Shomporko Desk:-Ontario will permit child-care centres to focus on the region to reopen beginning Friday, provided they adhere to the strict public- health measures as well as capability limits, more suitable screening for symptoms and a prohibition on guests.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said, “We will take every measure necessary to keep the kids and the staff safe and healthy.”
The new restrictions include:
- Children and staff will be limited to groups of 10 or fewer.
- All children and staff must be screened for symptoms daily.
- Thorough cleaning of the centre before opening and during the day.
- The removal of toys that are likely to spread germs.
- The requirement for a COVID-19 response plan if a staff member or child is exposed to the virus.
- Permitting only “essential” visitors.
- Pick-up and drop-off protocols that allow for physical distancing.
While the centres will be permitted to open as soon as Friday, when Ontario enters the next stage of its reopening plan, the province acknowledged that many centres will need more time before they open their doors.
“We know some of them will take additional time,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce.
Local medical officers of health will also need to approve the reopenings before they are permitted.
With new limits on the number of children allowed in most centres, the province said it would give priority to essential workers, including those currently using the emergency child-care centres set up during the crisis. Those centres are scheduled to wind down and pivot to regular child care on June 26.
The province will also continue paying the child-care fees for essential workers until that date.
Additionally, parents who do not wish to send their children to a child-care centre will not be charged and will maintain their space, Lecce said.
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