What Policies and Procedures Does the Centre have in place to ensure
that my child is kept safe?
All child care centres received a document entitled Child Care Operations during COVID 19.with items that had to be in place prior to reopening. Since then we have received a second and third version. The Ministry of Education in consultation with Public Health compiled this document. Based on this document we developed a number of extensive policies based on safe operation of the child care, and hygiene and sanitizing practices.
What training did staff do in order to familiarize themselves with the
It was mandatory that all staff returning for the reopening participate in the training modules online provided by Toronto Children’s Services, and then sign off that they had completed the training modules. In addition to this staff from each age group participated in a two-day training with Nancy and Ashlea on the new policies. After all policies were reviewed in detail, staff were quizzed on details of the policies.
Did the Child Care have to report to anyone prior to opening?
Yes once all the policies were written and had been reviewed by the staff, as well as the modules, The Executive Director and Assistant Director had to sign an attestation which was sent to the Ministry of Education Licensing Specialist for approval. Public Health and Toronto children’s Services were also informed, and an opening date was given.
What is the arrival and departure procedure
In the morning there is a screening area set up at the main entrance. Parents bring their child to the screening area and they complete a COVID questionnaire, and the child’s temperature is taken at that time. All questions must be answered No and pass the screening process, and the child’s temperature must be below 37.8 degrees. If there is an issue with any of the questions or the temperature, the child will not be allowed to enter the Child Care.. After that process is finished a staff member who is a runner escorts the child to his or her room. Only one parent is allowed at the screening area and no parents are allowed in the building. The screeners and the runner are all dressed in full PPE, and there is hand sanitizer available for parents and children to use upon arrival, and all parents and children over 2 years old must be wearing masks.
At the end of the day parents call in or buzz upon arrival and the runner goes and gets their child from the room and brings them outside to the parents. All door handles and the intercom system are wiped down with a disinfectant wipe after each use.
Do staff who work in the rooms have to change
their clothing prior to starting a shift?
Yes all staff are required to wear scrubs, and upon arrival, they change into the scrubs prior to starting a shift.
How often are toys and high touch areas cleaned?
One of the policies that has been enhanced is our Toy washing Policy and Environmental cleaning Policy It is a public health requirement that all toys have to be washed and disinfected and left to air dry twice per day. Any mouthed toys in the younger age groups are taken right away to be washed and disinfected. The high touch areas such as light switches and doorknobs are disinfected frequently throughout the day. Staff wipe down all washroom areas such as toilets and sinks after each use.
How can you ensure that children are physically
distanced in the classrooms?
with young children it is difficult for them to physically distance, however all the tables and chairs have been placed 6 feet apart in the rooms, and when children line up etc. they are spread out to be 6 feet apart. When it is difficult to physically distance all children above the age of 2 wear a mask. We also have plexi glass dividers in the rooms that can be used on the tables to separate children during an activity.
How do you handle the sharing of toys to make
sure it is safe for the children?
One of the regulations is that there is to be no sharing of toys and art materials. The staff have sorted the toys into bins for the morning and afternoon. The children choose what they want to play with and a staff member hands it to him or her. After they are finished with the bin of toys and no longer want to play with it, it is set aside for washing and disinfecting. All children have their own personal art bin with crayons, glue scissors, markers and other items for them to use. The bin is wiped down at the end of the day. There is no sharing of outdoor toys and equipment either as each child has their own ball, buckets, hoops etc. In the Schoolage programme, all items are numbered and bagged, and each child is assigned a number and uses that equipment only. Organized sports and games where physical distance cannot be achieved are not encouraged.
How many children are there in each room?
As of July 27th, the cohort size has been 15 children and any number of staff in each room. As of September 1st full capacity of Child Care’s is allowed. However, we are not anticipating operating at full capacity as that will make physical distancing very difficult. In order to promote continued health and safety we prefer to keep our rooms at lower enrolment.
Does my child need indoor shoes?
Yes all children need indoor shoes. Their shoes are kept in an enclosed shoe bag , one for indoor shoes and one for outdoor shoes. When a child arrives in the morning he or she is asked or helped to change into their indoor shoes prior to entering the classroom.
How does the serving of food work?
In the past we had all children serve their own lunch and snacks. This is no longer allowed. The Food Prep staff prepares all food items in individual portions so that each child has his or her own plate of food. Lunch is pre served and delivered to each classroom. Teachers are informed that it has been left outside the door so they can go and get it and serve it to the children. No outside food is to be brought into the centre with the exception of children that have severe allergies, who need to bring their own food. The container is wiped down upon arrival and that child is the only one to touch it.
What is the procedure followed if my child or
another child becomes sick during the day?
If a child becomes sick during the day while at child care he or she is removed from the classroom immediately by the Administrative staff who are dressed in full PPE, gloves, gown, medical mask, and face shield. That child is taken to the isolation area, and waits there under supervision of a staff member until the parents arrive. The child is given a child size mask to wear. The parents are called, and the child must be picked up within the hour. If a parent cannot get to the centre within an hour, they must arrange for someone else to pick him or her up. Once the child leaves, the isolation area is wiped down with disinfectant spray and cleaned thoroughly. The fact that the child went home sick is then recorded in the screening attendance log book. If symptoms are symptoms that could be COVID related Public health is contacted for further direction.
What if I choose not to send my child back in
September? Will you hold their space until
he or she returns to Child Care?
This is a question asked by many parents. If you choose not to send your child back in September, you will have until the end of September to make a decision and your spot will be held. After the end of September, you will be given the option for your child to return, or for you to withdraw him or her. If your child does not return and you want, the space to be held you will be required to pay each month to hold the space. There is no guarantee of space when you wish your child to return.