WCAS Covid-19 Policies and Procedures

Dear Families,

 

This notice is regarding the Westminster Children’s After School Society’s (WCAS) policies and protocols regarding health, wellness, and illness, including Covid-19. Please ensure you read this notice in its entirety and connect if you have any questions.

 

Dr. Bonnie Henry encourages daycare centres to remain open where possible, to serve families in need of childcare. Recognizing childcare programs play an essential role in families’ lives, we have elected to remain open. WCAS is following all updated protocols and procedures as outlined by the Health Authorities and CDC.

More information can be found at the following link: (Worksafe BC)

Protocols differ between daycare centres and schools. We understand this can be very challenging. For school related protocols please visit: (Guidance: K-12 Schools) 

It is imperative that we are resolute in our health policy, and all parents/guardians understand and agree to the following requirements: General Health and Wellness Policy Our regular health and wellness policy indicates children may not attend childcare programs while they have any of the following symptoms:

• Unusual, unexplained loss of appetite, fatigue, irritability, or headache

• Eye infections, discharge, red/pink eyes (may return after 24 hours of taking prescribed antibiotics, if no other symptoms exist) • Unexplained rashes or any rash that is not confirmed by doctor to be non-contagious

• Known or suspected communicable diseases (measles, chicken pox, pink eye, hand foot and mouth, etc.)

• Ear Infection (may return after 24 hours of taking prescribed antibiotics, if no other symptoms exist)

• Sore throat

• Runny nose (any yellow or green discharge; thick discharge; any constant stream of discharge or when accompanied by sinus congestion

• Nausea and/or vomiting in the last 48 hours • Diarrhea in the last 48 hours If your child has had any of the above symptoms, they may attend the facility again once they have been symptom free for 24 hours without the aid of over the counter medication. 

 

COVID-19 Policy

Staying home when sick is one of the most important ways to reduce the spread of communicable diseases, including Covid-19. Therefore, it is important for anyone who is sick to remain at home.

 

Children and childcare providers are required to stay at home from childcare centres when new symptoms of illness develop, including:

• Fever

• Chills

• Cough

• Difficulty breathing (in small children, this can look like breathing fast or working hard to breathe)

• Loss of sense of smell or taste

• Nausea or vomiting

• Diarrhea

 

For mild symptoms without fever, children and staff members should stay home and monitor symptoms for 24 hours. If symptoms improve and the child/staff member feels well enough, they can return to the childcare facility without further assessment or doctor’s note.

If symptoms include fever or difficulty breathing, or if symptoms last more than 24 hours or get worse, seek a health assessment by calling 8-1-1 or a primary care provider. If a COVID-19 test is recommended as a result of the health assessment, self isolate while waiting for results.

• If the COVID-19 test is positive, self-isolate and follow the direction of public health.

• If the COVID-19 test is negative, return to the childcare facility once well enough to participate.

• If a COVID-19 test is recommended but not done, self-isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and return when feeling well enough to participate.

• If a COVID-19 test is not recommended, staff and children may return when well enough to participate.

 

If you are unsure about getting tested call 8-1-1 for advice. See the BC Centre for Disease Control website (www.bccdc.ca) for more information on when to seek emergency care.

 

Staff or children who are experiencing symptoms of a previously diagnosed health condition do not need to stay home and will not be required to provide a doctor’s note to attend a childcare facility. Examples of a previously diagnosed health condition could include seasonal allergies.

If a member of a child or staff’s household develops symptoms of illness, asymptomatic staff and children may still attend childcare settings. If the household member tests positive for COVID-19, public health will advise further regarding self-isolation and when to return to the childcare setting.

 

Children/Staff/Parents/Guardians/Visitors may not attend any WCAS facility if they exhibit any symptoms of respiratory illness or fever. There are no exceptions to this illness policy.

 

Individuals residing in the household with any child attending any WCAS facility are to be taking all precautions possible to limit their exposure to COVID-19. In addition, parents are expected to complete the Daily Health Check for their child each day prior to drop off. Copies will be available at each facility daily.

 

Fees during a Pandemic/Communicable Disease Outbreak

As you know, the Covid-19 public health emergency is rapidly changing. Our ability to remain open may change without notice. We may be ordered to close by BC’s provincial health officer, and/or our licensing officer. In such an occurrence, we will communicate with families as soon as possible.

 

In the event of a short-term closure due to a pandemic or communicable disease outbreak (less then 30 days), fees are due and payable as per usual operations.

 

During closures exceeding 30 days, fees payable will be determined by the Board of Directors. Any closure of 30 days or more may have an impact on whether spaces are held at no charge while a family is isolating, or whether a nominal fee would be implemented. As each outbreak or pandemic is different, the guidelines around these situations would be different as well. Each situation will be reviewed by the Board of Directors taking into account information received from all Ministries involved.

The ACCB, (Affordable Child Care Benefit), formerly known as ‘subsidy’, is provided through Ministry of Children and Family Development, and may or may not be provided during a pandemic or communicable disease outbreak closure. Parents/Guardians may directly contact the MCFD office at 1- 888-338-6622 to discuss their policy regarding the ACCB payments. This decision is outside of Westminster Children’s After School Society’s authority.

 

If MCFD will not cover fees, then parents/guardians will be responsible for any and all applicable fees. There will be no refunds or credit of fees for unused or missed days due to illness or injury. Ratios and Hours of Operations Licensing requires specific staff to child ratios be maintained at all times, regardless of a pandemic or communicable disease outbreak. Please be advised, unforeseen circumstances could impact the ratio we are able to maintain and our operating hours.

 

If employees are unable to come in to work or are in quarantine, any or all the following could happen:

• The centre may close for a period of time or indefinitely.

• Ratios may be lowered to meet licencing requirements. If ratios are lowered, the facility will follow the guidelines set out by the Provincial Government or other governing body regarding priority placement of children in the available spaces.

• Hours and days of operations may be adjusted. Please note that no refunds will be issued during a short-term adjustment of operational hours or days.

Drop off and Pick Up

Drop off and pick up procedures have been altered to meet the protocol expectations. Anyone entering the building/centre is expected to abide by the policies and procedures as implemented. If a person refuses, then they will be denied entry into the program.

 

Please ensure physical distancing (2 meters) is always maintained between our staff, other children, and other parents. Masks are not a requirement in WCAS centres, however, we strongly encourage anyone coming to a centre to wear one.

 

Masks are a requirement in school hallways. For centres located inside a school (EG: Kids Korner, Griffin’s Alley, Misty Meadows), anyone entering the school is required to wear a mask per School Board policies.

 

We will no longer require that Parents/Guardians fill out and sign the Daily Health Checklist for their children. Instead we ask that you complete the Daily Health Checklist on your child prior to dropping them off and the following will now be in place:

• Staff will ensure that all parents/guardians have completed the Daily Health Check on their child prior to them entering the facility.

• If a child has a pre-arranged agreement with the centre to sign themselves in, their parent/guardian is still expected to complete the Daily Health Check on their child prior to them entering the facility

• There will be a column added to the sign in/out sheets for Parents/Guardians to initial verifying that they completed the Daily Health Checklist on their child at home each day prior to them attending.

• Children will be required to either sanitize or wash their hands immediately upon arrival into the facility.

 

Cleaning and Sanitization

We are following the current health authority guidelines for sanitization. This includes disinfecting all accessible materials twice per day when the space is used full day, or in-between groups, when the space is shared during the day.

 

Disinfection is completed using a health authority approved sanitizer; a bleach, alcohol, or quat-based solution. We understand some families would prefer we use alternate cleaning products.

 

As we are required to follow health authority sanitization policies, we are unable to use alternate cleaning products. Please note:

• High touch surfaces, tables, and chairs will be sanitized more frequently throughout our operational hours. This includes doorknobs, light switches, and toilet handles

• Toys/games/equipment are sanitized when used by multiple children

• Toys/games/ equipment have been reduced and or rearranged to allow for more space within the rooms

• Each child will have their own bag for commonly used items such as pens, pencils, crayons, scissors, and glue to avoid sharing between children

Question or Concerns

We thank you for caring about the well-being of the children, staff, families, and the greater community. We operate with open transparency around licensing and health authority regulations and ask that you connect with us if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

 

Appendix A:

Daily Health Check – Page 1

The following is an example of a daily health check to determine if you or your child should attend a childcare setting that day. Remember, if you think your child is ill, please keep them at home.

 

Daily Health Check

Key Symptoms of Illness  Do you have any of the following symptoms?        Circle One

                                        

                                       Fever                                                                               Yes      No 

                                       Chills                                                                               Yes      No

                                       Cough or worsening of chronic cough                              Yes      No                                                                                                                   Breathing difficulties (breathing fast or working                                                                                                                                                     hard to breathe)                                                             Yes      No

                                       Loss of sense of smell or taste                                         Yes      No

                                       Diarrhea                                                                          Yes      No

                                       Nausea & or Vomiting                                                      Yes      No

2.International Travel      Have you returned from travel outside Canada

                                           in the last 14 days?                                                      Yes      No

3.Confirmed Contact       Are you a confirmed contact of a person

                                          confirmed to have COVID-19?                                       Yes      No

 

If you answered “YES” to two or more of the questions included under ‘Key Symptoms of Illness’, or you have a fever or difficulty breathing, seek a health assessment. A health assessment includes calling 8-1-1, or a primary care provider like a physician or nurse practitioner. If a health assessment is required, you should not return to the child care setting until COVID-19 has been excluded and your symptoms have improved.

 

If you answered “YES” to only one of the questions included under ‘Key Symptoms of Illness’ (excluding fever and difficulty breathing), you should stay home for 24 hours from when the symptom started. If the symptom improves, you may return to a child care facility when you feel well enough. If the symptom persists or worsens, seek a health assessment. A health assessment includes calling 8-1-1, or a primary care provider like a physician or nurse practitioner.

 

If you answered “YES” to questions 2 or 3, use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to determine if you should seek testing for COVID-19.

 


Appendix A – Page 2

If a COVID-19 test is recommended as a result of the health assessment, self-isolate while waiting for results

• If the COVID-19 test is positive, self-isolate and follow the direction of public health.

• If the COVID-19 test is negative, return to the child care facility once well enough to participate.

• If a COVID-19 test is recommended but not done, self-isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and return when you or the child are well enough to participate.

• If a COVID-19 test is not recommended, staff or children may return when well enough to participate

"Be Calm, be kind, be safe."

             -Dr. Bonnie Henry

 Kids with Masks
Teenage Girls with Masks