As we welcome back all returning and some new families, it is important that we keep the health and safety of all Discovery Kids children, families, and educators as a top priority. The following procedures will be implemented in order to reduce the spread of illness and the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19:
1. Illness Policy
Arguably the most important change in social behaviour will be the requirement to stay home when you are sick. No child, educator, or family member will be able to attend Discovery Kids if any of the following symptoms are present. New onset of:
- Runny nose
- Fever (100.5F/38.0C or higher)
If your child becomes ill while at Discovery Kids. They will be isolated (with an educator) and you will be required to pick them up right away.
An educator will ask a series of questions each day to ensure there are no signs of illness. We will sign your child in/out at this point.
You will be asked to sign an updated illness policy. There will be no exceptions.
2.) Physical Distancing
We are all aware that physical distancing with young children is not only unlikely but has ethical implications as well. We will not be asking children to distance themselves from each other, but we will do our best to accommodate programming and environmental measures that encourage space. This includes:
- Spending most of our day in smaller groups
- Organizing the classroom to oﬀer more individual and small group spaces
- More time spent outdoors
- Educators will practice physical distancing with one another
- Only one parent will be able to drop oﬀ/pick up children, siblings must wait in the lobby. Parents will need to make this transition as quick as possible and are asked to keep 2 meters apart from any other child and/or educator when possible
- We will not be accepting practicum students or any other person who is not required to be in the centre (extended families, deliveries, maintenance workers etc)
3.) Hand Hygiene
There will be hand sanitizer placed outside of the entrance. All people entering the centre are asked to use sanitizer first. Children and educators will be required to wash their hands (supervised) multiple times during the day. We will educate the children on proper cough/sneeze etiquette.
4.) Cleaning and Disinfecting
We will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least twice a day. We will remove toys and materials not easily disinfected and ask that children do not bring personal items (with the exception of one labeled security item that can be laundered at home each day).
We will resume our regular operating hours to accept children between the hours of 7:30am-5:30pm, we do ask however, if you can drop oﬀ after 8am or pick up before 5pm we would appreciate the extra time to complete all the necessary cleaning/sanitizing procedure.
5.) Odds and Ends
- Please send your child with his/her own cutlery and water bottle each day. Both will be sent home daily for washing. Please send the water bottle filled each day. We will re-fill as needed
- Please apply sunscreen before bringing your child to Discovery Kids. We will re- apply as needed.
- If multiple staﬀ member fall ill or if there is any confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, Discovery Kids will follow all guidance laid out by Public Health authorities. This may result in a temporary closure at short notice. Please be prepared for an unexpected disruption in childcare services.
- We are no longer required to prioritize children of families in Tier 1 and Tier 2. We will now welcome back all of our existing families and some new families from our waitlist. This may change if there is a resurgence of COVID-19
Worksafe BC- 6 step COVID-19 safety Plan
These policies and procedures have been made along with all team members at Discovery Kids Childcare Incorporated.
1.) Assessing the risk at Discovery Kids
- We have involved all frontline workers and supervisors in assessing the risk at Discovery Kids.
- Identified areas of gathering includes:
- Staﬀ room
- Cubby areas in each classroom
- Identified job tasks and processes where workers are close to one another or member of the public includes:
- Drop oﬀ and pick up times
- Hand-holding on outing
- Assistance with self care
- Identified equipment shared includes:
- Kitchen (including refrigerator, microwave, laundry)
- Spray bottles,
- Sign-in/out sheets
- Identified surfaces touched often including:
- Light switches
- Broom/mop handles
2.) Implement protocols to reduce the risk
- No non-essential visitors to Discovery Kids including potential families, practicum students not regularly employed at Discovery Kids, siblings and/or school aged children.
- Deliveries to be made curbside only
- Clearly implement the wellness policy for both children and educators (signed form from every person who regularly attends Discovery Kids)
- Limit persons at high risk areas (drop oﬀ and pick up limited to 2 adults per classroom at a time)
- Occupancy limits in eﬀect for each space
- Distanced seating in staﬀ room
- Hand Sanitizing station at front door and in front of each classroom
- Any door that can stay open throughout the day, does.
- Signs posted at each entrance and in every washroom
- Gloves to be worn when cleaning and/or assisting in bathroom routines
- Cleaning procedures enhanced, posted, and reviewed often
- Established rules and guidelines for employees including:
- Socially distancing from each other whenever possible
- Following all public health guidelines at work and in personal time
- Completion of a personal health check before attending work each day
- Hand hygiene regimen throughout the day.
- Whenever possible, educators do not move between classrooms.
We do not currently require barriers and/or mask wearing
3.) Policy Development
Our workplace policy ensures that workers and others showing symptoms of COVID 19 are prohibited from the workplace. This includes:
- Anyone who has shown symptoms such as fever, chills, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, new muscle aches or headaches.
- Anyone directed by public health to self isolate
- Anyone who has arrived from outside Canada must self isolate for 14 days
- Visitors are prohibited in our workplace
- All employees are trained and confident in their ability to manage a potentially volatile situation (not common in our line of work)
- If an employee starts to feel unwell at work: extra qualified educators are on hand to immediately replace the unwell employee so they may return home and seek the advice of a medical professional or 811.
If anyone becomes severely ill, 911 will be called immediately.
- If an employee or child falls ill, all suspect areas will be immediately disinfected
- All employees have received and signed policies requiring them to remain at home when ill
4.) Communication Plans and Training
Each employee at Discovery Kids has been trained in the policies and procedures of our COVID 19 safety plan. This information is reviewed at a monthly staﬀ meeting and any time there are changes made to public health recommendations.
- Signs on occupancy on hand washing are posted
- Supervisors have been trained on monitoring workers and the workplace to ensure polls and procedures are being followed.
- All employees have received and returned a signed copy of our staﬀ illness policy
- Signs are posted at the entrance outlining who is restricted from entering
- Management spent the first 10 days after reopening, walking each family member through the procedures of pick up/drop oﬀ and health checks. Ensuring the understanding of every person that is regularly attending Discovery Kids.
5.) Monitoring and updating plans as needed
We have a plan to monitor risks and make changes to our policies when needed. We stay current with public health advice and follow any recommendation made to our sector and the general public from either a MHO, Licensing Oﬃcer or WorkSafe BC.
- Employees know to contact myself (Maya Magee) for any concerns on health and safety
- When resolving issues, all employees are involved
6.) Assess and address risks from resuming operations
Discovery Kids Childcare has remained open throughout the pandemic.
- Any new staﬀ member will be advised of all policies and procedures in advance of their first day of work.