Early learning center
Policies & Procedures for Pandemic Outbreak of a virus
The safety and wellness of staff and children is paramount, so effective immediately, the
following modifications are being made to current policy and practice requirements:
DROP OFF/PICK UP
One parent to drop off/pick up outside. Parents are not permitted in center. Get staff’s
attention by knocking, calling, or messaging.
One parent waiting outside for staff. Staff member will come to the door to bring child
One parent outside the door at a time. If you see a parent waiting by the door, then
please stay in your vehicle until this parent has left.
Please remember the 2m/6 ft distance between each other.
Parents will be required to answer a few questions to confirm that their child has not been
sick and has no new symptoms. This will be considered our morning screening policy that
staff will follow; each child’s temperature will be taken and documented each morning.
Any child, staff, parent, or visitor must not enter the Childcare Space if they are sick, even if
symptoms resemble a mild cold. Symptoms to look for include:
- runny nose
- nasal congestion
- shortness of breath
- sore throat
- a general feeling of being unwell
Staff will ask parents each morning how their child’s health is and that nothing has
changed. Childcare providers/staff should exercise judgment; for example, a child crying
may exhibit a runny nose; Parents will be asked about the health of their child, and if they
confirm that their child did not have a runny nose prior to arrival, then the child will be
allowed to enter the facility.
Parents will be reminded through signage not to send their child to daycare if they are
exhibiting any symptoms, as well as if they have been in contact with someone returning
from out of country. These signs will say they need to go home and self-isolate for 14 days
prior to returning.
Staff will check children’s temperatures daily; once in the morning, and once after Lunch.
For reference, normal temperatures are:
Forehead: 36.0 - 37.2 deg C (96.8 - 98.9 deg F)
Ear: 35.8 – 38.0 deg C (96.4 -100.4 deg F)
Underarm: 36.5 – 37.5 deg C (97.7 – 99.5 deg F)
Mouth: 35.5 – 37.5 deg C (95.9 – 99.5 deg F)
DAY TO DAY PREVENTION
Social Distancing: It is important to note that social distancing advice is meant for
interactions among colleagues, strangers, adults, etc. When working in a child care setting,
the following is important to know:
Children with no symptoms should continue to be treated as you typically would care for a
child at any other time.
Wherever possible, we have arranged spaces to encourage more separation. For meal times,
each child will have their own table to sit at, and all tables are spaced away from each other.
We have also placed tape on the floor to mark off personal space for each activity/area.
Hand Washing: Staff and children will adhere to strict hand washing guidelines; they will
be shown the proper 20 second routine to perform at all times needed, and they will be
reminded to wash hands at these important times throughout the day:
- upon arrival and departure from the daycare
- after going to the washroom
- before sitting down to eat
- after getting hands dirty
- after touching face
- after wiping nose or handling dirty tissues
- after coughing, sneezing, and blowing nose
Cleaning and Disinfecting: Although we already engage in thorough daily cleaning,
following all regulations for cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing, we have increased our
cleaning routines to ensure frequently touched objects and surfaces are kept clean
throughout the day.
Washrooms and sinks are monitored often, to ensure that Toilet Paper, Soap, and Single-use
towels are always readily available.
High-touch surfaces (such as Doorknobs, Faucet Handles, Tables, Chairs, etc) will be
cleaned and disinfected regularly.
The bleach solution can be made by adding:
5 tbsp (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water OR 4 tsp bleach per quart of water.
Toys/Craft items: We have brought out toys and items that are easily cleaned and
disinfected. The frequency of cleaning these will be increased. Each day, at the end of the
day, once all the children have gone home, we will disinfect all the items by either spraying
them down with a disinfectant, cleaning them in the kitchen with a Bleach solution, or
putting them away until they can be sterilized.
** Please keep all personal items at home.**
Food Handling: Parents should provide all meals and snacks, and ensure to pack items that
children are able to open/close and eat themselves, without needing the help of a staff
member. Food items that don’t require getting heated up are preferred.
We already have ‘no sharing of food and drink’ policies in place, and these will be strictly
followed. If you have more than 1 child attending, please ensure that each child has their
own Lunch, in their own Lunch kit.
Depending on the amount of kids in attendance, we may have ‘staggered’ Meal Times. This
will be accessed on a daily basis to account for physical distancing.
DAY TO DAY CARE
Hand washing: Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use a
sanitizer, especially after coughing, blowing noses or sneezing, and when handling food.
Cough and sneeze etiquette: Cough and sneeze into your arm or tissue. If using a tissue, wash
hands afterwards and immediately dispose of the tissue.
Stay home when sick: Children should tell staff if they are not feeling well and together make a
plan to stay home from school or other activities.
Keep clean: Do not touch your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth.
Stay healthy: Stay healthy by eating healthy foods, keeping physically active, getting enough sleep
and fresh air.
Listen to Children:
Children want to be heard. They do not need detailed information about events, but they do need
to talk about their feelings. Let them know they can ask questions. Answer questions honestly, but
make sure that the information is suitable for their age level. If you do not know the answers to
their questions, it is okay to say so and together look for resources that can answer their
questions. Remember children are often listening when you talk to others about COVID-19. Staff
will minimize discussions of COVID-19 that are not related to the childcare setting, and staff will
be mindful of how children share information in less supervised settings (e.g. during outdoor play,
before and after school, lunch and snack times). In these settings, children can become
misinformed. It is important for staff to correct this misinformation as they become aware of it.
Staff will provide reassurance to children and youth about their personal safety and health. Telling
children that it is okay to be concerned is comforting. Reassure them about their safety and
explain there are many things they can do to stay healthy:
Maintaining familiar activities and routines will reinforce the sense of security of children. While
outings to social gatherings are discouraged, and prohibited for gatherings of more than 10
people, getting outdoors for walks or to the playground with the children is generally safe. We will
ensure that everyone washes their hands when they re-enter the centre, and we will bring Hand
Sanitizer outside. As every childcare provider knows, play is a priority – it promotes physical and
mental health and development – and gives kids an outlet for their energy, concerns and emotions.
The current situation presents many challenges for group play, but can also be a source of
creativity. We will spread the children out as much as possible with small groups in different
rooms, or we might have a group outside while another is inside, as another way to encourage
physical distance. Considering the equipment and play materials, we will conduct an assessment
of play materials currently available and remove those that are harder to clean and sanitize.
HEALTH CONCERNS AND HOW TO ADDRESS THEM
What happens if a child exhibits symptoms?
If a child develops symptoms while at the facility, the child should be isolated in a separate
room. If a separate room is not available, the child needs to be kept at least two metres
away from other children. The parent should be notified to come and pick up the child
immediately. Ask the parent or guardian to contact Health Links 8-1-1 or the child’s
physician for direction, if required. The child should stay away from the facility until
symptoms have ceased for at least 10 days. Or if a test has been done and showed a
negative Covid-19 test the child can return sooner, as long as they are not showing any
respiratory symptoms as well. Caregivers will be mindful of handwashing and avoid contact
with the respiratory secretions of the child. All items (e.g., bedding and toys) used by the
child while isolated should be sanitized as soon as the child has been picked up. If a child
who attended a child care centre, or their family member, is being investigated by public
health to confirm whether they have COVID-19, or if public health has confirmed a case of
COVID-19, direction will be provided by regional health authority nurses.
What happens if a staff member exhibits symptoms?
Staff should be directed to stay home if they are feeling unwell. If staff or providers in a
child care facility show symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19, they should
contact Health Links 8-1-1 or their health care provider for direction. If a staff member who
attended a child care centre, or their family member, is being investigated by public health
to confirm whether they have COVID-19, or if public health has confirmed a case of COVID-
19, direction will be provided by regional health authority nurses. Any staff showing
respiratory symptoms needs to contact Health Links 8-1-1 for direction. The staff member
will need to stay away from the facility until symptoms have ceased for at least 10 days, or if
a test has been done and showed a negative test for COVID-19, the employee can return
sooner, as long as they are not showing any respiratory symptoms as well.
Interior Health Licensing will be notified of any cases in our centre or changes to programs
or services because of COVID-19. We will report on:
a) Confirmed or probable positive cases of COVID-19 involving staff, children in our care or
family members of staff and children in our care.
b) Probable positive cases have received a positive test result from the provincial
laboratory, while confirmed cases have received positive test results from both the
provincial and the national laboratories.
c) Significant changes to the services that our centre offers.
d) Any special measures our centre is taking to safeguard staff and clients. It is important
that childcare services continue to be delivered safely for staff and children. This can be
done by ensuring staff and children frequently wash their hands and follow other
recommendations made by public health officials. When there are changes at our centre
related to COVID-19, the Licensee will notify Interior Health through the online form for
CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19 IN THE CENTER
If an infected person has been in our daycare building, and a confirmed case has entered the
daycare, our facility will implement a short-term closure regardless of community spread.
Our facility will coordinate with local health officials and immediately notify Interior Health
Licensing. These officials will help administrators determine a course of action for our program.
Dismiss students and most staff for 24 - 48 hours. This initial short-term dismissal allows time for
the local health officials to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation impacting the
daycare; this allows the local health officials to help the daycare determine appropriate next steps,
including whether an extended dismissal duration is needed to stop or slow any further spread of
Communicate with staff, parents, and students. We will coordinate with local health officials to
communicate dismissal decisions and the possible COVID-19 exposure. it is critical to maintain
confidentiality of the student or staff member. We will close off areas used by the individuals with
COVID-19, and wait as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection to minimize
potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. Outside doors and windows will be opened to increase
air circulation in the area. Staff will clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common
areas) used by the ill person, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces. All rugs will need to
be steam cleaned. If surfaces are dirty, they will be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water
mixture prior to disinfection.
I have received and read South Shuswap Childcare Center’s “Policies & Procedures for Pandemic
Outbreak of a virus” form in full, and fully understand the policies and procedures entailed in this form.
I understand my requirements regarding my child(ren) attending South Shuswap Childcare Center.
Child(ren)’s Name: _____________________________________
Parent/Guardian (1) Printed Name
Parent/Guardian (1) Signature