It's time for child care for all - Des services de garde éducatifs pour tous

Country-wide, many ECEs and child care workers have been forced to work in unsafe conditions. Even with the release of the COVID-19 vaccine and booster doses, children under five years of age cannot be vaccinated, leaving ECEs and child care workers working in classrooms that are entirely unvaccinated. In many classrooms, particularly where infants and toddlers are cared for, children cannot or are unable to wear masks or social distance. This is then compounded by the fact that workers often do not have health benefits themselves, so if they become sick, they face the brunt of this alone. Furthermore, the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that would reduce the chances of educators becoming sick has not been adequately provided to workers or the centres in which they work in many jurisdictions. Some municipalities, such as Toronto, have stepped in to provide PPE for child care centres and their workers. This, however, is not something that all municipalities have the capacity to offer, particularly in more rural and remote areas where there is less funding and few staff. The fact remains that many educators report having to reuse masks that are meant to be disposable, having no access to COVID-19 testing, and having no priority for vaccines or booster doses.

Below, a brief outline of each province or territory’s COVID-19 provisions for child care centres and their workers may be found. 

*Please note, this chart was last updated on January 29, 2022.

Province/Territory Government distribution of PPE, vaccine priority, testing, and other safety measures.
NL Child care workers became a priority group for vaccination in April 2021.

Licensed child care centres will receive five rapid tests for each worker, announced January 2022.

Child care workers are eligible for PCR testing.

PEI Child care workers became a priority group for vaccination on April 15, 2021.

Licensed child care centres will receive enough rapid tests for all workers to perform three tests per week for four weeks, beginning in January 2022.

NS Child care workers were not among the priority groups for vaccination. Some may have been vaccinated if they met the age eligibility.

Child care workers did not receive any rapid testing kits, as of January 2022.

Child care workers are not eligible for PCR testing. Some child care workers may qualify for PCR testing under other guidelines, such as age.

NB Child care workers were not a priority group for vaccination. However, child care staff working in a school setting may have been eligible for vaccination as of June 2021.

Rapid testing kits were not distributed to child care centres or their workers, as of January 2022. Rapid tests were available on a first come, first serve basis at various locations across the province. Workers were encouraged to attempt to acquire these kits for themselves.

Child care workers are not eligible for PCR testing. Some child care workers may qualify for PCR testing under other guidelines, such as age or pregnancy.

QC Child care workers across the province were eligible for vaccines as of April 14, 2021.

All child care workers will soon be eligible for PCR testing, as of January 2022.

Child care centres distributed rapid testing kits to parents, as of December 2021. 

ON Child care workers and staff were prioritized for the vaccine on April 29, 2021.

Child care workers will receive two rapid tests each, as of January 2022. 

Child care workers are not eligible for PCR testing, as of December 2021.

MB Child care workers were not a priority group for vaccination. However, the vaccine eligibility has been expanded to all adults as of May 21, 2021.

Child care workers are eligible for PCR testing.

Child care centres have been provided with rapid tests. These tests, however, are being used to test unvaccinated, asymptomatic workers, as opposed to being distributed amongst staff.

SK Child care workers were not a priority group for vaccination. However, child care staff working in a school setting were prioritized for vaccination as of March 18, 2021.

Rapid testing kits were not distributed to child care centres or their workers, as of January 2022. Rapid tests were available on a first come, first serve basis at various locations across the province. Workers were encouraged to attempt to acquire these kits for themselves.

Child care workers are not eligible for PCR testing. Some child care workers may qualify for PCR testing under other guidelines, such as if they are part of an outbreak situation.

AB Child care workers became prioritized for vaccination alongside teachers as of May 4, 2021.

Child care workers are provided with rapid testing kits if their employer applies to receive them. Child care workers are provided with disposable medical and N95 masks if their employer applies to receive them, and depending upon the stock that the government has to distribute.

Child care workers are not eligible for PCR testing. Some child care workers may qualify for PCR testing under other guidelines, such as if they are pregnant.

BC Child care staff were prioritized for vaccines starting late April 2021.

Child care workers are ineligible for PCR testing. Child care centres must supply their own PPE.

Child care workers have not been prioritized for booster shots.

As of January 2022, 250,000 rapid tests will be sent to government-funded child care providers for use by educators.

YK Child care workers were not part of the priority populations for vaccination.

Child care workers are not eligible for PCR testing. Workers who are unvaccinated, however, are eligible through a territory-wide policy.

NT Child care workers were not part of the priority populations for vaccination.

Child care workers have not been provided with rapid test kits or PPE.

Child care workers are not eligible for PCR testing. Some child care workers may qualify for PCR testing under other guidelines, such as if they are part of an outbreak situation.

NU Child care workers were not part of the priority populations for vaccination.