COVID-19 Decision Tool for Child Care Attendees

Version 3.2. Updated on March 22, 2021, and adapted from COVID-19 Decision Tool for Schools (JK-Gr12) Version 3.2

​​Children should be excluded from attending child care, under the following conditions:


(A)     If the child has one or more symptoms, even if it is mild or has resolved, the child should stay home,

self-isolate, get tested or contact their health care provider.

(B)     If anyone in the child's household has one or more of the above symptoms the child should also stay home and follow instructions from public health.


(C)     If the child has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 they will need to stay home and  self-isolate for 14 days, even if they don't have symptoms. 

(D)    If the child has a household member that has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19, all children in the household must stay home from child care for 14 days (until the person who had close contact has completed their self-isolation period).


(E)   If the child has travelled outside of Canada, they must self-isolate for 14 days.


(F)    If the child has a household member that has travelled outside of Canada all individuals in the household who attend a child care setting must stay home until the individual who travelled completes their 14 day travel quarantine.  Note:  This does not apply if the person who travelled performs an essential job (e.g. truck driver, pilot) and is exempt from travel quarantine.


Child does not have symptoms of COVID-19
If the child does not have symptoms of COVID-19 they can attend child care if:

  • they do not have a household member with symptoms (see B); or
  • they or any member of their household are not a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (see C,D); or
  • they or any member of their household have not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days (see E,F).


Child has symptoms but is not a close contact of someone with COVID-19

  • If the child has any new or worsening symptoms, he/she must stay home, self-isolate and get tested or contact their health care provider, even if the symptom has resolved.
  • Any other children and adults in the household who attend a child care will also need to stay home.
  • Adults in the home, including parents, who do not attend a child care must self-monitor for symptoms, but can go to work as long as they do not have symptoms and the child has not tested positive.


Child has symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19

  • The child must stay home and self-isolate for 10 days, starting from the day the symptoms started
  • The child may return to child care after 10 days if they do not have a fever (without use of medication), and their symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours.
  • Even if the child does not have symptoms they must stay home and self-isolate for 10 days from the day of the test.
  • All other adults and children in the household must stay home, self-isolate for at least 14 days, and follow public health advice.


Child has symptoms and tests negative for COVID-19

  • The child may return to care if their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours, and if they are not a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or have travelled outside of Canada.
  • Household members can return to care right away as long as they do not have symptoms.


Child has symptoms, is not a close contact of a positive case, and is not tested for COVID-19

  • If the child has symptoms of COVID-19 that are not related to an existing medical condition and they are not tested, they must stay home and self-isolate for 10 days from the date their symptom(s) started. The child can return to child care after 10 days if they do not have a fever (without taking medication), and their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours.
  • The children and adults in the household that attend a child care must stay home, and can return to child care after 14 days as long as they do not have symptoms.


Child has symptoms but has an alternative medical diagnosis and is not tested for COVID-19

  • Children who have symptoms, but have been given an alternative diagnosis by a health care provider (not related to COVID-19), may return to child care if their symptoms have been improving for 24 hours.
  • A cold or respiratory infection is not considered an alternative diagnosis, and the individual should be tested for COVID-19.
  • Household members  can return to child care right away as long as they do not have symptoms.


Child has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19

  • A child who has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days.
  • The child should go for testing.  Even if the test is negative, the will have to self-isolate for the full 14 days.
  • Any children in the household must stay home from child care until the child who is a close contact completes their period of self-isolation.
  • Adults in the home can attend work or child care as long as they do not have symptoms.


Household member has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19

  • Any household member who has been in close contact with someone with COIVD-19 must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days, and arrange to get tested.  Even if the test is negative, they must self-isolate for the full 14 days.
  • Any children in the household must stay home from child care until the person who is a close contact completes their 14 days of isolation.
  • Adults in the home can go to work or child care as long as they do not have symptoms.


Child has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 and develops symptoms, but is not tested

  • The child must self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started.
  • Any children and adults who attend a child care should self-isolate for 14 days or more as this is how long it can take for their symptoms to appear.


Household member has symptoms of COVID-19 and is not a close contact of a positive case

  • If a household member has symptoms of COVID-19 any children and adults who attend a child care setting must stay home until COVID-19 is ruled out for the household member with symptoms.
  • If the household member with symptoms does not go for testing the children and adults in the home who attend a child care setting must self isolate for 14 days.


Household member has symptoms and is a close contact of someone who had COVID-19

  • If a household member has symptoms of COVID-19 and is a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, all children and adults in the household must stay home and self-isolate until COVID-19 is ruled out.
  • If the household member with symptoms is not tested the rest of the household must stay home for 14 days.
  • If the household member tests negative, children in the home will still need to stay home from child care until the household member completes their self-isolation.


Child has travelled outside Canada

  • If the child has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, they must self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Everyone in the household who attends a child care setting must also stay home until the person who travelled completes their 14 day period of self-isolation. 


Household member has travelled outside of Canada

  • If anyone in the household has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, the person who travelled must self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Everyone in the household who attends a child care setting will also need to stay home until the person who travelled completes the 14 day period of self-isolation.
  • If the individual is exempt from the travel self-isolation period because they perform an essential job (e.g. truck driver, pilot), the rest of the household can still attend child care.


Return to Child Care Confirmation Form

  • Toronto Public Health does not recommend or require medical notes for return to child care.
  • It is the decision of each child care operator/licensee to decide if they choose to accept a Return to Child Care Confirmation Form.

There are many reasons why children cannot pass the COVID -19 screening.

The symptom chart and decision tool below, from Toronto Public Health, will provide families with an overview of what is required for each situation (child is sick, household member sick, close contact with positive COVID-19).

​Families are always encouraged to contact Toronto Public Health directly:  416-338-7600

What to do when your Child cannot attend daycare

Updated COVID-19 screening for symptoms:
Children attending child care must be screened prior to entry.  Screening may be performed by a child care staff or a parent/guardian by completing a self-screening questionnaire.  For children with a chronic health issue that is medically diagnosed and unrelated to COVID-19, look for new different or worsening symptoms.

* The screening chart and decision tool are 2 separate documents and not updated simultaneously by TPH.  When there are discrepancies between the 2 documents, the daycare follows the directives from the most recently updated document.   We also advise TPH of the discrepancy.