Licensed Child Care Centre Guidance

Effective immediately, the Licensed Child Care Centre Guidance will replace the CPHO Directive on Licensed Child Care Centres.   

Every early learning and child care centre in PEI must develop and follow an operational plan which details how risk of transmission of disease will be mitigated. Operators will be required to present this plan to a Public Health Official if, and when, a visit to the centre occurs. The COVID-19 Operational Plan Template can be found online.  

General Precautions

  • Masks are recommended for parents and staff who interact indoors for drop-off and pick-up.
  • Staff should also wear a mask when interacting with visitors to the centre.   
  • Open windows to ensure adequate ventilation and air flow where possible in the centre.
  • Minimize the number of additional adults and children entering the centre throughout the day.
  • Parents/caregivers and staff should consult with their health care provider if they are uncertain about their child attending the early learning and child care centre.
  • Maintain a sign-in/sign-out sheet daily to track attendance.

Physical Distancing

  • Take every reasonable step to ensure minimal interaction of people (including staff or children, or both) within 2 metres (6 feet) of each other.
  • Physical distancing is to be maintained at all times between staff.
  • Staff should minimize the frequency of direct physical contact with children.  
  • Physical distancing practices for children should be based on age and/or developmental readiness. For instance:
    • Preschoolers should be supported to minimize direct contact with one another.
    • School-aged children should be supported to maintain physical distance whenever possible.
    • Children from the same household (e.g. siblings) do not need to maintain physical distance from each other.
  • Increase the distance between nap mats, if possible. If space is limited, place children head-to-toe or toe-to-toe.
  • Stagger snack and meal times to allow spacing between children during meals and other activities.  
  • Avoid close greetings among all persons accessing the centre (e.g. hugs, handshakes, handholding, high-fives, etc.).
  • Parents/caregivers must practice physical distancing at drop-off and pick-up times.

Outdoor Play

  • Outdoor learning and play time is encouraged.
  • Physical distancing measures should be considered for outdoor and organized activities.
  • Playgrounds and play equipment are safe for children to use.
  • Appropriate hand hygiene practices before, during and after outdoor play, should be followed.
  • Field trips, walking, and visiting nearby playgrounds (school or municipal) are permitted.
  • Transportation should be limited to the transport of children to and from the centre.  Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of common touch surfaces must be completed.  

COVID-19 Screening

  • Develop and follow an exclusion policy that ensures symptomatic employees and children are immediately excluded from centre activities, and that employees, parents/guardians and children who are required to isolate will not be permitted to enter the centre.
  • Parents/caregivers must assess their child daily for symptoms of COVID-19 and symptoms of influenza and other infectious diseases before sending them to child care.
  • Staff must assess themselves daily for symptoms of COVID-19 and symptoms of influenza and other infectious diseases prior to working.
  • Prior to entering the child care centre, staff, visitors, children, and the adult bringing the child into the centre must be screened using the screening tool provided by CPHO, as updated from time to time.
    • A person's baseline health status should be taken into consideration. For instance, children or staff who have asthma, seasonal allergies, or suffer from chronic runny nose/nasal congestion should not be excluded from the centre.
    • Any employee, child or parent/caregiver experiencing new or worsening symptoms of illness should not enter the centre.
    • School-age children who attend the child care centre after school do not need to be screened upon arrival to the centre. However, centre staff should assess the child to ensure they are feeling well.
  • Establish procedures for children and staff who become sick while at the centre.
    • If a child develops symptoms while at the centre, the child is to be isolated in a separate room or area away from other children. The parent/caregiver is to be notified to pick up the child immediately.  
    • If the child requires close contact and care, staff members can continue to care for the child until the parent/caregiver arrives. Staff members must wear a mask and be mindful of handwashing and avoid contact with the respiratory secretions of the child.
    • All items, bedding, toys etc. used by the child that day must be removed from the play area and be cleaned and sanitized, or cleaned and sanitized in place

Hand Hygiene

  • Ensure hand washing stations or hand sanitizing products are available and accessible to staff, children and all persons who enter and exit the centre (including parents/guardians at drop-off and pick-up).
  • Regular hand washing with soap and water is the most effective way to reduce the spread of illness. Encourage and make it easy for staff and children to practice good hand hygiene.
  • Staff should help young children wash their hands to ensure it is done correctly.
  • The following hand washing guidelines should be followed:
    • Rinse visible dirt from hands with warm water.
    • Lather hands with liquid soap and warm water; rub vigorously for at least 20 seconds (or as long as it takes to sing the "ABC's" or "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star").
    • Pay particular attention to under nails, between fingers, tops of hands and wrists.
    • Rinse soapy hands with running water.
    • Dry with a single use paper towel from a dispenser, air dryer, or hand towel (single use before laundered).
  • It is very important that staff and children properly clean their hands often, including:
    • At the start of the day and before going home;
    • After using the washroom;
    • After assisting a child who has used the washroom;
    • After a diaper change;
    • Before preparing and/or serving food;
    • Before and after eating or feeding a child;
    • After getting hands dirty;
    • After wiping or blowing their nose or a child's nose;
    • After sneezing or coughing;
    • Before giving medication to a child;
    • After caring for a sick child;
    • After cleaning (specific to staff members); and
    • After any other activity that may contaminate hands.
  • Alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is not recommended for routine use in child care centres but it may be necessary when children and staff are participating in outdoor activities.
  • Staff and children should avoid touching their face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands and if they do touch these areas, they should then wash their hands immediately.  
  • Cough or sneeze into the elbow or a disposable tissue. Dispose of used tissues immediately and then wash hands.
  • Child care centres should ensure that signage on personal hygiene etiquette such as handwashing, and sneezing and coughing etiquette, is clearly posted throughout the centre.

Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing of high-touch surfaces is very important in controlling the spread of viruses and other microorganisms.
  • Frequently touched surfaces, like door handles, handrails, toys, etc., should be cleaned and sanitized at least twice daily, or when visibly soiled.
  • Surfaces (e.g. floor, tables, toys, etc.) in centres should be smooth, non-absorbent, durable and easily cleanable.
  • Limit the use of shared equipment between children from different households.
  • When items are shared, take precautions such as hand washing as well as regularly cleaning and sanitizing the shared items.
  • Centres must engage in frequent and thorough cleaning and sanitizing each day.
  • Centres shall follow general standards regarding cleaning and sanitizing as well as the routine cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures outlined in the sanitation plan developed by the centre.
Published date: 
July 30, 2021
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

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca