual develops a suspected or confirmed case and there isn't an open serious occurrence report under this category, the licensee must submit a new report.
Should the entire child care centre, part of the child care, such as a program room, or a home child care provider's home close due to a "confirmed or suspected case", a separate serious occurrence for an unplanned disruption of service isn't required. Licensees must include this information in the serious occurrence report and / or update the serious occurrence report when the closure occurs.