Learn how Ontario will keep children, parents and staff safe
EarlyON Child and Family Centres remain closed to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Families are invited to participate in virtual programming offered by the centres on Facebook.
Childcare facilities are responsible for reporting suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases to Public Health.
To report suspected cases, call the COVID-19 Info-Line. A suspected case is someone who has COVID-19 symptoms AND an exposure. An exposure is:
For questions about child care and financial assistance, connect with a Children's Services staff member.
Active screening is the best line of defence for preventing COVID-19 in school or child care.
The Ontario Ministry of Health has updated the COVID-19 school and child care screening tool needed for a child to stay home for a period of time and seek medical advice.
As part of the enhanced health and safety measures for reopening, licensees are required to:
All child care centres, before and after school programs, and EarlyON Child and Family Centres, and First Nation Child and Family Programs must:
Review our Child Care Manual (Fifth Edition) for requirements that must be met in child care facilities to ensure the individuals who use them stay safe and healthy.
This policy overrides the Operational Guidance During Covid-19 Outbreak Child Care Reopening Guidelines for reporting suspect cases.
A suspected case is someone who has COVID-19 symptoms AND an exposure. An exposure is:
Don't report staff or children who are symptomatic and going for testing without any known exposure even if a serious occurrence report is completed.
Call Public Health when you suspect an outbreak. As per the Child Care Manual, an outbreak may be in effect when there are two or more children or staff, in the same child care room, with similar signs and symptoms that:
In addition to a failed screen, exclusion from child care applies to those who:
Any child or staff who develop symptoms of COVID-19:
An outbreak may be declared by Public Health when, within a 14-day period, there are two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in children, staff / providers or other visitors with an epidemiological link where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the child care setting. Examples of an epidemiological link include cases in the same room or cases that are part of the same before / after school care cohort.
Individuals who have no symptoms, went for testing, have no exposure, are awaiting results, and haven't been told by Niagara Region Public Health to isolate, don't need to be excluded from child care.
Refer to the Province of Ontario to review COVID-19 cases in schools and child care centres. This page is updated every weekday at 10:30 a.m. by the Province with the most up-to-date COVID-19 information available, including a summary of cases in schools and licensed child care centres and agencies.
Previously, licensees were required to report all suspected cases of COVID-19 to the ministry. Currently, licensees only need to report the following as a serious occurrence to the ministry:
Regulatory changes to O. Reg. 137/15 have been made under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, including serious occurrence reporting of confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.
Don't notify Public Health for every serious occurrence report unless it meets the criteria under 'When to contact Public Health'.
A serious occurrence report must be submitted under the category suspected / confirmed case of COVID-19 when one of the following individuals has a confirmed case of COVID-19 OR a suspected case involving the individual showing one or more symptoms AND the individual has been tested, or has indicated that they will be tested for COVID-19
When a serious occurrence is reported for a suspected case (as defined above) and the individual's test results are positive, licensees must update the original serious occurrence report submitted and add this information.
If a second individual develops a suspected or confirmed case, and there is still an open serious occurrence report, licensees must update the existing / open serious occurrence report to add this information. A new serious occurrence isn't required when there's an existing report.
However, where a second individual develops a suspected or confirmed case and there isn't an open serious occurrence report under this category, the licensee must submit a new report.
Should the entire child care centre, part of the child care, such as a program room, or a home child care provider's home close due to a "confirmed or suspected case", a separate serious occurrence for an unplanned disruption of service isn't required. Licensees must include this information in the serious occurrence report and / or update the serious occurrence report when the closure occurs.