Licensed Child Care Centre Guidance

Public Health Measures in Licensed Child Care Centres


Recommend everyone eligible get vaccinated with a complete series of Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccines (including booster doses).

Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19 and its variants.  Evidence on vaccine effectiveness against the Omicron and other variants continues to be gathered.  Although breakthrough infections among vaccinated individuals occur, current vaccines approved for use in Canada, appear to provide good protection against serious outcomes and hospitalization from this variant. A booster dose, 6 months after the second dose of a primary series, provided continued protection against severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19 and its variants.

Screening and Management of Symptoms of COVID-19

Self- screening for symptoms of COVID-19 using the COVID-19 symptom screening tool is recommended for staff, children and visitors.

If experiencing symptoms of COVID19, get tested for COVID-19.

Testing guidance may evolve over time, refer to the most up to date information on the testing webpage.

Follow routine procedures for children, staff and visitors who become sick during the school day.

Parents and caregivers may use an at-home rapid antigen screening test if a child is exhibiting a single mild symptom of COVID-19.

  • Children can return to a child care centre after one negative rapid antigen test result, so long as symptoms are improving and not worsening.
  • Children are still encouraged to stay home when they are actively symptomatic to reduce the impact on others.

When assessing for COVID-19 symptoms, it is important to think about the time of year and what is usual for that person.

  • Are the symptoms normal for this person (e.g. asthmatic cough, chronic runny nose), or
  • Are the symptoms new and worsening? Is the person feeling unwell (e.g. fever, new cough, etc.).
Hand Hygiene

Frequent hand washing is encouraged throughout the day and proper respiratory etiquette.

Handwashing supplies should be available throughout the center.

Signage on personal hygiene etiquette such as handwashing, and sneezing and coughing etiquette, should be clearly posted.

Alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is not recommended for routine use by children in child care centres but should be readily available for use by parents, visitors and staff.

Cleaning and Disinfection

Maintain enhanced cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.

Toys should be cleaned when visibly soiled and sanitized as required (at least once weekly).  Mouthed toys, or toys that were handled by a sick child or a child exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should be cleaned and sanitized after each use.

Ventilation Open windows when possible, and when weather permits. Open windows and doors regularly, when possible, to improve natural ventilation. Opening multiple windows can help by creating a crossflow of fresh air. If windows have openings at both the top and bottom, open both for maximum airflow when weather permits. 

People in Prince Edward Island are no longer required to wear masks in indoor public places or in workplaces where distancing cannot be maintained. Masks are still recommended in indoor public places.

Physical Distancing 

Physical distancing is not required, however, preventing crowding in indoor common spaces is recommended.

Vulnerable Children and Staff Medically vulnerable children and staff can attend; they may want to consult with their health care provider.

Licensed Child Care Centres – Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to complete a screening form for each child when they arrive?

No. Parents/caregivers should assess their child for symptoms daily to determine whether the child should attend the centre. Educators should continue to monitor children for symptoms throughout the day.  

If a child has known allergies which mimic COVID-19 symptoms should they be excluded?

No. If symptoms worsen or if new ones appear the child should be excluded and tested at a testing clinic.  

How long should children/staff be excluded when experiencing symptoms?

Staff and children should remain home if they are experiencing a new or worsening symptom or are feeling unwell.  

Can rapid antigen tests be used for children under 2 years old?

Yes. A rapid antigen test can be used on any age depending on the parents/caregivers comfort level to administer the test.  

What should I do if only one parent/caregiver can pick up a child and that parent is experiencing symptoms?

If possible, the parent/caregiver should call when they arrive at the centre so staff can meet the parent at the door with the child. Both the parent/caregiver and staff must be properly masked.

If a staff member or child tests positive for COVID-19, when can they return to the centre?

Staff members or children who test positive for COVID-19 may return if they are not experiencing any symptoms or if symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if experienced nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea), do not have a fever, and they do not develop any additional symptoms.

Individuals who are immune-compromised are recommended to stay home and self-isolate until symptoms improve for at least 24 hours (or 48 if experienced nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea) do not have a fever, and do not develop any additional symptoms.  

Are staff or children who tested positive for COVID-19 required to wear a mask inside the centre for the 5 days following self-isolation?

No. Staff and children attending child care facilities are exempt from masking requirements following self-isolation. 

If more than one child/family members become positive for COVID-19 over the span of a couple of weeks, do others in the household need to isolate?

If you are not able isolate away from the positive cases, in situations where one person in the household tests positive and then a few days later, another person, etc. it is recommended to monitor for symptoms

If a child or staff member has been identified as a close contact, do they have to isolate?

No, a child or staff member identified as a close contact, household or non-household,  is not required to isolate and can attend the centre if they are properly isolating away from the positive case.

For more information on self-isolation, click here.

If a child or staff member has recovered from COVID-19, but is still exhibiting symptoms, can they return to the centre?

The child or staff member may return to the centre after being deemed recovered as long as symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if experienced nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea), and they haven’t had a fever in the previous 24 hours.

Can I request proof of completion of self-isolation from staff or children before returning to the centre?

No. A parent/caregiver will determine when they have completed self-isolation based on advice from public health.  

For more information on self-isolation, click here.

For more information on testing positive for COVID-19, click here.

Published date: 
December 1, 2022
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121