Access to a childcare facility
A child can be refused access to a childcare facility for one of the following reasons:
- The child has COVID-19 symptoms (PDF 275 Kb) before or upon arriving at the facility
- The child (or someone in the child’s home) has received a COVID-19 diagnosis
- The child is awaiting a COVID-19 test result
- Someone in the child’s home is awaiting a COVID-19 test result
- The child travelled outside Canada within the previous 14 days
A child who has had COVID-19 in the last six months is considered protected. The child must not be excluded from the childcare facility if he or she has been in close contact with a COVID-19 case.
A childcare facility cannot refuse access to a child whose parent decides to use a childcare service even if there is a risk factor liable to lead to COVID-19-related complications involving:
- Pregnant women
- A family unit of which a person age 70 or over is part
- Parents who suffer from chronic diseases or have an immune deficiency
- Parents whose children suffer from chronic diseases or an immune deficiency
There are no emergency childcare services for children of essential workers. They can take advantage of their place in their regular childcare facility or can take a place temporarily vacated in a childcare facility.
Guidelines in the event of an outbreak in a childcare facility
If a child in a group gets a positive result or if a number of cases are diagnosed in the educational childcare facility, the public health authorities will give detailed instructions to the facility. The authorities will make the needed recommendations and indicate whether a group or a childcare facility must be shut down.
Childcare facilities are responsible for keeping parents and staff informed. Persons considered at moderate or high risk by the regional public health authorities will be removed from the childcare setting and tested.
Childcare service fee details
If a childcare centre must shut down due to an outbreak at the facility, parents must pay for the first day of closure, as stipulated in their service agreement. See clause 6 of the service agreement model (PDF 500 Kb). Use of this agreement model is optional for home childcare providers
No compensation is provided if a parent must leave work owing to the shutting down of his or her child’s childcare facility.
Instructions for parents
A child who has one or more COVID-19 symptoms (PDF 275 Kb), must remain at home and avoid contact with other people. The parent is required to pay the parental contribution despite the child’s absence.
The parent must wait 24 hours to assess development of the symptoms. After this 24‑hour observation period, the parent can use the assessment tool or call 1 877 644-4545 and follow the guidelines to know whether the child must be tested or can return to the childcare facility.
If the child needs to be tested, all the people living in the same home must also self-isolate, even if they do not have any symptoms, at least until the test results have been obtained, and then follow the instructions that will be given to them.
Learn more about childhood vaccination.
Instructions for childcare facilities
Childcare facilities must follow these hygiene instructions:
- Distance of 2 metres between adults (between the educators themselves and between the educators and parents) and between adults and the children
- No distancing measures for children of the same group or for children and educators of the same group (maximum of 10 children)
- For tasks where it is necessary to be less than 2 metres from the children or other adults for more than 15 cumulative minutes per day, the educator or any other staff member must wear a medical procedure mask and eye protection (protective glasses or a visor)
- The mechanical ventilation system must be operating when possible or the windows must be open for at least 15 minutes three times a day (ideally in the morning, at noon and at end of day)
The basic health instructions for everyone must be followed at all times.
Instructions for when an educator has COVID-19 symptoms
If, before or upon arriving at the childcare facility, an educator or other staff member has COVID-19-related symptoms, this person must not be admitted to the facility. She or he must use the assessment tool or dial 1 877 644-4545 and follow the guidelines to know whether she or her must be tested or else can return to the childcare facility.
For the measures to be taken by childcare facilities if someone (educator or other staff member) has COVID-19 symptoms, please consult the following documents:
- Childcare facilities: COVID-19 preventive measures in the workplace (available in French only)
- Workplace health standards guide for childcare facilities – COVID-19 (available in French only)
Instructions for when a child has COVID-19 symptoms
If the child has one or more of the COVID-19 symptoms when already at the childcare facility, the educator or person responsible must separate the child from the other children in a room intended for this purpose until the parent can come to pick up the child.
For more information, kindly follow the procedure to follow in the event of COVID-19 in an educational childcare facility (PDF 617 Kb).
Recommendations for access to the childcare facility by parents and other adults
To ensure everyone’s health and safety, it is recommended that the entry of parents and other adults who drop off and pick up children be limited. For example:
- Whenever possible, take charge of the children at the entrance, notably by using a telephone system when the parents (or other adults) drop the child off in the morning and pick him or her up in the afternoon.
- Limit parents’ (and other adults’) access to certain rooms.
- Limit the number of parents/siblings inside the childcare facility at the same time according to the available physical space.
- Ask any adults who enter the facility to respect the distancing rule of 2 metres between themselves and others (both adults and children) at all times.
- Where possible, limit to 10 minutes the time that parents are in the cloakrooms.
- Provide a sign-posted path promoting distancing while moving around, one way if possible, and markings in the floor.
- Ensure that parents and visitors wear a medical (procedure) mask or face covering at all times.
Finding work in a childcare facility
Many urgent workforce needs in the educational childcare services network must currently be met. Although many positions to be filled require early childhood training, some require no specific training. Persons wishing to contribute are invited to apply for one of the various positions offered by consulting the Jetravaille! A simple and free job offer service within the context of COVID-19 page.
Last update: October 25, 2021