Reopening Child Care
What is the required process to reopen our child care centre?
All licensees must review and understand operational guidance documents and regulations set out by the Ministry of Education (MEDU), Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), and Ministry of Labour. These documents are updated as required so please ensure you stay abreast of updated versions.
All licensees are required to:
- Develop a COVID-19 Response Plan comprising policy and practice requirements set out by MEDU and SMDHU;
- Facilitate training for all staff on the COVID-19 Response Plan;
- Provide a copy of the COVID-19 Response Plan to all families;
- Have required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available on site.
County of Simcoe Children and Community Services requires submission of a reopening plan checklist followed up with a discussion about the reopening plan. The reopening plan checklist is available on the Children and Community Services page at simcoe.ca. Once submitted, our office will contact you to schedule a discussion.
The Ministry of Education requires an attestation from each reopening Licensee no less than 48 hours prior to reopening. Attestations are coordinated through Ministry of Education Program Advisors.
Licensees are encouraged to reach out to our Children Services Department for resources to support successful reopening.
Click here for Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Operational Guidelines, FAQ, and Child Care Daily Screening Form.
Click here for Ministry of Education Operational Guidance During COVID-19.
Click here for Ministry of Education – Building on How Does Learning Happen? Pedagogical Approaches to Reopening Child Care.
Are Child Care staff required to wear a mask?
Effective September 1, 2020, all staff working in child care programs will be required to don a medical grade mask and a face shield, which the Province will provide.
Will funding return to “normal" in September?
At this time our understanding is that funding will return to what it had been prior to the closure period on September 1, 2020.
When will my Wage Enhancement Grant (WEG) funding be updated to the 2020 allocation?
WEG applications were put on hold during the closure and are currently being reviewed in an effort to update payments as soon as possible.
Is the third quarter report for wage based funding still due on October 31, 2020?
No, the reconciliation schedule needs to change based on the new funding periods. Further information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
If my program is still eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in September, how does that work with salary based funding like Wage Enhancement Grant (WEG), General Operating Grant (GOG), Pay Equity (PE)?
Programs that are eligible for WEG/GOG/PE are currently expected to resume paying those grants to staff as of September 1, 2020 based on the applicable funding guidelines. If the program applies for CEWS funding, and receives a percentage of the grant funding back, the program will be expected to reconcile the lesser amount at year end. For example if a staff member receives $2 per hour and the program is eligible in September for 50% from CEWS – then only $1/hour can come from the WEG funding.
Are additional staff members such as screeners, or cleaning staff eligible for WEG or GOG?
The applicable funding guidelines will resume September 1, 2020. As such, individuals must be in a program role a minimum of 25% of the time to be eligible for WEG funding, and then they are only eligible for the time spent in program. Funding levels for WEG/GOG are not expected to increase in September. As such if you have four additional staff that were not included on the GOG application – GOG funding should first go to the positions that were in place when the program applied for the funding, and if additional funds are available, they may be provided to the new positions.
Will there be new funding for the additional staff positions required once programs are operating at full capacity e.g. screeners, cleaners?
While we do not have additional funding currently available, we are also awaiting confirmation of the Safe Restart Funding, and how that will apply. If funding becomes available to support these additional positions we will advise all programs.
A child who attends a Kindergarten program in a licensed child care setting and requires an extended day of care, i.e. before and after the Kindergarten program hours in the licensed child care setting, although fee subsidy funding does not cover the cost of a full day program for JK/SK children not attending school, subsidy will cover the cost of a before/after school program for eligible families. This exception has been made in an effort to support families and operators for an unspecified period of time, as a result of the uncertain nature of this pandemic. 10 days notice will be provided to eligible families/Operators should the need arise to discontinue this exception and return to the current practise of only subsidizing before/after school care for children who physically attend school.
If you intend to offer a JK/SK before/after school program, and do not currently have an approved per diem rate for this care code, please contact one of the fee subsidy supervisors. Please note, the combined cost for this day cannot exceed the total cost of a Kindergarten Full Day care code (example: municipally approved ceiling level for a full day Kindergarten summer program is $49, which means that if you are charging a family $35 for a 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Kindergarten program, the cost for before/after school cannot exceed $14).
Please direct subsidized families who choose to keep their JK/SK child in licensed child care, to contact their Child Care Representative, so that they may determine eligibility for a before/after school placement.