COVID-19 and Independent Home Daycare
Updated: May 21 2020 5:30 PM
UPDATE MAY 21 2020:
Emergency Orders (including Child Care Fees) have now been extended to May 29th 2020: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/ontario-extends-emergency-orders-to-keep-people-safe.html
Ontario Extends School Closures–Schools remain closed for the rest of the school year: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/health-and-safety-top-priority-as-schools-remain-closed.html
UPDATE MAY 11 2020:
Emergency Orders (including Child Care Fees) have now been extended to May 19th 2020: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/ontario-extends-electricity-rate-relief-during-covid-19.html
The specific Emergency Order for Child Care Fees was amended on May 8th to include the following:
No penalty, withdrawal
3. A child care provider, within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, who is authorized to provide child care during the declared emergency and whose premises are open during the declared emergency shall not penalize any person who withdraws their child from the provider’s care while they are open during the emergency period.
UPDATE APRIL 27 2020:
Memo to CCPRN from the Ministry of Education re Parent Fees: https://ccprn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Memo-to-CCPRN.pdf
Ontario Extends School Closures: https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2020/04/school-closures-extended-to-keep-students-staff-and-families-safe.html
UPDATE APRIL 15 2020:
Province of Ontario extends State of Emergency:
Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act including new regulations and emergency orders:
Ottawa Public Health guidelines for child care centres supporting essential workers. Although geared towards centre-based care, many best practices can be adopted and/or amended for home-based care.
UPDATE APRIL 3 2020:
Information for independent home child care providers from Ottawa Public Health.
An interview this morning with two home child care providers answering if they are open or closed, how they made their decision, and more.
UPDATE MARCH 25 2020:
March 25, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada
Government introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers and businesses
To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
UPDATE MARCH 23 2020:
“Premier Doug Ford is ordering the mandatory closure of all “non-essential workplaces” effective Tuesday, March 24, 11:59 p.m.
“The next 36 hours will give non-essential businesses the chance to adapt and prepare,” he said.
The province will release a list of businesses tomorrow that are permitted to stay open.
The order will last for 14 days.”
Read more here:
Eastern Ontario Health Unit orders salons, daycares and churches to close due to COVID-19
“All daycares and other childcare centres and services (those that were not previously included in the provincial closure order)…
The order covers all the communities in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s area, including Cornwall, Casselman, Winchester, Alexandria, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Prescott-Russell.”
We have yet to see a similar order for Ottawa.
UPDATE MARCH 17 2020:
Please see the following update from Ottawa Public Health (March 16th at 6pm) highlighting recommendations from Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Ministry of Health– including the recommendation that all licensed home childcare close temporarily. Read the update here.
Best Practice would dictate that yes, if the recommendation is for licensed home childcare to close, then independent home childcare should consider following this recommendation too. Ultimately, however, it is still up to each provider to make the best decision that they can.
Ontario Providers: Are you wondering whether or not to keep your home daycare open?
As an independent business owner you make your own policies and contract etc. based on Best Practice. While the conditions keep changing, at this time we believe that these are the best steps for the upcoming week:
- Review your health/sickness policies and your contract.
- Review and ensure each child’s emergency contacts are up to date and that someone will be available to pickup a child immediately (~30 min) should the child develop symptoms while in care.
- Follow the guidelines from Public Health – do extra cleaning and more rigid screening of adults and children. You may want to send your daycare parents an email over the week end that states something like this:
**As per Public Health guidelines please do not attend my daycare if:
• You are displaying cold/flu/COVID-19 symptoms
• You have travelled outside of Canada within the last two weeks
• A member of your household has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, is flu, cold or COVID-19 symptomatic or has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Keep up to date with your local Public Health Unit recommendations and forward any important updates to your daycare families:
Not in Ottawa? Find your local Public Health Unit here: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx
With a small number of daycare families the screening process listed above should be able to guide you in your decisions.
It is certainly a time for prudence, compassion and open discussion. Encourage your families to limit public outings as you yourself plan to – in order to keep everyone safe. If possible, have hand sanitizer at your entrance and encourage use by those entering.
In terms of government funding, should you decide you have to close, that is an unknown at this time.
CCPRN will keep you posted with any updates we hear about and we encourage you to support each other by sharing your creative art and other activities on our Facebook page. As always, “Sharing in the Caring” is the way to go!