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COVID-19 FAQs for Members

Last updated August 26, 2021

College of Early Childhood Educators (College) operations

Is the College open?

We are committed to being here to support members and fulfilling our role in the oversight of the profession. While staff members are working remotely, College services are operating as usual. We ask that you please use our online services or communicate with us by email or phone.

COVID-19 vaccine information

Where can I sign up to receive the vaccine?

Your local public health unit is developing a vaccine plan tailored to their own community’s needs. Starting July 2021, Ontario entered Phase three – in which all remaining eligible Ontarians were able to book an appointment to get their first dose – as a part of Ontario’s three-phased plan. Those timelines are based on the vaccine supply and distribution schedule. We recommend you visit the How to book a COVID-19 vaccine webpage or contact your local public health unit.

Practice of the profession

Do children have to wear personal protective equipment?

The Ministry of Education has prepared different operational guidelines for child care, EarlyON and before and after school settings. These guidelines include use of personal protective equipment, cleaning procedures and symptoms screening.

Be sure to check these guidelines often as they are updated regularly. It is also recommended to check the guidelines of your local municipality as some may have further requirements or restrictions that are in addition to what has been determined by the Ontario government.

One of the families has asked me if I will provide child care for their son in their home. They need to work, and I need the income, but I’m concerned that this might not be allowed. What does the College say?

The College does not prohibit private care-giving arrangements with workplace clients. We recognize that during the current situation, they can be very valuable to members, families and children by providing continuity of care. Standard V of the Code and Standards advises members that they should be aware that dual relationships can arise due to these types of arrangements, and the steps they can take to address and manage them. For further information on using your professional judgment to manage the risks of dual relationships, see the College’s Practice Guideline on Dual Relationships.

Do the Ontario child care guidelines apply to home-based child care?

All child settings, including those run by home care providers, must adhere to the enhanced health and safety requirements set out by the Ontario government. These guidelines include the maximums for group size and ratios, determine the use of personal protective equipment and other important details to help keep everyone safe and healthy. You’ll find the guidelines from the Ontario government here. Be sure to also check if your local municipality has further restrictions to those set out by the provincial government.

Continuous Professional Learning (CPL)

What is happening with the CPL program during the COVID-19 situation?

We believe that ongoing learning is important and valued by the profession. Effective April 2020 to March 2022, you will have the option for a one-year deferral of your CPL requirements due to COVID-19. You may only select this deferral option once.

Information will be included with your renewal notice and the option to defer CPL requirements due to COVID-19 will appear on your renewal form.

Do I have to contact the College to get a deferral due to COVID-19?

No. The option to defer your CPL requirements due to COVID-19 will be included as part of your next membership renewal. Please note that you’re not required to submit any forms or documentation to support a deferral due to COVID-19.

How do I defer my CPL requirements?

When filling in the CPL section of your renewal, you’ll select one of the following options:

  • “Yes,” if you have met your CPL requirements for the past membership year;
  • “No,” if you have not met the requirements for the past membership year for any reason other than COVID-19; or,
  • “I choose to defer my CPL program requirements for this past membership year due to COVID-19.”

If you are unsure of how to answer the question when you are renewing, please email cpl@college-ece.ca.

I’d like to continue to do my CPL. Will the College still provide support?

Yes, we continue to provide support to members in understanding and participating in CPL by:

  • responding to calls and emails about CPL;
  • producing and sharing CPL and practice resources;
  • hosting webinars with information and updates about the CPL program; and,
  • continuing to provide the option to confirm compliance with the CPL requirements upon renewal.

More information about CPL resources is available here.

What happens once I’ve opted to defer my CPL program requirements due to COVID-19 for the past membership year?

If you have deferred your CPL requirements for the past membership year, you will have until your next renewal date to complete the requirements that were deferred. You may only select this deferral option once.

If you are unsure about where you should be in your CPL cycle, please email cpl@college-ece.ca.

I did not complete my CPL requirements for a reason other than COVID-19. How do I respond to the CPL section on my renewal?

You will respond “No” if you have not completed your CPL requirements for any reason other than COVID-19. A Professional Practice staff member will reach out to share information on possible next steps.

What do I do if I need a CPL deferral for another reason other than COVID-19?

You can submit a CPL Deferral Form for any reason not related to COVID-19 (i.e., parental leave, sick leave, disability leave or bereavement).

I have already been approved for a deferral due to my parental leave. Will I have the option to defer CPL requirements for my next membership year due to COVID-19?

Depending on the timing of your deferral, you may also be able to defer due to COVID-19. Please email cplcompliance@college-ece.ca to confirm the options for your situation.

Reliable sources of information

I feel isolated. Where can I find more information on what is happening in the early years’ sector?

Our Qualified, Capable & Ready series, developed to help you navigate the pandemic, includes two articles with helpful tips from mental health professionals.

The following organizations are actively involved in helping those in the early years’ sector navigate the current situation:

AECEO: The AECEO is the professional association for early childhood educators in Ontario. Its primary purpose is to advocate for respect, recognition and appropriate wages and working conditions for all ECEs. Follow them on social media: AECEO Twitter or AECEO Facebook.

Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare: Ontario’s central advocacy group for a universal early childhood education and care system. It’s made up of local child care centres, national and provincial groups and individuals from all across Ontario. Follow them on social media: Coalition Twitter or Coalition Facebook.

Ontario Ministry of Education: The Ministry is responsible for delivering early years, child care and publicly funded education from kindergarten to Grade 12. You can find information on the Ministry’s website or follow them on social media: Ministry’s Twitter.

Children’s Mental Health Ontario: The CMHO represents Ontario’s publicly funded youth mental health centres. Their mission is to ensure that all children get the mental health services they need. You can find more information on the CMHO website or follow them on social media: CMHO Twitter.

Ontario Government’s news release on increasing mental health supports. There are links to services within this release.

Where can I find information on my rights within the workplace?

The Ontario Human Rights Commission has recently published helpful FAQs that can be accessed here.

If you are a member of a union, you should contact your union or federation. They will be able to support you in relation to employment issues and provide you with resources to guide you in your work.

Where can I find reliable information about COVID-19 and the precautions I should take?

Public Health Agency of Canada

Ontario Ministry of Health

Operational Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak Child Care Re-Opening

COVID-19: Precautions When Working as a Childcare Provider (PSHSA)