Spare Time News

Check back here often to get the latest news from all of our centres.

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.

Pre-School

  • 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:

http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/COVID_public_guidance/Guidance_Child_Care.pdf

Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and Childcare Settings

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/family-and-social-supports/covid-  19/qa_covid19_childcare_settings_mar_24_2020.pdf

COVID-19 support resources and valuable information:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/child-care-   response-covid-19

BC Centre for Disease Control, Symptoms of Covid 19:

http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/about-covid-19/symptoms

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.


http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-infoSite/Documents/COVID_public_guidance/Guidance_Child_Care.pdf


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,
Administrator
Spare Time Child Care Society

astrid@sparetimesociety.org

COVID-19 Update May 22

Community Update May 22, 2020


Dear Spare Time families,


The Vancouver School Board is entering the next phase of the COVID-19 response and has announced plans to reopen schools June 1. Your school has sent out surveys regarding whether your children will be participating.


Kindergarten to Grade 5 students will be scheduled for 2 consecutive days of instruction per week at school, and Grades 6 and 7 students will be scheduled for 1 day of instruction per week at school. If you are an COVID-19 Essential Service Worker, you may choose to have your child scheduled for up to 5 days of instruction per week at school.


Starting June 1, all child care services provided by school age child care operators in VSB schools will be limited to before and after-school care only. May 29 will be the last day we will be providing full day child care, as of June 1 we will offer before and after school care at all our facilities.


All our registered families and Essential Service Workers attending our home schools have the option to enroll for before and after school care in June, for the days that correspond to your child attending school. If you don’t register for child care in June, you will not lose your child care space. All our registered families will have their spaces held until Sept 2020.


Placements for children of essential service workers based on the following priority:
• Tier 1 (highest priority): employed in Health and Health Services, Social Services, Law Enforcement, First Responders, and Emergency Response. For child care, Tier 1 also includes children approved to access care at a designated Young Parent Program, referred to child care by MCFD or a Delegated Aboriginal Agency, and/or children of teachers and support workers providing care to children of essential service workers or students who would benefit from additional supports.
• Tier 2 (second priority): all other occupations not included in Tier 1 that are listed in the Essential Service Workers list.
• Tier 3 (third priority): all other families not employed in an occupation listed in the Essential Service Workers list.


Next week you will receive summer program registration information, we will be offering 9 weeks of care, June 29-Aug 28.


Fees for June 2020:


Before and After school care, 7:30-9 am, 3-6 pm
Fees for June 1-25:

Gr. 6-7, 1 day per week $20, $80.00 for the month
Gr. K-5, 2 days per week $40, $160.00 for the month
ESW multi grade, 5 days per week, $100.00, $380.00 for the month

Spare Time continues to follow health and safety guidance issued to us by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Children and Families, to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and maintain safe and healthy environments for children and staff.

COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Settings


Please contact your centre directly to register for June.
We look forward to seeing you,

Astrid Visscher
Administrator
Spare Time Child Care Society
astrid@sparetimesociety.org

COVID-19 Update March 30

Community Update March 30, 2020

The Ministry of Health has advised that all parents who can, should care for their children at home. Spare Time will be keeping Centres open to provide child care for parents in essential service-related positions with no alternative solution beginning on March 30.

If you are an essential worker, require temporary emergency childcare, and are not registered in any of our programs, please contact the West Coast Child Care Resource Centre for an online referral.   https://www.wstcoast.org/

We are offering spaces for emergency care in 3 communities: Spare Time Clubhouse- Riley Park/Little Mountain, Spare Time Bobolink- Fraserview, and Spare Time II-Marpole.

Our programming has shifted to an essential services model which will enable us to operate our centres with lower numbers and allow for the extra cleaning and attention to safe interactions, which are among our highest priorities right now. This is possible due to support provided by the Ministry of Children and Families.

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 (staff and parents) and keep the children in small group sizes.

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.

Daily programs will include school support, indoor and outdoor sports, play, and structured activities.

April Fees:

Monthly: $780.00 (begins April 1)

Weekly: $200.00 (Begins March 30)

3 days/week: $120.00 (Begins March 30)

COVID- 19 Essential Services:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/essential-services-covid-19#infrastructure

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) B.C. public health guidance for schools and childcare programs

https://www.sd62.bc.ca/sites/default/files/2020-02/COVID19%20schools%20childcare%20guidelines_Feb%2023%202020.pdf

Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and Childcare Settings

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/family-and-social-supports/covid-19/qa_covid19_childcare_settings_mar_24_2020.pdf

COVID-19 Update March 18

Letter to Parents March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

Dear Spare Time families,

New information and directives regarding the COVID 19 virus are coming to all of us daily, from the Federal and Provincial governments, and the City of Vancouver.

Childcare falls under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Health, therefore we wait for guidelines and recommendations from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and BC Communicable Disease Control.  This is the latest communication we have received:

Childcare falls under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Health, therefore we wait for guidelines and recommendations from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and BC Communicable Disease Control.  This is the latest communication we have received:

As of today, the centres have continued to follow enhanced cleaning and disinfection guidelines, followed hand hygiene instructions (children and staff), practiced social distancing between adults in the centres (staff and parents) and kept the children in small group sizes. We have cancelled field trips and inter-centre events and we are not visiting any busy parks or playgrounds.

Many of you have withdrawn your children from Spring Break care, and I would like to assure you that we understand and support your decisions and will refund your fees.

What we do not know at this time is whether we will be able to continue to operate after Spring Break. The Vancouver School Board has not yet informed us of their intentions regarding the buildings.  I believe there is a joint task force now examining how childcare in Vancouver can continue to safely operate under the current circumstances.

For regularly enrolled families who will temporarily withdraw children from our programs at this time for reasons related to the pandemic (ie; working from home, isolation, etc.) , or if we are directed to close down our centres, you will not lose your child care space when we resume regular operations. Your postdated cheques for April, May and June will be returned to you, and you will still be considered as registered in the program.

We intend to keep the centres open throughout Spring Break, however, if too many children are withdrawn, we may be unable to operate (financially) without support from outside sources. We are exploring solutions for this possibility.

I will continue to keep you updated.

Sincerely,

Astrid Visscher Administrator

Spare Time Child Care Society

COVID-19 Update March 17

March 17 Covid-19 Update

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

http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/COVID19_schools_childcare_guidelines.pdf

Vancouver Coastal Health

http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/vancouver-coastal-health-statement-on-coronavirus

Sincerely,

Michael Schwandt, MD MPH FRCPC

Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Coastal Health

March 17 Covid-19 Update

COVID-19 Update March 11

March 11 Covid-19 Update

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.  

http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/COVID19_schools_childcare_guidelines.pdf

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.  

Sincerely,

Astrid Visscher

Administrator

Spare Time Child Care Society

March 12 Covid-19 Update

Snow Closure Policy for all Spare Time Centres

Dear Families,

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

Vancouver School Board district website front page

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.

Snow Closure Notice

Skip to toolbar