Child care facilities (daycares) licensed under the Child Care and Early Years Act are required to meet and maintain specific provincial standards to protect the health, safety and well-being of the children. Licences have to be renewed at least every year.
The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is responsible for monitoring licensed facilities in the District of Thunder Bay to ensure:
- Proper food handling, preparation and storage guidelines are being followed
- Proper infection control guidelines are being followed including those related to hand hygiene, diapering, cleaning and immunizations
Immunization Requirements for Staff
Under Section 57 of The Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) licensed child care operators must ensure that all employees are immunized as recommended by the local Medical Officer of Health (MOH).
For all licensed operators in the District of Thunder Bay, employees must have the following immunizations:
- Complete childhood immunization series including Td, Polio and Pertussis
- A tetanus, diphtheria (Td) booster is required every 10 years. One of these boosters should be a pertussis containing tetanus booster (Tdap)
- Combined Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccine (MMR)
NOTE: Polio boosters are not routinely given to adults and influenza (flu) immunization is recommended every year.
Tuberculosis (TB) Screening: required for all staff and volunteers who have lived or travelled outside Canada to a country where TB is common or to a First Nations community for more than three months. TB testing is not required for people who have lived in:
- Canada, United States of America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, or
- First Nations communities located in Southern Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador
Staff can submit objections or exemptions. The forms are the same forms used by children in the facility:
- A Ministry of Education Statement of Medical Exemption form. The form must contain the health care providers (physician or nurse practitioner) signature and licence/registration number. Please note this is NOT the same form that is used for children attending school. The form can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/medical_exemption
- A Ministry of Education Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief affidavit. The affidavit must contain a commissioner of oath’s signature and contact information. Please note this is NOT the same form that is used for children attending school. The form can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/belief_exemption
Any written objections to immunization that were obtained prior to August 29, 2016 will be considered compliant; but must be replaced by an approved objection/exemption form and notarized as outlined in the above section on exemption before September 1, 2017.
The Daycare Manual was updated in 2017. Please note that hard copies of the manual are no longer distributed to licensed childcare facilities.
Operators are asked to remove the sections from the existing binder and replace them with the following sections:
- Infection Control Guidelines (PDF)
- Food Safety Guidelines (PDF)
- Guidelines for Food Handling with Children (PDF)
- Immunization Guidelines (PDF)
For questions on other topics (e.g. nutrition, physical activity, injury prevention), please contact the appropriate program area. You can find a list of program and contact information by visiting our Programs & Services page.
Common Childhood Infections Guide
The goal of the Common Childhood Infections Guide is to assist operators with managing childhood infections or diseases.
The resource includes an overview of 28 common childhood infections or diseases of concern by providing information on the signs, symptoms, means of spread as well as any exclusion guidelines that may apply for each infection. If the infection or disease is reportable to the Health Unit, it is clearly indicated on the specific disease chart provided. However, it is important to know that a health care provider must make any diagnosis.
Gastrointestinal (Enteric) Outbreak Manual
This resource was developed to assist operators in managing an enteric (gastrointestinal) outbreak in their facility.
- Gastrointestinal (Enteric) Outbreak Manual (PDF)
- Poster to alert families of the outbreak: English | French
- Gastrointestinal (Enteric) Outbreak Management Guidelines for Staff of Child Care Facilities
- Line list to track the outbreak
For more information about operator requirements, please speak with the public health inspector assigned to your facility.
For Further Information
For immunization-related questions, please call the Vaccine Preventable Disease program: (807) 625-5900 or toll-free 1-888-294-6630
For questions specific to all other issues, please call the public inspector assigned to your centre; (807) 625-5930 or toll-free 1-888-294-6630, ext. 5930.