Childcare announcement spurs quick response from providers

Many childcare providers, including the YMCA of Eastern Ontario, are scrambling to ready themselves to safely re-open after the Ontario Government announced on Tuesday, Jun. 9, 2020 that childcare centres could open as soon as Friday, Jun. 12, 2020. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

Childcare centres in Kingston are working to make fast finalizations to their reopening plans after yesterday’s announcement from the province that they can reopen on Friday, Jun. 12, 2020. 

Childcare centres across the province have been closed since mid-March to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Operators learned about the reopening yesterday afternoon, at the same time as the general public, according to several accounts. 

“Guidelines for childcare operations have not yet been provided, but we are expecting them in the coming weeks if not days,” said an open letter from the YMCA of Kingston, posted on their website on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. “These will instruct us in any changes to policies, procedures and practices required to further minimize the spread of infection.”

The province has indicated that only 10 people, including children and adults, will be allowed in a given area when childcare centres re-open. This could present challenges to smaller centres that will have to find additional space to accommodate all of their clients. 

“We are in contact with schools regarding the possibility of having access to those spaces for childcare,” read the YMCA’s statement. At the time of publishing, the YMCA could not confirm the status of that initiative. 

Child care centres were listed as businesses that could resume operation as part of Phase 2 of the province’s Framework for Reopening our Province, released on Monday, Apr. 27, 2020. 

The province announced the start date for Phase 2 of reopening on Monday, June 8, 2020, with no mention of child care. 

The Kingstonist has reached out other local child care centres and is awaiting a response.

Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative

Samantha Butler-Hassan is a staff writer and life-long Kingston resident. She is a news junkie and mom who loves reading and exploring the community. This article has been made possible with the support of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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