YW Kitchener Waterloo

Update on Lifting Covid-19 Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures

March 21, 2022

Dear Families,

Dr. Kieran Moore, the Chief Medical Officer of Health announced the further lifting of COVID-19 public health and workplace safety measures on March 9, 2022.

This letter outlines the changes that will be occurring. It has been a challenging number of years and we can now transition back to some of our regular practices pre-COVID. We want to thank our families for all the support you have provided and being flexible to the continuous changes that came with COVID and to our incredible staff that had to endure, adapt and implement the strenuous COVID practices that has enabled an essential service such as childcare to remain open to support families.

We understand that all families may not be comfortable with the changes but want to encourage you that the recommendations were made based on children’s and the community’s safety. It will remain a choice for staff as well as for families if you decide to continue to mask or have your child wear a mask and this will be supported. We expect that you will all have respect and tolerance for others decisions.

Effective March 21, 2022:

Masking & Staff Personal Protective Equipment

In alignment with community masking requirements, masks will no longer be required for staff, providers or any other individual (including children) at the child care or on transportation. Eye protection for staff will also no longer be required. Some children, staff/providers may choose to continue to wear masks or eye protection.

Lifting of Cohorting and Distancing

Cohorting and distancing will no longer be required for indoor or outdoor activities. Licensees are required to ensure ratios, group sizes, reduced ratios and mixed age groupings meet the requirements under the Child Care and Early Years Act.

On-site Confirmation of Screening

Daily confirmation of screening for children and staff/provider will no longer be required by licensees. Individuals should continue to self-screen every day before attending child care using the Covid- 19 school and childcare screening tool.

Remaining Health and Safety Measures in Child Care:

Hand Hygiene, Respiratory Etiquette, Cleaning and Disinfecting

In accordance with local public health direction, appropriate hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, cleaning and disinfecting should continue.

The following measures will continue to be in place until the end of June:

Ventilation Measures

Licensees and home child care providers are encouraged to implement best practices and measures to optimize ventilation. Adequate ventilation should be provided by opening windows, moving activities outdoors when possible and through mechanical ventilation including HVAC systems.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVACs) and their filters are designed to reduce airborne pollutants, including virus particles, when they circulate through the system.

  • Ensure HVAC systems are in good working condition.
  • Keep areas near HVAC inlets and outlets clear.
  • Arrange furniture away from air vents and high airflow areas.
  • Avoid re-circulating air.


Under the CCEYA, licensees must ensure that a daily observation is made of each child receiving child care in each child care centre it operates before the child begins to associate with other children in order to detect possible symptoms of ill health.

Licensees are also required to ensure that where a child receiving child care at a child care centre it operates appears to be ill, the child is separated from other children and the symptoms of the illness noted in the child’s records.

As a reminder, anyone who is sick or has any new or worsening symptoms of illness should stay home until their symptoms are improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea) and should seek assessment from their health care provider if needed.

Licensees are expected to continue distributing RATs to staff/providers and children who return from an unplanned absence.

  • Asymptomatic individuals who are close contacts of a case or a symptomatic individual in the community are no longer required to isolate but must self-monitor for 10 days following last exposure. During the self-monitoring period, close contacts must wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings and avoid activities where they need to take off their mask. o For children under 2 a well-fitted mask is not required. However, parents must monitor for symptoms for 10 days following last exposure.
  • Asymptomatic household contacts of a case or a symptomatic individual are also not required to isolate if they are 17 or younger and fully vaccinated; 18 and older and have already received their COVID-19 booster; or tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and have completed their isolation period. Asymptomatic household contacts who are not required to isolate are also required to self-monitor for 10 days following last exposure, as outlined above. o Children under 5 who are asymptomatic household contacts are required to stay home for 5 days.

Thank you,

Keri Kane, RECE
Director of Children’s Services

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