Province reopens child care centres, day camps

TORONTO — One day after unveiling details of stage two of its reopening plan, the province announced child care centres will also reopen on June 12 as part of the plan.

“As we prepare to reopen more businesses and services, it is critical that we ensure supports are in place so people can return to work knowing their children will be cared for in a safe and healthy environment,” said Premier Doug Ford in a June 9 press release.

“Our child care plan sets out strict protocols that must be followed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have made great progress to contain the virus, but we must be mindful that there is still a public health risk.”

Officials say the plan to reopen child care centres was developed in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and medical leaders at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Centre will adhere to “strict safety and operational requirements” similar to those required for emergency child care centres, officials say.

Rules for child care centres reopening include:

  • mandatory training and reporting and support from the local medical officer of health before reopening;
  • putting children and staff in groups of 10 or less;
  • having a plan if a child, parent or staff member/provider is exposed to COVID-19;
  • screening all staff and children prior to entry (anyone feeling unwell must stay home);
  • daily attendance records to support contact tracing;
  • thorough cleaning before opening and frequently thereafter;
  • allowing only essential visitors; and
  • drop-off and pick-up protocols that facilitate physical distancing.

“We know the integral role child care plays in the restart of Ontario’s economy, especially when it comes to enabling parents to return to work,” said Minister Lecce.

“But parents must have confidence in the child care system at this very difficult time. By imposing specific public health requirements, we are signaling our firm commitment to keeping our children, staff, and our families safe.”


The province also announced on June 9 that summer day camp programs can reopen this summer.

“Strict health and safety guidelines” were distributed to local public health units earlier this month, officials say.

Overnight camps are still not permitted to operate this summer.

Emergency child care

Emergency child care will end on June 26.

Families served through emergency child care will be supported by service system managers to return to their previous arrangement or find new space during the transition back to regular childcare.

Fees, spaces

As child care reopens across the province, if families are not offered access to their previous child care arrangement, operators will continue to be prevented from charging fees for these spaces.