Snow Closure Policy for all Spare Time Centres

Dear Families:

If school buildings are closed due to snow, we will not be able to operate our childcare programs.

On snowy days please check the VSB website for district closures,

Vancouver School Board (

or listen to the radio (CKNW 980 AM, CKWX 1130 AM, CBC 690 AM- 105.7 FM) for information about school closures, and please walk your child into the centre to ensure that we are open, and staff is on site.

If the district declares a school closure after students have arrived at school, please come to pick your child up, or arrange for an alternate to do so. At Laurier, Kingsford-Smith and Oppenheimer we may not have staff on site between 9:00am and 2:00pm, and the buildings will only remain open until 3:00pm.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call your centre supervisor directly.

Spare Time COVID-19 July Update

Dear Spare Time families,

With the announcement of Phase 3 beginning July 1 and some Provincial restrictions lifting, we have had a chance to re-consider our activities, and are planning to include some field trips in the programs.

Another Step Forward – BC’s Restart – A Plan to Bring Us Back Together (

Field trips planned will be to outdoor locations, such as parks, beaches, outdoor pools, driving range, splash parks, and local trips within walking distance.  All trips will include health and safety plans consistent with health and safety guidelines: Guidance_Child_Care.pdf (

We are not planning any trips to crowded outdoor locations such as the PNE.

Children will be transported in our own busses that are cleaned and disinfected according to the guidance provided in the BCCDC’s Cleaning and Disinfectants for Public Settings document.

Centre Supervisors at each centre will communicate information regarding any field trips.

Best regards,


Astrid Visscher


Spare Time Child Care Society

604-325-1010, C: 604-306-6882

Extreme Heat Closure for Tuesday June 29th

Dear Spare Time Families,

Tomorrow, Tuesday June 29th,  schools will be open from 9-12:00, see information from VSB below.

Our programs will be open for morning care, from 7:30-9:00. Centres will not be open when children are dismissed at 12:00, we will not be able to provide emergency child care.

A separate message will be sent to families at Spare Time Tree House.

I am so sorry that the school year is ending in this way. Our dedicated staff in every centre have really enjoyed having your children in the programs this year. We look forward to seeing some of them in the summer program beginning July 5th, and others in September. For all of our kids moving on to high school, we wish you the very best and hope you will come back to visit!

Information from Vancouver Coastal Health: Extreme Heat Alert – Vancouver Coastal Health (

Thank you for all your support, this year has certainly been full of challenges!

Have a great summer,


Astrid Visscher


Spare Time Child Care Society

604-325-1010, C: 604-306-6882

Extreme Heat Closure (Monday, June 28, 2021)

Dear Spare Time Families,

VSB schools will be closed tomorrow, Monday June 28, 2021  due to an Extreme Heat Alert.

For the health and safety of the children in our care,

Spare Time child care programs and Tree House preschool will also be closed, we will not be providing emergency child care on Monday June 28th.

For further information please see:

Information from Vancouver Coastal Health:

Extreme Heat Alert – Vancouver Coastal Health (

Information from the VSB:

Vancouver School Board (

We will let you know tomorrow if we have any further information.

Take care and stay hydrated,


Astrid Visscher


Spare Time Child Care Society

604-325-1010, C: 604-306-6882

Letter to Families Sept. 3 2020

Letter to Families September 3, 2020

September 3, 2020

Dear Spare Time Families,

We are getting ready for school opening next week. We will be open at all our locations beginning Thursday Sept. 10, from 7:30-9:00, and from 3:00-6:00. While some children may be attending school in the morning only, or the afternoon only on Thursday and Friday, we will not be able to provide any child care between 9:00am and 3:00pm on September 10 and 11.

Spare Time Centres continue to follow all Health and Safety protocols from the Ministry of Health who is responsible for Child Care Licensing, and the BC Centre for Disease Control.

While we also follow Public Health Guidance for Children from K-Gr12 and VSB policies as closely as we can, the protocols are directed to operations of schools and school activities, not child care operations, so there are some differences.

Unfortunately, we do not have the space, staffing or the resources to keep the assigned school cohorts consistent into the after-school hours. However the children will be kept in groups such as Juniors, Leaders and in some centres, Loungers, as much as possible. Some of our centres have designated rooms where the children in certain groups go, whereas other programs use one large room such as an activity room where the groups have their areas, but they are not always apart from each other.

The fee schedule is adjusted to reflect the later school opening for Term 1. September fees are now due.

You will be receiving more specific information from your centre in the coming days.

We look forward to seeing everyone next week,

Astrid Visscher,
Spare Time Child Care Society

Spare Time COVID-19 Information and Procedures for Families

Spare Time COVID-19 Information and Procedures for Families

The Ministry of Health licenses childcare and has provided guidance along with the BCCDC, the Ministry for Children and Family Development, and WorkSafeBC for operational procedures to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and maintain safe and healthy environments for children and staff. Below is some information for our families:

Public Health Measures

The Provincial Health Officer’s Order for Mass Gatherings continues to prohibit gatherings and events of people in excess of 50 people, however this Order does not apply to child care settings. As such, there can be more than 50 children and staff at any given setting if they are not all in one area and if they are actively engaged in physical distancing to the greatest extent possible.

Personal Measures

Daily Checks for Respiratory Illness and Staying Home When Sick

  • Parents/guardians must assess their child daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory disease before sending them to child care or school. If your child is ill, they must remain home.
  • Should children have symptoms they should be assessed by their health care provider and not return until those symptoms have resolved

Daily health assessment for children, VSB:  

Download link to Daily Health Check Form

In addition, a child may not attend childcare if:

  • they have travelled outside of BC in the last 14 days
  • they have had contact with a known COVID-19 case, or if another person in their home has symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory disease, even if your child remains asymptomatic (i.e. does not show signs of being ill); and/or
  • a doctor or other medical professional has advised them to self-isolate.

If your child shows symptoms at daycare, they will be isolated, and you will be contacted to pick up your child. Parents or caregivers must pick up their child promptly once notified that their child is ill.

Pick-up and Drop-Off

  • Pick-up and drop-off of children will be outside the child care centre. If a parent must enter the setting, they should wear a mask, maintain physical distance from staff and other children present and practice diligent hand hygiene.


  • Drop off: Pre-School families should wait outside with their child, and a staff person will call your child in.
  • Pick up: Pre-school staff will open the door and send your child to you where you are waiting outside. While waiting, please keep an appropriate distance from other parents, the sidewalk is marked for distancing.

School Age

To minimize the number of adults that enter the buildings, sign in procedures have been moved to the entrances for efficient drop-offs and pick-ups of children. You can send your child in and a staff will help them get settled.

  • At the end of the day, you can ring the door bell, a staff will greet you, and bring your child to where you are waiting outside.
  • Staff will be looking out for arriving parents and getting children ready. Alternately, you can call or text the centre when you are 5-10 minutes away, and a staff will see your child out to your car. We will let you know anything important you need to know about your child and their day by email.
  • Staff will sign your child in and out, or a safe and accountable system is in place for children to sign themselves in.
  • When you are waiting outside, please keep an appropriate distance from other parents, the sidewalk is marked for distancing

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves are not needed in the child care setting, beyond those used by staff as part of regular precautions for the hazards normally encountered in their regular course of work. They should only be used when all other controls have been fully explored.

  • Cloth or non-medical homemade masks are not recommended. Wearing one is a personal choice.
  • In young children in particular, masks can be irritating and may lead to increased touching of the face and eyes.

Centre Protocols

For the safety and care of our children, families and staff, all Centres follow enhanced cleaning and disinfection guidelines, hand hygiene instructions (children and staff), practice social distancing between adults in the centres and keep the children in small group sizes.

Centres are operating with lower numbers and allowing for extra cleaning and attention to safe interactions.

We are actively engaged with other child care providers, the City of Vancouver, and the VSB to ensure consistency and best practices, based on guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control:

Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and Childcare Settings  19/qa_covid19_childcare_settings_mar_24_2020.pdf

COVID-19 support resources and valuable information:   response-covid-19

BC Centre for Disease Control, Symptoms of Covid 19:

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