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

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