Unlicensed Child Care Centres Guidance

As of May 24th, 2022, there will no longer be a legal requirement for masks to be worn in unlicensed child care centers. Staff and families should be supported in any decisions to continue to wear masks.
Children and staff are no longer required to conduct regular rapid antigen tests prior to attending child care. Children and staff should remain home if they are feeling unwell.  Anyone who is symptomatic should get tested at a Health PEI clinic. For individuals and families who wish to continue regular antigen screening tests, early learning centers will continue to have a supply of tests available. These tests are also available through Access PEI sites across the province.

An unlicensed child care provider must operate within the allowable numbers for unlicensed child care:

  • You can provide child care for up to 5 children if you have infants and no more than two of them can be infants.
  • If you have all preschool and school age children you can have up to 6 children, and
  • If you have all school-age children, you can have a maximum of 7.

Public Health Measures in Unlicensed Child Care Centres

Enhanced Public Health Measures
Vaccination

Recommend everyone eligible get vaccinated with a complete series of Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccines.

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, two months after the second dose, provided superior protection against COVID-19 and its variants.

Screening and Management of Symptoms of COVID-19

Daily home or 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 at a COVID-19 testing clinic.

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.

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.

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 in child care centres by children, 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.

There are four steps to properly clean and sanitize an object or surface:

  1. Wash: Remove all visible dirt with warm soap and water.
  2. Rinse: Rinse to remove any dirt and soap on the object.
  3. Sanitize: Either soak smaller items or wipe larger items/surfaces with an approved sanitizer. The sanitizer must remain on the item/surface for approximately 2 minutes to allow it to destroy any harmful microbes present.
  4. Dry: Items should be air dried only. This is to avoid possible recontamination from using a reusable towel and to increase the contact time for the sanitizer. If an item cannot be air dried, use a clean single use paper towel.

Mix 100ppm household bleach OR 200ppm quaternary ammonia for use in the kitchen, or on food contact surfaces and toys.

Mix 200ppm household bleach OR 400ppm quaternary ammonia for use in washrooms, diaper change areas, or on cribs, cots, mats and furniture.

A 1:10 solution of either product must be used to clean surfaces contaminated with blood or bodily fluids.

  • Use potable water.
  • Always pour the chemical into the water.
  • Do not use clear bottles for bleach solutions as the sunlight will weaken the strength quickly.
  • Always use the appropriate test strips to verify the concentration of sanitizer.
  • Label all containers.
  • Prepare sanitizer as often as necessary to ensure the sanitizer is available at the appropriate strength.  
  • Store solutions in an area not accessible to children. 
Ventilation Open windows when possible, and when weather permits.
Masking

Masks continue to be recommended in indoor public spaces.  In addition, masks are recommended for staff who work with students who are at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, whenever physical distancing is not possible.

It is the choice of staff or visitors to wear a mask if they choose. Anyone who chooses to wear a mask is supported in doing so.  As of May 24th, 2022 masks are not legally required for staff at un-licensed child care centres.

Physical Distancing  Physical distancing is not required, however, preventing crowding in indoor common spaces is recommended.
Vulnerable Children and Staff Vulnerable children and staff can attend; they may want to consult with their health care provider.
Testing

Screening with rapid antigen tests is no longer required for staff and children at un-licensed child care centres.

Centres will continue to have access to test kits for individuals or families who wish to continue testing regularly.

For a detailed list of Frequently Asked Questions, click here.    

 

Published date: 
May 24, 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

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca