Child Care Information

Last modified: 
Fri, 09/11/2020 - 10:19

Chief Public Health Officer recommendations for early learning and child care programs

The Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) is recommending early learning and child care programs in the NWT stay open during the COVID-19 public health emergency wherever possible. 

Child care is considered an essential service and one that allows first responders to report for frontline duty in our hospitals, clinics, fire halls, etc. Without this service, front lines would be significantly impacted. The importance of first responders' ability to report to work is not meant to diminish the important and essential service that early learning and child care programs provide to families.  

To prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, we ask that parents and operators be diligent and keep children home, and in self-isolation, if anyone in the household is showing ANY signs or symptoms of ANY illness or if accessing child care is not essential for parents to complete their duties.  

All licensed early learning and child care programs have strong practices related to the exclusion of children showing signs of illness, excellent cleaning and sanitation practices, and healthy respiratory and hygiene practices. 

The operation of early learning and child care programs is considered safe and encouraged under the following health advice:

  • Early learning and child care programs should require staff and children to follow healthy respiratory and hygiene practices.
  • Children and staff returning to the NWT from overseas and other parts of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days.  
  • All sick children and staff should be sent home, even if they have not travelled. 

The continued availability of licensed early learning and child care programs is critical for ensuring essential workers in the NWT can continue providing services to residents of the NWT throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, including healthcare services. Updates will be provided to providers and parents if the situation changes.

Monitoring and inspection of licensed child care programs

Monitoring of existing licensed early learning and childcare programs continues as an essential service throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Due to the GNWT’s COVID-19 response, Assistant Fire Marshals (AFMs) from the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) will no longer be conducting in-person annual fire inspections in licensed early learning and child care programs across the NWT at this time.  

In order to continue to maintain a high level of safety in licensed programs, the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) has provided a fire self-inspection checklist that programs can use to be sure the requirements of the OFM have been met.  

Regional Early Childhood Consultants (ECCs) and AFMs will work closely with programs to ensure compliance and answer any questions licensed program operators may have regarding fire inspections.

Regular, in-person fire inspections will resume once the requirement to self-isolate due to COVID-19 is no longer in effect for GNWT employees.

For a complete list of licensed early learning and child care programs, please visit: https://www.ece.gov.nt.ca/en/childcare