Update on COVID-19 Testing Strategy for Community-Based Child Care - February 1, 2022

Ministry of Education
Early Years and Child Care Division  
315 Front Street West, 11th floor    
Toronto ON M5V 3A4    

TO: Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Service Administration Boards (CMSMs and DSSABs)
FROM: Boafoa Kwamena, Director
Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing Branch
DATE: February 1, 2022
SUBJECT: Update on COVID-19 Testing Strategy for Community-Based Child Care

Thank you for your continued partnership and efforts to distribute rapid antigen testing (RAT) for community-based child care programs.

As of January 21 all school boards and child care programs have received their shipments of rapid antigen tests (RAT) to create kits of two tests per staff and student/child.

Feedback from licensees has been very positive. I want to thank you for your quick planning, implementation and problem solving to distributing these tests. We recognize the work undertaken thus far in distributing these tests, and we ask that you continue to make every effort to distribute these tests as soon as possible.

Ongoing distribution of rapid antigen tests

To support child care programs with an ongoing supply of tests the ministry plans to begin distributing RATs on a bi-weekly basis. This next distribution began the week of January 24, 2022 and is expected to begin to arrive to service system managers the week beginning January 31, 2022.

This distribution will provide an additional 3.6M RATs, in addition to the 5.2M rapid antigen tests that have already been provided, for public schools/child care in 2022.
The ministry will be providing a bi-weekly replenishment that is intended to provide two tests for 30% of the total licensed capacity for 0-4 age groups and staff for symptomatic testing. This level of test replenishment reflects current provincial supply.
Shipments will also include rapid antigen tests for unvaccinated individuals in licensed child care based on numbers provided by the licensee in a December survey. Biweekly shipments are intended to provide 6 tests for each unvaccinated individual to comply with requirements to test 3x/weekly.

Rapid antigen tests will be distributed in bulk shipments containing boxes of 5-25 individual tests. This shipment should also address shortfalls in the last delivery that were flagged by you.

Shipments will be delivered on weekdays to the same locations you had previously identified. An updated list of community-based child care programs will be provided.

While we are unable to revise/update delivery locations or the proportion of tests to be delivered at each site for immediate future shipments, we will follow up to update this information for future deliveries.

A memo will also go out to licensees to advise them of bi-weekly deliveries to CMSMs/DSSABs and school boards. We will continue to advise them to wait until they are contacted by their CMSMs/DSSABs or school board for information on how to obtain tests.

If you have any questions, please contact Odelia Tsang at odelia.tsang@ontario.ca 

Thank you once again for your continued partnership in implementing local testing initiatives to support the delivery of safe child care programs across Ontario.


Boafoa Kwamena