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Essential services child care policy

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government document
Publication Date: 
26 Mar 2020


Regulated child care services supports 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. While Government is recommending where possible, a parent, guardian or caregiver stay home with their children, the importance and necessity of regulated child care services for essential workers, including Early Childhood Educators, in order for essential services to continue is a recognized reality. As such, the following policy has been developed 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.


1. Child care services are available to the following occupations only:
    a. Front-line health workers (e.g.,doctors, nurses);
    b. Firefighters;
    c. Paramedics;
    d. Police Officers;
    e. Correctional Officers;
    f. Early Childhood Educators working in Essential Services Child Care providing essential
       worker child care services; and,
    g. Other public servants required to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operational Requirements:

1. A child care service operating during the COVID-19 pandemic must operate in accordance with
the Child Care Act, Regulations and Child Care Policy and Standards plus the following restrictions:
          a. The child care service must:
                 i. Only provide care to children whose parent/guardian meets the eligibility
                 requirements of an Essential Worker described in this policy;
                 ii. Not operate outside legislated hours (between 6:30 am and 8:30 pm);
                iii. Operate within the age range for which it is licensed/approved;
                iv. Operate at half its total licensed capacity/approval; and,
                 v. Maximum of 30 persons (adults and children) per site.
           b. A homeroom within a child care centre must operate:
                 i. Within its licensed age range;
                ii. At no more than half its total capacity; and,
               iii. Not exceed 10 persons (adults and children).
           c. Where a home/homeroom is approved/licensed for younger and older school aged
               children, the maximum number of children and adults per home/homeroom is 10 people,                       regardless of the total capacity

See attached PDF for full guidelines and protocols