By closely following re-opening guidance of the Ministry of Education and Region of Waterloo Public Health, recommendations of Public Health Ontario, Public Services Health and Safety Association, and Emergency childcare operations:
• Cohorting provides a microenvironment for all that are included, to protect themselves and others
• Frequent and meticulous cleaning and disinfection
• Social distancing between cohorts, staff, all individuals as much as possible
• Personal protective equipment (PPE) for scenarios that close contacts with your child(ren) are needed
• Screening at entry and mid-day, with continuous monitoring, to make sure all at daycare are healthy
• Detailed isolation & management plan in collaboration with local Public Health units
Children will be regrouped into cohorts with assigned teachers, and each cohort will have no more than 10 people including educators staying together for minimum 7 days. Each cohort will stay in their own room and designated area on playground. There is no mix of children from different groups and social distancing is required between groups throughout the week. Groups shall have access to different areas. Any structure/toys in that designated area, e.g. riding toys or picnic table, will be disinfected between the use of different cohorts.
We are able to resume most activities. For example art& crafts, like painting, coloring, cutting, gluing etc. with all art supplies used by designated groups. Sensory play materials like water and sand, are allowed for designated child to use for the day. Any toys built in materials that can be cleaned and disinfected will be used in classroom including cars, building blocks, balls, connecting/stacking, big dramatic like kitchen or tool station. Use of books and cardboard will be limited and supervised. Music, reading, story-telling, science and educator-led group activities will continue. Any plush toys or dress up clothes are removed. All toys, furniture and classroom environment will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized frequently. Neighborhood walks and extended outdoor time, weather permitting, are encouraged in the new guidance.
Entry screening is mandatory for all . The screening staff will greet you at the door and will wear personal protective equipment (PPE), and hand sanitizer will be available. The screening includes survey questions, temperature check (≤37.8 Celsius) and health check.
Drop off will be outside building. We encourage you walk your child to the screening area(please maintain a social distance with others), complete screening and let our staff to escort your child to his/her group.
We understand it is sometimes difficult to drop off a young child/toddler due to separation. Please communicate with teachers about your child’s liking and needs, reassure your child before coming to the center. Your child’s classroom teachers will also help with the transfer by following the advice of Public Health.
To pick up your child, call the centre in advance so that staff can get your child ready. Please remain outside the designated main entrance until your child is brought outside by our staff.
Teachers/staff don’t need to wear masks when are outside, where social distance can be maintained. Face masks and other PPEs are mandatory at screening, cleaning, face-to-face close contacts with children, and are encouraged to be donned for better protection of children, staff and others. To best meet children’s educational needs, teachers may not wear masks for story telling, experiments, demonstration, or group learning activities.
If 2-meter distance can’t be kept between you and screening staff or other families, please don a mask or face covering. If entering building, screening and mask are mandatory. The Ministry advises “Masks are not recommended for children, particularly those under the age of two”.
Health and safety are of the most importance. New guidelines require that children/staff with any COVID symptoms should stay home. Similarly if you or any family members experience symptoms or at self-isolation, do not send your child to daycare. Do not visit someone who is sick. If you think your/your child’s symptoms are not COVID-related, consult your doctor who will decide if testing is needed.
Do not bring home food or toys to the center. Avoid backpacks too. Avoid home blanket if possible. Minimize home items including clothing. If necessary, bottles, soothers or other children belongings can be placed in a labeled Ziploc bag that care be easily disinfected.