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Regulated child care services support economic stability on both a community and provincial level including assisting with gender equality, poverty reduction and enabling parents of young children to participate in the labour market.
There has been much work done to determine how we can provide child care in a safe environment for essential workers and other workers as businesses begin opening up in keeping with the advice of our public health officials.
The importance and necessity of regulated child care services for essential workers, and for workers in businesses reopening under NL Life with COVID-19 (the Provincial plan), is a recognized reality. As such, the following policy has been updated in consultation with Public Health and the Chief Medical Officer of Health for regulated child care centres and regulated family homes that operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic is evolving rapidly, as such this policy is subject to change based on the advice of Public Health and the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Changes made are documented in the table above.
Eligibility to Avail of Regulated Child Care Services During COVID-19 Restrictions:
- Essential Workers: Eligibility to use a regulated child care service is via the online application process to EECD. Where an approved application identifies a child who requires child care outside their home, staff of Early Learning and Child Development Division (EECD) will contact regulated child care services to determine availability of service.
- Where a family has indicated that their child attended a regulated child care service on their application form, that child care service will be the first contact for our staff. Every effort will be made to match children with services that they already attended prior to the COVID-19 closures.
- At Alert Level 4, regulated child care services may provide services to either:
- children who have had essential service approval through the online application process and who have been connected to the child care service through the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (see (1) above); or,
- children of current clients who were working or are going back to work in businesses open under Alert Levels 5 or 4 of NL Life with COVID-19 (the Provincial plan).
- the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will not be assigning children to services under this eligibility.