During this unprecedented time, we want to assure our many parents and childcare Providers that our commitment to delivering only the highest standard of childcare has not changed. In our 35 years of offering childcare, we have continued to evolve in terms of programming, regulatory, nutritional and safety requirements while always ensuring we meet or exceed any standard. With the current challenges that COVID-19 has placed on our country, families and communities we have taken steps to balance the need for childcare and the safety of those in care and delivering care. As schools and Daycare centres were closed in Ontario, the Province and Health Canada deemed licensed home childcare as an essential service, differentiating on the basis of smaller group size.
We are proud of our Agencies and Providers and their unwavering commitment to delivering childcare to those who need it. Many essential and emergency workers continue to need childcare as they go to work to support their communities. Additional childcare spaces have been opened in our Agencies for emergency workers in many of the communities we serve in and we are grateful for the kind words of appreciation we have received from them.
As always, homes that provide licensed childcare through our Agencies have a maximum allowable size of six children, allowing more control over the environment and individualized attention to the children in care. In addition to our already high standards, we have put additional measures in place during this pandemic period. Those measures include:
- Initially, we screened homes for children, families and Providers and their families (for travel and symptoms) and requested self-isolation
- Ongoing screening for symptoms (visual checks, questions)
- Increased hygiene protocols (handwashing upon entering and leaving and more often during the day), reinforcement of respiratory hygiene (sneezing/coughing into elbow)
- Limiting contact (one parent at a time in the home for drop off/pick-up or parents not entering home, hand sanitizer for parents at the door)
- Increased sanitization routine (high touched surfaces are disinfected minimum of 2x per day, before and after care, toys and linens cleaned more often, sensory activities minimized or not done), daily sanitizing bleach solution is made fresh daily
- Home Visits by the Agencies RECE remain important and will continue to occur quarterly, in the interim and where possible these are being conducted via virtual mean such as Facetime
- Isolating symptomatic children from other children until they can be picked up
We continue to take direction from Health Canada, Local Public Health departments, Ministry of Education and Local Municipal offices. Our procedures will continue to evolve to meet requirements as they arise. We are thankful to all those in the community that are working daily in essential and emergency services and are proud to support you with childcare.