Child Care and Ontario’s Recovery

Since the implementation of lockdowns across Ontario in mid-March, child care centres (except those serving essential workers) have been closed. However, as the province begins to open back up and people are returning to work, how child care centres re-open safely remains a big question.

In response, the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) released a report From Reopening to Recovery: A plan for child care reopening in Ontario and moving to a publicly funded system.

This report is based on surveying nearly 4000 registered early childhood educators (RECEs) and early years staff across the province and conversations with members of AECEO, allies, emergency child care providers, and other stakeholders.  They found that staff want to return to work, but have urgent concerns about being able to protect themselves at work and having sufficient staff, resources, supplies, and supports to implement new health and safety protocols and support children and families through the transition. They expressed a need for:

  • Clear provincial sector-specific guidelines and training from public health
  • Increased paid sick and emergency leave days
  • Lower ratios and smaller group sizes
  • Additional staff, supports and paid planning time before reopening

They’ve put together 27 recommendations for re-opening and recovery. Read the report here.