Home daycare providers question COVID safety regulations
BARRIE, ONT. -- Daycares across the province are preparing for significant changes starting next week, but not every facility has to follow the same rules, leaving some operators questioning why.
"I work from 6:30 in the morning until 9:30 at night," daycare provider Shanan Carpenter said the requirements for a licenced home daycare provider are unrealistic.
Starting September 1, Carpenter will have to wear a face mask and either a face shield or eye goggles anytime a child is in her care.
Furthermore, any child in grade four and up will also have to don a face covering while in a home daycare under the new COVID regulations.
Daycare providers will have to take every child's temperature and make sure each washes their hands.
But, unlicensed daycares in the province will not have to follow the same set of regulations.
Wee Watch, a licensed home childcare agency, has more than 30 daycares in the Barrie area. Wee Watch Area Supervisor Cathy Power said it causes concern. "We're worried that it will provoke them to be unlicensed, to join the unlicensed sector."
"For unlicensed home daycare providers, they are not regulated provincially, so they are not required or mandated to follow the same guidance," explained Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit's Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lisa Simon. "However, the health unit does advise the unlicensed home daycare providers to follow that same guidance for the safety of the children."
Wee Watch plans to continue to work with the province to try and level the playing field.