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Child care and COVID-19: Information on the situation in Canada

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News and information related to ECEC and COVID-19 in Canada
Publication Date: 
2 Apr 2020
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Updated: 04/01/2020

Introduction

As we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that good information is available. We here at the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) have developed as comprehensive an information source as we can regarding COVID-19 and child care in Canada.  It includes:

  • A table on the status of child care in Canada in the COVID crisis – Provinces/territories
  • Community and expert responses
  • Information about emergency child care for essential workers
  • Relevant research and policy analysis
  • Health and safety guidelines/ protocols
  • Information from outside our borders, primarily the EU

News articles organized by P/T and outside Canada

These are all being updated regularly

This page can serve as a central location for families, care providers, educators, service providers and the public to access relevant and pertinent information. As the information is changing very fast, we will be updating this page with relevant information as it becomes available; we’re trying for every other day.

Thanks to all who have provided information for this. Please get in touch with us if you have content to add or any questions - contactus@childcarecanada.org.

We at the Childcare Resource and Research Unit, together with other child care researchers and organizations are calling on Canadian governments to collaborate to support families, children, the child care workforce, and child care service providers with the aim of:

  1. Closing all licensed child care for regular (non-essential parent-workers) use until social distancing is no longer necessary;
  2. Ensuring the availability of free age-appropriate child care services for children 0-12 years during the closure period for those parents required to work in essential services (grocery employees, postal workers, corrections facilities, emergency services, child care providers, nurses, doctors, etc.).  These services will make use of existing licensed child care to ensure the necessary infrastructure is available and incorporate all possible protocols and measures to ensure maximum health and safety of children, educators, parents and the community;
  3.  Continuing to pay all child care staff (educators, cooks, directors, supervisors, providers) as if they were still working;
  4. Ensuring parent fees are suspended during closures;
  5. Maintaining all government funding to service providers during closures and provide additional funding to compensate for the loss of income from parent fees and/or parent subsidies.

Note that this has been updated from a previous version following community input.

A table on the status of child care in Canada and the COVID crisis – Provinces/territories

The information in this provincial/territorial table has been gathered using government information, media sources and individuals in the field. We have made every attempt to make it as correct and up-to-date as possible; we will be updating it on a regular basis as long as necessary. Thanks to Don Giesbrecht (Canadian Child Care Federation) for sharing information with us. Updated April 1st, 2020.

Emergency child care for essential workers

COVID-19: Emergency daycare services
Government of Quebec, 31 March 2020

COVID-19: Child care for health care and frontline staff
Government of Ontario, 31 March 2020

COVID-19 Guidance: Emergency childcare centres
Government of Ontario, 29 March 2020

COVID-19: List of workers eligible for emergency child care
City of Toronto, 28 March 2020

COVID-19: Child care for essential workers 
City of Toronto, 28 March 2020

COVID-19: Provincial government permitting regulated child care services for essential workers
Government of Newfoundland, 25 March 2020

COVID-19: AB: Child care for core service worker
Government of Alberta, 22 March 2020

COVID-19: ON: Ontario to open select child care centres across the province
Government of Ontario, 22 March 2020

COVID-19: ON: List of workers eligible for emergency child care
Government of Ontario, 22 March 2020

COVID-19: City of Toronto to open child care for essential and critical service workers
City of Toronto, 22 March 2020

COVID-19: BC: Province supports child care providers during COVID-19 response
Government of British Columbia, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: Manitoba implementing $27.6-million plan to support child care for essential workers
Government of Manitoba, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: Child care options for health workers and other pandemic response worker
Government of Saskatchewan, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: UK: Parents with these jobs can continue to send their children to school
SkyNews, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: Emergency school based daycare services
Government of Quebec, 17 March 2020

COVID-19: NB: COVID-19: Essential service workers can still obtain child care services
Government of New Brunswick, 16 March 2020

Relevant research and policy analysis

Why WHO needs a feminist economic agenda
The Lancet, 28 March 2020

The coronavirus is a disaster for feminism 
The Atlantic, 27 Mach 2020

COVID-19 crisis shows us childcare is always an essential service
Policy Options, 24 March 2020

WORLD: Epidemiology of COVID-19 among Children in China
Pediatrics, 1 March 2020

COVID-19: Pandemic punctures child-care illusion
Winnipeg Free Press, 25 March 2020

COVID-19 resources: State child care actions in response to COVID-19
The Hunt Institute, Ongoing updates

COVID-19: Child care and COVID-19: The top five actions Congress must take now
The Century Foundation, 27 March 2020

COVID-19 crisis response must address gender faultlines
Behind the Number, 20 March 2020

Health and safety guidelines/ protocols

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Manitoba early learning and child care practice guidance
Government of Manitoba, 27 March 2020

Ideas and practices suggested by childcare services as part of their pandemic service continuity plans
Government of Quebec, 2007

COVID-19: Protocol for emergency child care plan during COVID-19 pandemic
Compass ELC, 28 March 2020

L'association québécoise des CPE: Les Informations à jour
Association québécoise des CPE, 23 March 2020

Community and expert responses

In light of recent announcements related to the status of child care in Candian provinces, there have been a number of community responses to provincial action(s). Below, you will find statements, campaigns, and letters from community and sector stakeholders to government officials as a call to action and in response to their announcements. This section will be updated as more information becomes available. 

UPDATE! Ontario Child Care Closures due to COVID-19
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, 31 March 2020

COVID-19: Response to BC financial incentives for COVID-19
Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC - $10 a Day Campaign, 25 March 2020

Child-care federation calls on provinces to take unified approach during outbreak
CBC News, 26 March 2020

Even as their role in fighting COVID-19 has become clear, child care workers remain an afterthought 
The Star, 26 March 2020

Child care and COVID-19
Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC - $10 a Day, 20 March 2020

Child care in Manitoba must remain public after COVID-19
CUPE, 20 March 2020

Letter of to Premier, Ministers of Health, Education and Finance amidst COVID-19
Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association, 19 March 2020

An emergency plan for Ontario child care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, 17 March 2020

Open letter to Canada’s Premiers - Early learning and Child care planning COVID-19
Canadian Child Care Federation, 16 March 2020

Campaign: Temporarily close child care programs in Ontario due to COVID-19
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, 15 March 2020

Statement on COVID-19
Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, 13 March 2020

MPP Doly Begum: Ensuring child care is not left behind in Ontario’s response to COVID-19
Doly Begum, 15 March 2020

COVID-19 statement to B.C Minister of Health
Early Childhood Educators of BC, 17 March 2020

Position statement on COVID-19
Manitoba Child Care Association, 16 March 2020

Response to lack of COVID-19 public health directive on child care
Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC, 18 March 2020

Applying for financial support (EI): Information for child care and early years' workers relating to COVID-19
Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario, 19 March 2020

Information from outside our borders

The following information is intended to provide individuals with an understanding of how child care and COVID-19 are being handled in a selection of European countries.  At this point, there is no source of consolidated information on this issue. We will be updating this link as more information is available

Child care and the Coronavirus - Solutions beyond our borders

News articles organized by P/T and outside Canada

Canada

Some licensed child-care centres won't survive COVID-19 closures, industry warns
CBC News, 31 March 2020

5 ways to help children cope during a pandemic
Ryerson University, 30 March 2020

COVID-19: Justin Trudeau unveils funding for families, small businesses amid coronavirus uncertainty
Global News, 18 March 2020

COVID-19: Canada’s medical workers scramble to find child care amid COVID-19 outbreak
Globe and Mail, 16 March 2020

Newfoundland

COVID-19: Free child care for essential workers: here's how you can apply
CBC News, 26 March 2020

COVID-19: Minister Warr provides update of child care services 
Government of Newfoundland, 18 March 2020

COVID-19: What parents paying for child care in N.L. need to know
CBC News, 24 March 2020

COVID-19: NL: Minister Warr announces financial supports for child care sector
Government of Newfoundland, 22 March 2020

COVID-19: NL: Daycare compensation package coming for parents still paying child care fees
VOCM Local News, 22 March 2020

COVID-19: 'Now is the time': N.L. to close all schools, regulated child-care centres to curb spread of COVID-19
CBC News, 16 March 2020

Nova Scotia

COVID-19: Order by the medical officer of health under - Section 13
Government of Nova Scotia, 24 March 2020

COVID-19: What parents need to know about school and daycare closures in Nova Scotia
CBC News, 16 March 2020

New Brunswick

COVID-19: NB: Essential workers lose emergency daycare, despite COVID-19 plan
CBC News, 23 March 2020 

COVID-19: Association head says it's up to individual daycares to decide whether to charge fees
CBC News, 19 March 2020

COVID-19: N.B. chief medical officer recommending closure of childcare centers
Global News, 16 March 2020

COVID-19: N.B. parents preparing to deal with coronavirus-related daycare closures
Global News, 16 March 2020

COVID-19: New Brunswick: Health Department urges daycares to close
CBC News, 16 March 2020

P.E.I

COVID-19: New educational and financial supports for Islanders
Government of PEI, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: Amid COVID-19 concerns, P.E.I. daycare closures cause uncertainty for workers, parents
CBC News, 16 March 2020

Schools and child-care centres close in light of COVID-19 on P.E.I.
CBC News, 15 March 2020

Quebec

Quebec’s emergency day care workers call for COVID-19 pay increase
CTV News, 31 March 2020

COVID-19: These EMSB daycares will stay open for parents in essential services
CTV News, 16 March 2020 

COVID-19: Quebec to offer free emergency daycare for healthcare workers
CTV News, 15 March 2020

COVID-19: Quebec to close all schools, daycares for at least two weeks in bid to contain coronavirus
Globe and Mail, 14 March 2020

Ontario

Ontario extends school and child care closure to fight spread of COVID-19 
Government of Ontario, 31 March 2020

Emergency child care centres open in Toronto today
CP24, 31 March 2020

Emergency child care opens for Durham’s health-care and front-line workers
Durham Region, 30 March 2020

COVID-19: Toronto opens 4 emergency child care centres for essential workers
CityNews, 28 March 2020

COVID-19: Toronto opening four daycares for young children of ‘essential and critical’ workers 
The Star, 28 March 2020

COVID-19: Free child care for health-care workers to start Monday in Peterborough
The Peterborough Examiner, 27 March 2020

COVID-19: Cash-strapped parents call for child-care rebates amid COVID-19 closures
The Star, 18 March 2020

COVID-19: City offers free child care for essential front-line workers during crisis 
The Hamilton Spectator, 26 March 2020

COVID-19: Emergency daycare to open in Ontario, but not for federal workers
CBC News, 25 March 2020

COVID-19: Toronto planning free, 24-7 emergency child care for essential workers
The Star, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: Toronto to offer free, 24-7 childcare for essential workers after Ontario gives go-ahead
CTV News, 22 March 2020

COVID-19: Some empty daycare centres continue to charge parents amid COVID-19 closure
CTV news, 17 March 2020

COVID-19 policies create child-care crunch for essential workers
The Star, 16 March 2020

COVID-19: What about our kids? Thousands of parents, daycare operators want all sites shut down
The Toronto Star, 15 March 2020

COVID-19: Hundreds of GTA childcare centres to close amid efforts to curb panic
CP24, 14 March 2020

Manitoba

COVID-19: ‘A tough spot’: Parents hit by coronavirus downturn struggle to pay for daycare, but don’t want to lose spaces
CBC News, 31 March 2020

COVID-19: 77 Manitoba daycares open, but mixed messages lead to ‘chaos, confusion’: providers
Global News, 24 March 2020

COVID-19: N.B. working to get children of essential services workers in daycare during state of emergency
CBC News, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: Manitoba health-care workers want action on child-care promise
CBCB News, 19 March 2020

COVID-19: Compassion required in child-care crunch
Winnipeg Free Press, 19 March 2020

COVID-19: Manitoba government working on plan for childcare during pandemic
Global News, 17 March 2020

COVID-19: Daycares, preschools to close after Friday in response to coronavirus, Manitoba premier says
CBC News, 17 March 2020

COVID-19: Manitoba daycare workers ‘treated like garbage’ say early childhood educators
Global News, 15 March 2020

Saskatchewan

COVID-19: 'My job is giving hugs': Daycare concerns include safety, funding, future
CBC News, 27 March 2020

COVID-19: Sask. school daycares remain open for children of health care, essential service workers
Saskatoon StarPhoenix, 21 March 2020

COVID-19: Coronavirus: Childcare options for essential workers in Saskatchewan
Global News, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: Sask, NDP calls for blanket child care closures, support for parents amid COVID-19 pandemic
CTV News, 19 March 2020

COVID-19: Licensed daycares in Saskatchewan still open amid novel coronavirus pandemic
Global News, 17 March 2020

COVID-19: Saskatchewan: Province announces class suspensions effective March 20, wind down period until Thursday
Government of Saskatchewan, 16 March 2020

Alberta

COVID-19: Alberta NDP calls for immediate child care support
Edmonton Journal - Youtube, 26 March 2020

COVID-19: Daycare spaces reopen for children of Alberta's essential workers
CBC News, 26 March 2020

COVID-19: Alberta government to reopen 15,000 childcare spaces for core service workers
Chat News Today, 22 March 2020

COVID-19: Alberta to reopen selected daycares to assist health care workers
CTV News, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: Alberta has 195 COVID-19 cases; some child care centres to reopen for essential service workers
Global News, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: Parents urged to use caution in sudden search for child care, online support groups grow
Calgary Herald, 18 March 2020

COVID-19: Alberta cancels all school classes, closes licensed daycares
Edmonton Journal, 16 March 2020

COVID-19: Alberta cancels K-12 classes, closes child-care centres due to COVID-19 pandemic
CBC News, 15 March 2020

British Columbia

COVID-19: Temporary emergency funding guidelines
Government of BC, 26 March 2020

COVID-19: Vancouver offers emergency childcare referrals to essential COVID-19 workers
Global News, 27 March 2020

COVID-19: Operational requirements unsuitable should daycare open for essential workers: Operators
VOCM, 27 March 2020

COVID-19: Newsletter - Child care and COVID-19
First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition, 26 March 2020

COVID-19: In-home child-care providers face tough decisions despite government aid
Vancouver Sun, 26 March 2020

COVID-19: Okanagan (B.C) daycare supporting essential service providers amid COVID-19 
Salmon Arm Observer, 21 March 2020

COVID-19: BC: Child care gets a boost to help support essential service workers during coronavirus crisis
Global News, 21 March 2020

COVID-19 shut down B.C. schools — so why are daycares still open?
CBC News, 19 March 2020

COVID-19: Opinion: It's 'unethical' to keep B.C. child care facilities open during the COVID-19 pandemic
Kamloops Matters, 19 March 2020

BC: Child-care providers raise coronavirus concerns in letter to B.C. premier
Global News, 18 March 2020

B.C. daycares to stay open, but situation could change quickly: Horgan
Global News, 17 March 2020

B.C. physicians concerned over lack of childcare options amid COVID-19 emergency
CBC News, 17 March 2020

COVID-19: Preschools and daycares need guidance, financial help during pandemic say, operators
Prince George Citizen, 16 March 2020

Northwest Territories

COVID-19: Information for schools and licensed early child child programs 
Government NWT, 18 March 2020 

Nunavut

COVID-19: Information for schools and licensed early child care programs
Government Northwest Territories, 25 March 2020

COVID-19: Many NWT daycares and day homes stay open in a time of childcare crisis
Cabin Radio, 24 March 2020

COVID-19: All Nunavut schools and daycares to close for three weeks
CBC News, 16 March 2020

Yukon

COVID-19: Updated: Public health emergency declared in Yukon over COVID-19
Yukon News, 18 March 2020

International news

A gender lens for COVID-19
Project Syndicate, 27 March 2020

State: Free childcare to all essential workers in Colorado through May 17
KRDO, 30 March 2020

COVID-19: To save child care sector during crisis, Vermont promises to cover tuition
VT Digger, 27 March 2020

Coronavirus: Creches will not ask parents for fees after deal with State
The Irish Times, 24 March 2020

COVID-19: ECEC needs urgent and tough COVID-19 rules, Union says, releasing plan
The Sector, 26 March 2020

COVID-19: United Workers Union ECEC rules to stop spread of COVID-19
United Workers Union & Big Steps Campaign, 25 March 2020

COVID-19: The coronavirus puts child care sector in need of a bailout
Boston Globe, 24 March 2020

COVID-19: Opinion: Child cares - and parents of young children - need a bailout
Romper, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: The U.S. Coronavirus response must meet health workers’ child care needs
Center for American Progress, 24 March 2020

COVID-19: Babies don’t do social distancing
The Hill, 20 March 2020

WORLD: COVID-19: Coronavirus looks different in kids than in adults
Washington Post, 17 March 2020

COVID-19: Australia: Medical certificate needed for childcare subsidy if children kept home
The Guardian, 19 March 2020

COVID-19: Scramble for childcare in Madrid as schools closed over coronoavirus
The Guardian, 11 March 2020

COVID-19: UK: Parents with these jobs can continue to send their children to school
SkyNews, 20 March 2020 

COVID-19: UK: Nurseries will close without more support during coronavirus
The Guardian, 20 March 2020

COVID-19: UK: All schools to close from Friday; GCSE and A-level exams cancelled – UK Covid-19, as it happened
The Guardian, 18 March 2020

COVID-19: For parents, a battle to find day care while so much closes amid coronavirus fears
The Washington Post, 13 March 2020

‘What’s the right thing to do?’ Coronavirus forces families to make painful child care decisions
The Time, 17 March 2020

Coronavirus: How does it impact child care providers and CCR&R?
Child Care Aware of America, 28 February 2020

Being a childcare worker has always meant living on the frontlines
Jezebel, 17 March 2020

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