Office of the Chief Medical Health Officer
#800–601 W. Broadway Vancouver, BC V5Z 4C2 604-675-3800
March 17, 2020
Dear Childcare Licensees/Managers:
Re: Update on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
We are writing to give you updated information on the novel coronavirus causing respiratory illness (COVID-19) and inform you of new measures and guidance.
While a number of infections were previously reported among returning travellers, and international travel remains a risk factor for COVID-19 infection, local community transmission in BC has also been observed at low levels.
Our knowledge of this virus and outbreak continues to grow, and we are using new information to adjust our public health recommendations. While most people (particularly children) experience mild illness, COVID-19 virus can cause a range of symptoms, and it is possible that people will not recognize symptoms that are very mild. During this time, people can reduce the chance of spread by limiting contact with others.
Generally, children with colds may attend childcare facilities. Because children with COVID-19 are expected to have mild-symptoms, children or staff with any respiratory illness (including colds) must be sent home. Symptomatic staff and children should isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
Public Health advice for children/parents and staff
- The BC Ministry of Health recommends against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including the United States.
- Effective immediately, anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada will be asked to self- isolate for 14 days upon their return, staying away from settings including work, school and child care.
- Children or staff who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 are asked to stay home for 14 days after their last encounter. Individuals should monitor themselves daily for symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat.
- Children or staff who develop symptoms should stay home and self-isolate for 10 days from symptom onset. COVID-19 testing for mild symptoms is not required as it will not influence how people are treated. People with severe or rapidly progressing symptoms should call their health-care provider or 8-1-1 for a phone assessment.
- If there has been a COVID-19 exposure in a child care setting, public health will contact the relevant facility to discuss next steps.
- It is not necessary to cancel childcare facility events, outings or field trips to public locations that are still open. (Note that in BC, gatherings with over 50 people are not allowed at this time.)
We would also like to take this opportunity to provide the following recommendations to enhance protection for your facilities at this time:
- Immediately begin enhanced cleaning of high touch surfaces, at least two times per day in line with typical practices during an outbreak of respiratory illness (examples include door knobs, tables, faucets, etc.).
- Handwashing is the best way to prevent infection and should be routinely practiced by children and staff, particularly before eating.
If you have concerns, including those regarding an individual case, please contact a Medical Health Officer at 604-675-3900 or the dedicated BC COVID-19 information line 1-888-COVID19 (text 604-630- 0300).
Additional information can be found at:
BC Centre for Disease Control
Vancouver Coastal Health
Michael Schwandt, MD MPH FRCPC
Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health
March 11, 2020
Dear Spare Time families,
I would like to update you on the preventative measures we are taking regarding the COVID-19 virus.
We take direction from our licensing body, the Ministry of Health, and we are following the recommendations provided to us by the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and BC Communicable Disease Control’s publication: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) B.C. public health guidance for schools and childcare programs.
We are promoting hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette by:
- supervising and assisting proper handwashing when the children arrive at the centre, before eating and when they come in from the outside.
- reminding children how to sneeze into at tissue or a flexed elbow and having them wash their hands after they dispose of tissues.
We are maintaining and increasing cleaning and disinfecting by:
- daily cleaning and disinfecting of high touch objects and surfaces (such as door handles, tables, toys)
- Removal of soft toys
- Disinfecting high touch areas in our vans and busses
We are planning to operate our spring break programs, but as new information is emerging daily, we may have to change some of our field trip plans, for the safety and well-being of the children and staff. We were told in a communication on March 10 from the office of Chief Medical Health Officer that “It is not necessary to cancel childcare facility events, outings or field trips to public locations.”
We have considered alternate activities that will keep us based at the centres and will make changes based on future directives from the Ministry of Health and inform you of any such changes. As of today, there is no plan to close schools.
If you decide to remove your child from care during the Spring Break, you will be refunded and there will be no penalty, but we ask that you please cancel by Friday March 13, or Friday March 20 for the week ahead.
Spare Time Child Care Society
On snowy days check the media outlets below for information about school closures.
If the schools are closed, our childcare programs and pre- school will also be closed.
Any district-wide closure will be decided by 7:00 a.m., and details of district-wide or individual school closures will be announced on the
and through these media outlets:
CKNW 980 AM, CKWX 1130 AM, Fairchild 1470 AM, CBC 690 AM- 105.7 FM
Global BC, CBC TV, CTV BC, City TV
Please click on the Snow Closure Notice link below for more information.
Our Summer Programs are now available!
Summer Program Registration has begun for currently registered families. Currently enrolled families can return their registration forms to their centre.
Community and Public registration begins May 26 and is accepted in-person at your centre of choice.
Click here for more information. Here
CHECK BACK MAY 2ND FOR SUMMER BREAK 2016 DETAILED CALENDARS
Play, learn and discover at Spare Time this Summer. Each centre has planned fun hands-on activities, field trips and variety of learning opportunities and experiences for children ages five to twelve (entering kindergarten to entering grade eight.)
You may download your centre’s registration package and program calendar to see what’s been planned!
Centre hours: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm, Monday – Friday.
KEY REGISTRATION DATES IN MAY
Summer programs registration starts on May 9th for enrolled families, and on May 27th at 7:30 am for the community at all centres except for Spare Time Clubhouse and Spare Time Connection (see details below). Forms are accepted in-person only for all centres.
New families enrolling to Spare Time are also required to complete the Spare Time Registration Documents once they are accepted into the program. These include contact information, centre-parent agreement, photo/video consent and more.
For Spare Time Clubhouse and Spare Time Connection only:
Registration for community families attending David Livingstone and General Wolfe schools begins at 7:30 am on May 26th.
Registration for all other community families begins at 7:30 am on May 27th, in person at Spare Time Clubhouse, General Wolfe School only.
FEE SCHEDULE FOR SUMMER BREAK 2016
Summer Fees (Summer 2016): $237.00 per week (No daily rates available). $190 for the holiday week August 2-5.
Lunch, snacks and all activities and ﬁeld trips are included in the fee. On all field trips, children are well supervised and ride in our Variety Club vans and buses driven by qualified, licensed class 2 and 4 drivers.
We have fun-filled winter break holiday activities and programs! Visit our Programs section for more information. Winter Break Programs.
Spare Time Challenge / Bobolink: Winter Break 2015 Program (PDF) brochure.