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.

Vaccination guidance may evolve overtime, refer to the most up to date information on the vaccination website.

Screening and Management of Symptoms of COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory diseases like the flu and the common cold.  If you are feeling unwell, stay home and self-isolate to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. You should stay home until all of the following apply to you:

  • your symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you had nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea)
  • you do not have a fever
  • you do not develop any additional symptoms

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 day.

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

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

No. If symptoms worsen, if new ones appear or if the child has a fever, the child should be excluded from attending a child care centre.  

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

Staff and children should remain home until symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours (or 48 hours if you had nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea), they do not have a fever and they do not develop any additional symptoms.

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. 

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

As of December 1, 2022, there is no longer a legal requirement to self-isolate when positive for COVID-19.  Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should stay home when ill and notify close contacts.

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

For more information on COVID-19 Self-Isolation, click here.

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

No. Staff and children attending child care facilities are exempt from masking requirements.

If a child or staff member has been identified as a close contact, can they attend the centre?

Yes, a child or staff member identified as a close contact is not required to isolate and can attend the centre if they are feeling well. 

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, and they have not developed new symptoms.

Published date: 
April 24, 2023