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Child care

We're working with providers to support everyone's health and safety during COVID-19

Parents with school aged children

School-aged children can attend licensed child care or summer programs starting on June 30.

If you receive child care subsidy, contact your Children's Services Worker about your summer care needs.

Parents with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers (4 years and under)

Licensed child care programs remain open and children may continue to attend as normal.

Supporting families with child care costs during COVID-19

Funding is available if your child is absent or if your child care program has been asked to close. Get funding details.

In-person and online programs available at EarlyON Child and Family Centres. Visit infopeel.ca for details.

Following health and safety guidelines

Child care providers must continue following health and safety guidelines. They should also share health and safety procedures with parents. Speak to your provider about what they're doing to keep your children safe while in their care.

Other information

Children are more likely to have only mild symptoms of COVID-19. That’s why it’s important to screen your child for symptoms every day. If your child has 1 or more symptoms of COVID-19 they need to stay home and not go to child care. Symptoms may be new, getting worse, or different than usual.

Look for the following symptoms, even if they are mild.

  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • fever (37.8 degrees C or higher) or chills
  • loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat or difficulty swallowing
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • unusual or long-lasting headache
  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • feeing unwell, muscle aches or tiredness

Before going to child care each day, you must screen your child for:

  • Any COVID-19 symptoms (even if mild)  
  • Close contact with a person who is sick with COVID-19 symptoms, or, who has tested positive in the past 14 days
  • If anyone in your child’s home has been isolating as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19
  • Recent travel outside of Canada by the child or anyone in the household (except for exemptions such as cross-border essential workers)
  • If instructions from public health require the child to stay home or self-isolate at home

Refer to our daily screening poster for children (available in different languages.)

Child has 1 or more symptoms

If they have symptoms of COVID-19:

  1. They should arrange to get tested as soon as possible. Contact a health care provider if they believe the symptoms are due to an illness other than COVID-19. Refer to the when to return to child care for what to do if your child does not get tested.
  2. They must self-isolate at home while waiting for the test result. If they do not get tested, they must self-isolate for 10 days. The child may isolate together with a caregiver who is fully vaccinated, if possible. Call your child care provider to let them know.
  3. Household members who are not fully vaccinated should also self-isolate until a negative COVID-19 test or an alternative diagnosis is received by the individual experiencing symptoms. Household members who are fully vaccinated and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, do not need to self-isolate. They must tell their employer that they are a close contact.

Get details about what it means to be fully vaccinated.

Child does not have any symptoms of COVID-19 and did not pass daily screening

If they were exposed to a person who has COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, they must: (This includes any members of their household)

  1. Self-isolate together with a caregiver who is fully vaccinated, if possible, for 14 days from the last exposure to a person who has COVID-19. If the child is fully vaccinated, they do not need to self-isolate.
  2. Arrange to get tested if symptoms develop.
  3. If the test result is negative and the child later develops new or worsening symptoms, arrange to get re-tested.
  4. Household members may also be required to self-isolate if they are not fully vaccinated, depending on your situation. Household members who are fully vaccinated and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, do not need to self-isolate. They must tell their employer that they are a close contact. For further details refer to household members of close contacts.

Get details about what it means to be fully vaccinated.

If they travelled outside of Canada, they must:

  1. Self-isolate for 14 days from the date of return to Canada as outlined in the Canadian quarantine order unless they are fully vaccinated and meet Canadian government exemption requirements. As of August 9, 2021, unvaccinated children under 12 years of age and dependent children (due to a mental or physical condition) of fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to complete a 14-day quarantine but must follow strict public health measures. This means they can move around with their parents but must avoid group settings, such as camps or daycares, during the first 14 days after their arrival.
  2. Monitor for symptoms and arrange to get tested if symptoms develop.

If a household member has travelled outside of Canada, the child must:

  1. Stay home and not attend child care for the 14-day isolation period of the household member who travelled internationally unless their household member is fully vaccinated and meets Canadian government exemption requirements.
  2. Monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, they must isolate and should get tested.

If anyone in your household has 1 or more symptoms of COVID-19

Your child and everyone in their home (including siblings) who is not fully vaccinated and does not have any symptoms must stay home and self-isolate until the sick person has received a negative test result or has been diagnosed with another illness by a health care provider.

If anyone in your child’s home has been isolating as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19

Your child must stay home for the duration of the household member’s isolation period unless your child is fully vaccinated.  Monitor for symptoms and arrange to get tested if symptoms develop, regardless of vaccination status. Refer to how to care for your child at home to learn more about how to self-isolate with a child.

If you or your child cannot safely self-isolate at home, free isolation hotels are available in Peel. Our COVID-19 Voluntary Isolation Housing program provides a hotel quality room that’s private and safe. For more information, call Region of Peel Human Services at 905-281-1269, or get more details.

If you have questions about your specific situation, call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700, Caledon 905-584-2216. Our call centre is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If there’s a person with COVID-19 in your child's child care setting, Peel Public Health will work with the child care provider to take the steps needed to keep everyone safe. Coping with an exposure to COVID-19 can be stressful and challenging for families.

How child care setting exposures are managed

Peel Public Health will close classrooms or groupings if a child or staff or home child care provider is positive for COVID-19. Closures minimize the risk of spread.

Information will be provided on the need for testing and when the class or group can safely return to the child care setting. Based on each situation, additional precautions may be taken.

What to do when you receive a child care setting classroom or grouping closure letter

When you receive a classroom or grouping closure letter from your child’s child care setting this means that someone in your child’s classroom or grouping has tested positive for COVID-19 or is a suspected case under investigation.

This means that your child is considered a close contact. We understand that this can be stressful and challenging for families.

You and your child should follow the instructions provided in the letter from Peel Public Health. Refer to a summary about what to do if your child is dismissed from child care or school (also available in French).

Self-isolation begins the date of the class closure, not the day the person with COVID-19 was at the child care setting

Even though the person with COVID-19 has been at home, it’s possible that other children in the classroom/grouping may have gotten COVID-19 and were still attending the child care setting until the date of the class closure. Even if these children did not show symptoms, they may have still been contagious.

By starting the self-isolation period from the date of class closure, Peel Public Health can reduce the risk of exposure for the affected individuals in the classroom or grouping. Learn more about how to care for a child at home.

Other children living at the same address will have to stay home from school or child care for 14 days as well unless they are fully vaccinated

All children living at the same address (e.g. siblings or cousins), who are not fully vaccinated, should stay home from school and child care. This reduces the risk of further spread and outbreaks in schools and child care settings. Households have the highest risk of transmission in Peel, and this is the safest action we can take to protect the community.

Adults in the home should monitor everyone in the household for COVID-19 symptoms every day. If anyone develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, everyone in the household who is not fully vaccinated must self-isolate immediately and get tested. If anyone in the household is fully vaccinated and does not have any symptoms of COVID-19, they do not need to isolate, but they should still get tested. They must tell their employer that they are a close contact.

Wait 7 days after the class closure to get your child tested unless your child has symptoms

After being exposed to someone with COVID-19, it can take an average of 7 days for an infected person to test positive for COVID-19.

Your child should get tested even if they have no symptoms. Peel Public Health may advise your child to get tested immediately based on their investigation.

If your child has any COVID-19 symptoms, your child should get tested as soon as possible, even if they are fully vaccinated.

As close contacts, Peel Public Health strongly recommends that all children and staff or home child care provider who were part of the classroom or grouping closure get tested on the date noted in the letter, regardless of whether they have symptoms and even if they are fully vaccinated. There are people who test positive for the virus and never show symptoms of COVID-19.

Testing of other children and staff/home child care provider in the classroom/grouping helps determine further actions to protect others in the child care setting, home and in the community.

A negative test result and no symptoms doesn’t mean your child can return to child care if they were not fully vaccinated before their exposure

Even if your child tests negative and doesn’t have symptoms, they must remain home for the entire isolation period unless they were fully vaccinated before their exposure.

This is because it may take up to 14 days after being exposed for someone to show symptoms and become contagious.

The safest action is for all children in the classroom/grouping to continue self-isolating for the full 14-days if they are not fully vaccinated.

If your child tests positive after the class closure

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, Peel Public Health will contact you with further instructions.

Your child must continue to isolate even if they are fully vaccinated, and all household members who are not fully vaccinated would also be required to self-isolate. It is recommended that all household members be tested even if they are fully vaccinated.

Let your child care provider know as soon as possible that your child has tested positive.

Have a plan in case your child is showing symptoms and must stay home or be picked up from child care

The child will need to be picked up as soon as possible from child care if they’re sick even if they are fully vaccinated. Book an appointment for the child to get tested for COVID-19 or consult with a health care provider if you think the symptoms are due to a medical reason other than COVID-19.

How to care for a child sent home from child care

If your child has been dismissed from child care, they will be required to self-isolate unless they are fully vaccinated and do not have any symptoms. This is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If the child is symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19, everyone in the household must self-isolate for a period of 14 days starting from the last day of exposure to the child.   If anyone in the household is fully vaccinated and does not have any symptoms of COVID-19, they do not need to isolate, but they should still get tested. They must tell their employer that they are a close contact.

A caregiver who is fully vaccinated, if possible, should isolate with the child for emotional support and to support daily living, including bathing, feeding, and clothing. If the caregiver is fully vaccinated, they do not need to stay in isolation unless they develop symptoms or test positive. Learn more about precautions to take while caring for your child and when you should seek medical attention. Additional advice on how to care for a child who needs to self-isolate is also available from Public Health Ontario.

As a caregiver isolating with a child who either has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, you're considered a close contact and must also self-isolate for a period of 14 days after your child’s self-isolation period is complete unless they are fully vaccinated. The self-isolation period for caregivers should begin either 10 days after your child’s symptoms began or 10 days after your child was tested. If you are fully vaccinated and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you do not need to isolate after you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, but you should still get tested. You must tell your employer that you are a close contact.

If you or your child cannot safely self-isolate at home, free isolation hotels are available in Peel. Our COVID-19 Voluntary Isolation Housing program provides a hotel quality room that’s private and safe. For more information, call Region of Peel Human Services at 905-281-1269, or get more details.

If your child’s classroom or grouping has closed, be sure to follow the instructions in your child’s classroom or grouping closure letter for when they can return to child care.

If your child has symptoms and does not pass the daily screening, testing for COVID-19 is strongly recommended

If the test result is negative for COVID-19, your child can return to child care if all the following apply:

  • They do not have a fever (without using medication)
  • It has been at least 24 hours since their symptoms started improving
  • They pass re-entry screening and daily COVID-19 screening
  • If symptoms do not improve, consult with a primary health care provider for diagnosis of another illness.

If the test result is positive for COVID-19:

  • Your child must continue to self-isolate even if they are fully vaccinated. Public Health will call and give instructions on what to do before returning to child care.
  • Household contacts (including siblings) must self-isolate immediately and get tested. They must isolate for 14 days from the last exposure to the person who has COVID-19. If household contacts are fully vaccinated and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, they do not need to isolate after they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, but they should still get tested. They must tell their employer that they are a close contact.

If a health care provider diagnosed your child with another illness (not COVID-19), your child may return to child care if it has been at least 24 hours since their symptoms started improving.

If your child does not get tested for COVID-19

If your child was assessed and diagnosed with another illness by a health care provider and it has been at least 24 hours since their symptoms started improving, they can return to child care.

If testing is recommended and your child does not get tested, your child must self-isolate for 10 days at home from the start of their symptoms and pass the daily COVID-19 screening before going back to child care. Household members (including siblings) who are not fully vaccinated must self-isolate for 14 days from their last exposure to your child with symptoms.

Refer to ‘how to care for a child at home’ to learn more about how to isolate with a child.

Refer to the Parent, guardian, and caregiver information booklet for more information on when your child can return to child care if they have symptoms.

If your child’s symptoms change or worsen, you may need to contact a health care professional or get re-tested. If you're concerned and have questions, contact Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider.

Virtual urgent care services are also available with an OHIP card at SickKids and William Osler Health System.

Call 911 if your child needs urgent medical help or if your child’s condition is getting worse and they have any severe symptoms (such as difficulty breathing, chest pain or feeling faint). Tell paramedics if your child has COVID-19, is awaiting test results, or had close contact with a person who has COVID-19. If possible, wear a mask to limit exposure to others.

You should go to a hospital right away if your child shows the following signs and symptoms:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish color around the lips or on skin
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Persistent fever for 3 days or more

Child care providers should not increase your fees due to enhanced cleaning measures, or any other costs. The Ministry of Education has advised providers to set fees at the level they were before the closures.

Your child care provider is also not allowed to charge you fees if you don't have access to a child care space or decide not to accept a space.

If you're attending child care in a centre, your provider must give you 14 days to let them know whether you want to keep your space. After the 14 days, you will need to make payments to keep your space, whether your child attends or not.

If you're attending home child care, your provider must give you 30 days to let them know whether you want to keep your space. After the 30 days, you will need to make payments to keep your space, whether your child attends or not.

We understand that some child care centres are not open. Licensed home child care continues to operate. To learn more about this option and all licensed child care centres open in Peel, you can visit infopeel.ca or call Child Development Resource Connection Peel (CDRCP) at 905-890-9432.

If you're receiving child care fee subsidy, you need to have an approved activity to remain eligible.

If you’re no longer working or are working less hours, you must let your Children’s Services Worker know so they can determine if you still qualify for child care subsidy.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, our offices remain closed for visitors. Do not come into the office.

If you have documents to submit, you can email, mail or drop them in any of the drop boxes located outside the entrances of our Regional buildings.

Do you have concerns with your licensed child care program, such as how your child care provider is handling health and safety practices during COVID-19, or have you been refused access to child care? If so, you are encouraged to speak to your licensed child care provider so they can try and address your concerns.

If your concerns cannot be resolved by working with your provider, you can submit a complaint to the Ministry of Education.

You can also submit a complaint to the Region of Peel.