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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Questions and answers

Last modified date : March 18, 2020


The Québec government has ordered the closure of all daycare services (childcare centres, as well as subsidized, non-subsidized and family daycare centres) for two weeks, from Monday, March 16, to Friday, March 27, inclusively.

The situation will be re-evaluated on a daily basis, and the period may be extended depending on the spread of the virus.



Educators must apply the infection control protocols they already use during respiratory infection season. Thus:

  • They must ensure that sick children do not enter the childcare centre and call upon parents’ close cooperation in this regard.
  • They must isolate a sick child from the other children and ask the parents to come and pick up the child as soon as possible.

For more information, consult the public health guidelines for educators in special childcare centres offering services to workers in essential services as of March 22, 2020.

If there is a case of COVID-19 in a childcare centre, what should be done?

If a child who has attended the childcare centre tests positive for COVID-19, the public health regional branch concerned will investigate and take the necessary measures to evaluate and take charge of each of the sick child’s contacts (staff, children, close family).

If the educator presents with symptoms (even mild, e.g. dripping nose or cough), what should be done?

In the current context, this type of symptom is likely caused by a benign respiratory virus. In this case, as usual, the educator should not work. She should, however, verify with the centre’s management that service is maintained.

If a child presents with symptoms (even mild), what should be done?

Depending on the child’s clinical condition, separate her or him from the others, step up the hygiene measures and call the parents to come and remove the child from the centre.


Whose children have access to special daycare services?

The following jobs and services are deemed essential:

  • Supply and distribution of medications and pharmaceutical goods
  • Food inspection
  • Home services for seniors
  • Garbage collection
  • Sanitation services (water treatment plants)
  • Government air services
  • Ministère de la Sécurité publique (public safety and coroners)
  • Suicide prevention centres
  • Client communication centre of the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale
  • Héma-Québec
  • Transplant-Québec
  • Red Cross
  • Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ)
  • RAMQ
  • All professions in the health and social services system
  • Emergency medical services personnel (paramedics and dispatchers)
  • Private professional practices (health system)
  • Community pharmacies
  • Intermediate resources and private seniors’ residences
  • Persons who provide home services for seniors and who are employed by domestic help social economy businesses
  • 811 and 911 personnel
  • Police officers
  • Firefighters
  • Correctional officers
  • Special constables
  • Emergency daycare educators and support staff

The jobs that have been targeted have a direct and immediate impact on the health and safety of Quebecers. Access to the emergency daycare system remains restricted, in order to be consistent with the full range of measures taken by the government.

How do I know which educational childcare centres will remain open?

If you provide an essential service and your child already attends a daycare centre, your child can continue to attend their usual daycare centre. If your child is not registered in the daycare system and you need emergency daycare services, consult the daycare services locator on the Ministère de la Famille website.

How can parents register their children in a childcare centre during this period?

Parents must contact the educational childcare centre they have chosen directly. A registration form must be filled out for each child for this period. A service agreement is not required for this period.

Parents whose children already attend an educational childcare centre are not required to fill out any additional forms if their children continue to attend the same daycare centre.

The registration form for children is available at: https://www.quebec.ca/en/family-and-support-for-individuals/emergency-daycare-services/

During this period, parents are not required to register with the single-window access to childcare services (La Place 0-5) to have access to an educational childcare centre.

Will essential services personnel have to provide proof of their employment to access educational childcare services?

Yes, these people will have to present their employee card (status card) or any other relevant document (e.g. pay stub).

Will children who attend school have access to educational childcare services during this period?

No, educational childcare services are restricted to their usual clientele. For children in the school system, refer to Québec.ca.

Can parents who have children already in an educational centre, but who do not provide an essential service be able to retain their place during this period?

No, only parents who provide essential services can retain their place.

Will parents without access to educational childcare services during this period have to continue to pay their childcare fees?

No. The government will pay parents’ contribution as well as the daycare centres’ subsidies for the entire two-week period.

Parents whose children usually attend a non-subsidized daycare centre will not be charged for daycare services during this two-week period.

Will parents who use educational childcare services during this period have to pay for these services?

No, parents will not have to pay for these services.


Will all educational childcare centres be open from March 16 to 27, 2020?

Yes, all educational childcare centres (CPEs) as well as subsidized, non-subsidized and recognized family daycare centres that make up the childcare centre network will remain open.

However, during this period, these daycare centres will cease their regular activities in order to provide emergency educational daycare services intended exclusively for children 0 to 5 years old of parents who must offer essential services.

Will people who operate non-recognized family daycare centres be allowed to continue offering daycare services?

In keeping with the directives that the Ministère de la Famille gave its network, as well as those issued by the Direction nationale de Santé publique du Québec, people who operate a non-recognized family daycare centre (PNR) are invited to proceed in the same way as recognized educational childcare centres. You can therefore close your daycare centre. However, if the parents of some children at your daycare provide essential services, you may choose to continue to offer daycare services to support these parents. In the event that these parents have needs that you are unable to meet, we invite you to refer them to the procedures outlined on the Québec.ca website.

Can people who are responsible for a family daycare centre and who planned to close their service keep their daycare closed?

Yes, provided that they announced the closure of their daycare to parents before March 13, 2020.

What hours will educational childcare centres remain open during this period?

Educational childcare centres will maintain their usual hours of operation.

Can the Ministère de la Famille oblige an educational childcare centre to extend its hours of operation?

This measure is not envisaged for now.

At present, childcare administrators can take into account the number of children attending in order to adjust the number of staff members required. They can release some staff, plan rotations and recall lists, or assign their staff to other useful tasks pending a return to normal.

Please remember that from now until March 27, all staff will be remunerated on the basis of the assignment they had on March 13, regardless of the number of hours they worked.

The Government asks that emergency childcare services be available from 7 a.m. to 6  p.m. at all centres. This can be done with reduced staff if fewer children are present.

You must open your centre every day. In the event that no child comes, you must keep the centre open with the minimum required staff, until 1 p.m.

For the time being, despite the low attendance, there is no plan to combine clienteles or close any centres.

Will educational childcare centres provide meals and snacks?

Yes, educational childcare centres will continue to offer their usual services

Will this two-week period be extended if necessary?

We are not ruling it out. The situation is changing day by day, hour by hour. The Québec government’s priority is the health and safety of all Quebecers.

The Minister of Families said that financial compensation would be paid to non-subsidized daycares. What are the procedures for obtaining this compensation?

Financial compensation will be paid to non-subsidized daycares for the period from March 16 to 27 inclusive.

Calculated on the basis of the number of places registered on the permit, this financial aid is offered mainly with regard to staff remuneration.

Payments should be issued during the week of March 23.


Are all childcare personnel obliged to work during this period?

Yes, everyone who was supposed to work during this period must be available to ensure educational childcare services for children whose parents provide an essential service. Exceptions may apply for individuals targeted by measures prescribed by the Direction de la santé publique.

Childcare administrators can take into account the number of children present to adjust the number of staff members required. They can release some staff, plan rotations and recall lists, or assign their staff to other useful tasks pending a return to normal.

Please remember that from now until March 27, all personnel will be remunerated on the basis of the assignment they had on March 13, regardless of the number of hours they worked.

We are therefore counting on all centres to remain open according to the usual schedule. This can be done with reduced staff if fewer children are present.

For daycare staff who had already requested permission to take vacation, it is recommended that they not travel abroad. Anyone who chooses to go abroad will be obliged to self-isolate when he or she returns.

Can educational childcare personnel bring their children to the daycare in which they work during this period?

Yes. Employees can bring their children to the daycare where they work during this period, even if their children are over 5 years old.


Can an educational childcare centre refuse to accept a child?

Yes, educational childcare centres must refuse:

  • children whose parents do not provide essential services, except children of daycare personnel
  • children who must be in isolation following the directives of the Public Health Agency

What should an educational childcare centre do if it notices that a child appears to have symptoms of COVID-19?

The educational childcare centre must follow the directives issued by the Public Health Agency, which can be found on the government of Québec’s official website:


It can also call 1-877-644-4545.

Will non-recognized family daycare centres receive compensation?

As contractors, they will be able to contact the government once the details of the compensation program have been unveiled.

Do the same educator/child ratios apply?

Ideally, yes. We will attempt to maintain the same ratios. However, given the current emergency situation, we will be flexible and use our judgment.


The Minister of Families called on the population to make friendly arrangements for babysitting services. How can I respond to this appeal while making sure to respect the measures introduced by the Québec government?

Québec is facing an extraordinary situation, and all Quebecers must show solidarity. Family, friends, neighbours and young people can babysit your children at home. This is nothing new, and we certainly do not intend to prohibit it.

However, the directives issued by the Public Health Agency apply. We are asking the population to use their judgment and show civic-mindedness and generosity to provide friends, family and neighbours with babysitting services.

As such, the goal is not to simulate family daycare situations.

If you did not find the answers to your questions, contact the Bureau des renseignements et des plaintes of the Ministère de la Famille by calling the toll-free number: 1-855-336-8568.


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Last modified date :
March 24, 2020