With the provincial government’s announcement of childcare centres reopening, the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB) is working to get them opened locally.

DNSSAB officials say they are working with licensed child care providers, the health unit and local school boards to develop a plan to reopen child care spaces closed due to COVID-19. The province said they would be able to reopen, as long as enhanced health and safety measures are in place.

“Child care is an important component to reopening the economy and DNSSAB is doing everything it can to open as many spaces as possible in the safest way possible as quickly as possible,” says DNSSAB Chair Mark King.

Officials say Emergency Child Care spaces for the children of essential workers have been made available during the closure period and these spaces will remain in place until June 26. Following this period, families served through emergency child care services will resume their original child care placements.

One of the reopening guidelines outlined by the province was a maximum of 10 people will be allowed in one of the rooms at a time. According to DNSSAB, this will limit which centres will be able to reopen. DNSSAB, in collaboration with the licensed child care sector, is working on establishing a consistent approach to prioritizing families and providing access to licensed child care spaces throughout the District. Every attempt will be made to accommodate as many families as possible throughout this stage.

Officials add that parents registered with DNSSAB for licensed child care spaces will be kept up to date on the reopening process and it develops.