Licensed childcare centres across Ontario will re-open to full capacity starting Sept. 1.
According to a media release, the decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the COVID-19 Command Table.
“As a result, parents will be able to return to work knowing their children are in a safe and supportive care setting,” reads a media release from the Province.
EarlyON Child and Family Centres will also be permitted to reopen with in-person programming along with before- and after-school programs for school-aged children which will be permitted to operate with standard ratios and maximum group size requirements.
“Our government is gradually and safely supporting child care expansion to ensure moms and dads across the province can return to work with confidence,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce.
“We will continue to ensure strict health and safety protocols remain in place, to keep our youngest learners safe.”
The enhanced health and safety procedures that were put in place as part of re-opening plan, will remain in place, and in some instances strengthened, to protect children, staff and families, including:
– Requiring all childcare staff to wear masks at all times, effective September 1;
– Ensuring frequent cleaning of childcare centres;
– Screening of children and staff before entering a childcare facility;
– Maintaining attendance records for rigorous contact tracing and coordination with local public health authorities;
– Ensuring frequent hand washing and proper hand hygiene for children and staff; and
– Establishing clear and rigid case management protocols in the event a staff member or child becomes ill, or tests positive for COVID-19.
“Our commitment to the health and safety of the children and staff, will never waver,” Lecce said.
“Childcare and early years programs will operate with additional health and safety procedures in place upon fully reopening. And rest assured, if at any time the health and safety of the children is jeopardized, we will take action immediately.”