Access to childcare services

Since Monday, July 13, 2020, all childcare establishments in Québec have been allowed to deliver childcare services to 100% of the maximum number of children indicated on their permit. Home childcare providers (HCPs) can also once again deliver services to the regular number of children permitted under the recognition they have obtained.

Full measures are being taken to ensure the health and safety of children and personnel. Instructions concerning hygiene and prevention have been sent to childcare facilities.

Whenever possible, a distance of two metres must be kept between adults (that is, between educators themselves and between educators and parents) and between adults and children. However, this distance is not required between children in the same group, or between children and educators in the same group (maximum of 10 children). Measures must be taken to minimize contact between groups.

For tasks that require being less than two metres away from children or other adults for a cumulative time of more than 15 minutes a day, educators and all other staff members must wear a high-quality medical procedure mask and eye protection (protective glasses or a visor).

To ensure everyone’s health and safety, basic health rules such as respiratory hygiene (e.g. coughing into your elbow) and hand washing must always be respected.

Use of childcare services remains voluntary. Parents who do not want to send their child back to their childcare facility will nevertheless keep their space until September 1, 2020.

Parents who want to keep their child’s space are, however, asked to pay the usual parental contribution. This applies in both subsidized and non-subsidized childcare facilities.

Recommendations to parents

The Direction générale de la santé publique (DGSP) recommends that the following parents speak to their attending physician before deciding whether to send their preschool-age child to daycare:

  • Pregnant women;
  • Families that have someone aged 70 or older living with them;
  • Parents with a chronic illness or an immunodeficiency;
  • Parents whose children have a chronic illness or an immunodeficiency.

The parent is the only judge of the situation and may decide to use childcare services even if he or she has a risk factor that may lead to COVID-19-related complications. Thus, a childcare establishment cannot refuse to accept a child whose parent has one of the risk factors mentioned above.

The only reasons for which a director of a childcare facility may deny access to a child, apart from intake capacity, are if the child or a person he or she has been in contact with at home has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for the virus, or if the child has travelled outside Canada within the past 14 days.

If a person living in the child’s home is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test and has symptoms of the disease, the child must not be allowed into the childcare facility. If the test result comes back negative, the child may be allowed into the facility. If a person living in the child’s home is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test but has no symptoms, the child may be allowed into the facility.

If a child shows some of the symptoms described in the document Children and COVID-19 (PDF 250 Kb), it is recommended to keep the child at home and avoid contact with others. We suggest that you use the self-assessment tool at Quebec.ca/decisioncovid19 This hyperlink will open in a new window. or call 1-877-644-4545 and follow the instructions provided to find out if your child should be tested or can return to his or her childcare facility or school.

Parents and childcare services personnel can also refer to the steps to be taken in case of COVID-19 (PDF 570 Kb), the document Services de garde en installation : mesures de prévention de la COVID-19 en milieu de travail This hyperlink will open in a new window. (in French) and the Answers to questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Action plan in the event of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Because of their essential nature and our current state of knowledge, educational childcare services will remain open in the event of a second wave, and all safety measures will continue to be taken and strictly followed. These measures could be tightened if the situation requires it.

An action plan (PDF 2.99 Mb) has been developed and will be implemented if a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic requires the government to apply new public health measures. The government is considering using a targeted approach, by region and/or sector of activity, to orchestrate a new lockdown period should it become necessary. The objective will be to take every action to, first of all, ensure the development, health and safety of children and families, and, second, to enable parents to keep working.

This series of measures will allow us to handle most of the scenarios for another wave of the virus. Should the public health situation be more serious than the one we experienced in the spring, special measures will be implemented. The proposed measures will be deployed in close collaboration with the DGSP and will be based on considerations that make the well-being of users (families and children) and employees central in decision-making.

It should also be noted that a coordination procedure will be set up with establishments in the health and social services network in order to act quickly in the event of an outbreak at an educational childcare facility.

New registrations

Registration of new children for childcare services must be done as usual through the single-window access to recognized childcare services at La Place 0-5 This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Can you help?

Workers are urgently needed to fill a number of positions. Anyone wishing to lend a hand to the educational childcare services network is invited to consult the Jetravaille! A simple and free job offer service within the context of COVID-19 page.