The more than 300 child care centres in Toronto District School Board buildings will be allowed to reopen as of July 2.
The Ford government gave child care centres the green light to reopen as of June 12 but many have said that they need more time in order to comply with new guidelines, including a 10-person cap on the number of people permitted in any defined space.
In a statement provided to CP24 on Friday, the Toronto District School Board said that it will allow centres within its schools to reopen on July 2 “provided they have authorization from the Ministry of Education.”
The board, however, says that it will still be up to each child care centre to determine when they want to reopen.
“One of the things that we have been looking at ever since the ministry did announce that they (child care centres) would be able to reopen is what does that look like?” TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird told CP24 on Thursday afternoon in explaining the delay. “What do our child care centres need to open? Do they need an extra classroom or two so that they have the space they need to reopen? What about the cleaning? TDSB caretakers look after the cleaning in daycares in our schools so do we need extra caretakers and do those hours have to be adjusted?"
Bird said that it has been a “complex process” to get to the point that child care centres within schools could reopen but that the board is "really, really happy" to finally be here.
He said that while “there may be” some centres that will be “ready to go” on July 2nd, there may be others that “choose to wait until September.”
He said that there are also some unresolved questions about how the board might accommodate centres that are in need of more space once in-person classes resume in the fall.
“For example, if a child care centre needs an extra room or two for the summer if it is at school that is already full for September will that be allowed to continue? We may need the space for our students so that is something we are taken into consideration right now,” he said.
The announcement from the TDSB comes one day after the City of Toronto confirmed that 11 of its 47 child care centres will reopen on Monday with most of the remaining centres reopening over the course of the summer.