Pandemic Health & Wellness Policies for The School House ECLC (2020)
Pandemic Policies & Procedures
When The School House ECLC Required Public Health Measures During Pandemic- Updated Sept 10, 2020 *This is a living document and is subject to change as more information is released by the government of Canada and has been created in partnership with Childcare Licensing* SECTION I: 1) The School House ECLC will be operating with limited capacity. 2) The licensing requirements for child/staff ratios must be maintained at all times and The School House ECLC will be over staffing to allow for cleaning protocols and social distancing measures. 3) Any child, staff or parent must not enter the child care space if they are sick, even if symptoms resemble a mild cold. Symptoms to look for include but are not limited to: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, and a general feeling of being unwell. - If a child develops symptoms while at the facility, the affected person needs to be isolated in a separate room and the parent should be notified to come and pick up the child immediately. If a separate room is not available, the affected person needs to be kept at least 2 meters away from other people. - If a child exhibiting symptoms is young and requires close contact and care, caregivers can continue to care for the child until the parent is able to pick the child up. Caregivers should be mindful of handwashing and avoid contact with the respiratory secretions of the child. -All items, bedding, toys etc. used by the child while isolated should be sanitized as soon as the child has been picked up. - If a staff shows symptoms of Covid-19 they will be asked to leave/stay home and get tested for Covid-19 as soon as possible. The remaining staff at the center will be asked to self monitor their health until the test results for the sick staff come back negative.If and when it comes back negative, they can return to work. The staff will be paid while they wait for the results of their test. If their test comes back positive for covid-19 they will be paid for their 2 week quarantine period. If a staff chooses not to get tested, they can self isolate for 2 weeks and then return to work; however it will be unpaid. Regular paid sick days (1/month) remain in effect to be used for non-covid-19 sicknesses. -In the event any staff or children that have been in attendance of The School House ECLC receive a positive diagnosis of Covid-19, the entire center will need to close and parties involved will need to self isolate for 2 weeks and the center will need to have top to bottom sanitation. 4) It is recommended and encouraged that every day children change out of their daycare clothes immediately upon returning home and their clothing be laundered. In addition, we are asking families to not recycle clothing from one day to the next. 5) Parents will be reminded through visible signage (posters) at the child care program and when children are first signed in to the program, to check children’s temperatures daily before entering the building to the program. For reference, normal temperatures are: - Mouth: 35.5-37.5°C (95.9-99.5°F) - Underarm: 36.5-37.5°C (97.7-99.5°) - Ear (not recommended in infants): 35.8-38.0°C (96.4-100.4°F) Active symptoms screening must occur every morning using the Screening Questionnaire. Parents must review the tool each morning when children are dropped off. 6) Child care programs must adhere to the following handwashing guidelines. Specifically, programs must engage in frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at the following times: - At the start of the day and before going home. - After going to the washroom. - After a diaper change or toileting a child (both children and staff). - Before and after preparing food. - Before and after eating. - After getting hands dirty. - After cleaning tasks (staff). Child care staff should help young children to ensure handwashing is done correctly. Alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is not recommended for routine use in child care. 7) Parents should provide all meals and snacks (School House Kitchen is closed). If a child does not show up with food for the day, the program may provide the child food. There should be no common food items (e.g. shared snack bowl). Utensils should be used to serve food items (not fingers). Food should be served on a plate/bowl, not on the table itself. Whenever possible children will maintain social distancing from one another while eating (ie: sit at separate tables or 2 meters apart) For birthday celebrations families or staff may bring/provide healthy, store-bought food items to share. No home made items at this time. 8) Programs should engage in frequent, thorough cleaning each day. Child care programs shall follow Licensing regulations regarding cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. Follow the program's regular routine cleaning and disinfecting practices. In addition, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects/toys and surfaces multiple times throughout the day. A designated ‘cleaner staff’ for the classroom will shadow activities and disinfect as the day goes on. 9)Any water in play tables should be provided for a limited number of children. Before and after hands should be washed and the basin washed, rinsed, and sanitized and the water table emptied as soon as the activity is over. 10) There should be no non-essential visitors within the center. Parents or guardians are able to enter the program as long as they meet the Health and Wellness Questionnaire guidelines, but only when it is deemed necessary. We also ask one parent at a time per program at pick up and drop off. 11) Where possible, social distancing practices should occur, for example, when possible avoid close greetings like hugs or handshakes; however, we understand that the nature of childcare makes this inherently difficult with young children and leave it up to the comfort level of the individual staff- however strongly discourage any unnecessary close contact. SECTION II: Staff attire:
Staff personal items such as purses and backpacks will be kept separate from other staff’s items- please limit the amount of personal items you bring into the centre.
Staff are not obligated to wear masks or gloves; however they are permitted to if it enables them to feel/be safe while at work- as long as supplies last.
Toys & Equipment:
Classroom toys and supplies will be limited to items that are easily cleaned. Soft items, natural items such as pine cones, books, smaller items (ie: leggo) etc. will be removed from classroom circulation, or will be limited during Pandemic.
Disposable wipes and paper towels will be used in place of linen towels.
As the Bobcat play yard is currently under renovations, the Lynx Yard will be scheduled/cleaned per use for each classroom. Staff will be utilizing Lion’s Park field, going for walks etc.
Staff may choose to limit toys/equipment in the outdoor spaces to allow for easier sanitation.
Children’s cubby belongings will be kept separate from one another as much as possible.
Items such as soothers are permitted, but under strict supervision and will require disinfecting after each use. Soothers will need to be stored in a clean, labelled container with a lid.
No outside toys from home under any circumstances. Daycare sleep items will be permitted and laundered daily- but only for use when napping.
Social Distancing Among Children
It has been agreed upon among working staff that social distancing for children while they are engaged in learning/play would be detrimental to their mental wellbeing and developmental growth; therefore, children will be permitted to play within close contact of each other. Kissing/hugging/wrestling etc. will be discouraged.
Staff will continue to focus on connection and attachment with children- ie: cuddling, rocking, holding children when deemed necessary.
Sleeping and Feeding Protocol
Bedding will be disinfected and washed weekly. Bedding will be stored in a closed container.
Whenever possible, children’s cribs and sleep mats will be at least 2 meters apart during rest.
Nap room will only be used by the children in that designated classroom. Other children will have cribs and mats set up in their designated classrooms to avoid cross over and avoid large groupings of children.
Tables and chairs will be sanitized before and after eating, as well as the surrounding floor around the eating area. [See Section I, Paragraph 6]
Lunch items need to be stored in a clean lunch bag/box and stored separately from other children’s items.
Children’s lunch cubby/ storage area will be clean out at the end of each day
SECTION III: Sanitation Protocols
Staff should be following regular BC Childcare licensing sanitation protocols of 1 tablespoon of household bleach per 1 gallon of water or 1 teaspoon of household bleach per 1 litre of water to sanitize all surfaces, objects and high touch point areas.
Floors in all areas used will need to be mopped with a disinfectant solution. If time/space allows, once midday (while children are outdoors or asleep) and always at end of shift.
After toys are sanitized they need to be set in an area away from playing children to dry for at least 10 minutes. Bleach evaporates in 10 minutes.
Bleach solution kept in spray bottles must be replaced and replenished daily as bleach degrades quickly when mixed with water and exposed to light.
Spray bottles with soapy water can be used to clean soiled areas, but must be followed up with bleach solution to sanitize.
When using spray bottles to clean, spray your paper towel first, then wipe to avoid airborne irritants, or only spray when there are no persons nearby.
SECTION IV: Mental Health & Wellbeing
In these unprecedented circumstances mental health is just as important as physical. Staff are encouraged to give feedback and share their feelings if the centre is re-opening too quickly for their comfort level. An effort will be made to ensure all working staff are comfortable with any changes with these policies.
BC Mental Health and Crisis line Services are listed below
The Crisis Line Association of BC (CLABC) is the provincial association representing member crisis lines from across British Columbia. Members of CLABC provide emotional support, crisis and suicide assessment and intervention, and resource information. Crisis line workers are trained in critical skills such as empathetic reflection, active listening, and collaborative problem solving. They use crisis and suicide assessment and intervention protocols that are based on recognized better practices. The following crisis line services are available:
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433): for individuals who are or know someone who is having thoughts of suicide. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and in up to 140 languages. Operated in partnership with Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC.
310-Mental Health (310-6789): for individuals who would like emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health in British Columbia. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is toll-free anywhere in British Columbia (no need to dial an area code).
Map of Crisis Lines: provides an interactive map to search for the direct number to local crisis line services in British Columbia. While 1-800-SUICIDE is available across the province and is designed to transfer callers to the local crisis line service closest to the community of the caller, in some instances individuals may prefer to contact the crisis line in their community direct.
Daily Screening Questionnaire
Daily Screening Questionnaire STOP! ALL PERSONS MUST REVIEW THIS QUESTIONNAIRE PRIOR TO ADMITTANCE INTO THIS CHILDCARE FACILITY. 1.Do you, or your child, have any of the following symptoms? ANSWER • Fever YES NO • Cough YES NO • Shortness of Breath / Difficulty Breathing YES NO • Sore throat YES NO • Runny Nose / Nasal Congestion YES NO • Feeling unwell / Fatigued YES NO • Nausea / Vomiting / Diarrhea YES NO • Muscle Aches YES NO • Headache YES NO • Conjunctivitis YES NO 2. Have you or your child, in the past 24 hrs been administered any medications (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, homeopathic, etc..) to treat any of the symptoms listed above? YES NO
3. Have you, or anyone in your household, travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days? YES NO 4. Have you or your children attending the program had close contact (face-to-face contact within 2 meters/6 feet) with someone who is ill with cough and/or fever? YES NO 5. Have you or anyone in your household been in contact in the last 14 days with someone who is confirmed positive for COVID-19? YES NO If you have answered “Yes” to any of these questions: ENTRY IS NOT PERMITTED AND YOUR CHILD CANNOT ATTEND CARE. If you have answered “No” to all the questions your child can attend care. Upon any entry, hands must be washed. Our goal is to minimize the risk of infection to Educators, children and families. Thank you for your diligence and cooperation.