Working with COVID-19 Overview

As centers reopen from this closure period, there have been many questions around how to social distance within the classroom and re-introducing children back to the routine of childcare. We will need to follow the requirements that our government and our local health unit has set out. We are diligently following all protocols that have been put in place thus far to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Work with Reduced Ratios

Working with fewer children in the classroom will help ease any anxiety as the children re-enter the child care program and also helps create a control group. This way the children, staff and families are safer while returning.

It is hard to pick and choose families to welcome back, but with limiting the number of children coming and going, it will help contain any outbreaks from recurring. We will be following the guidelines put out by our government regarding return to childcare.

Alter or Halt Daily Group Activities

Within the classroom, it is best to limit the contact that the children are having in large groups. Large group time may be achieved by making sure children sit in a certain spot to avoid contact with one another as much as possible. Plan activities that the children can stay spread out and do on their own.

Stagger Playground Times

Latchkey Child Care & Learning Centre will have one cohort on the playground at one time to ensure cohorts are not mixing. You will need to have assigned playground time and equipment if available must be cleaned between cohorts.

Move Cots & Cribs Spacing

With having a limited number of children in the classroom at this time, spreading out their cots at nap time to allow for more personal space should be easily achieved. If space is limited children will be placed toe to toe.

Only Children and Staff Allowed Inside

One staff will be at the front entrance to screen children, parents/guardians and staff. Parents/guardians are not allowed to enter the facility. Although this is much different than our normal operating procedure we are mandated to follow these protocols.

Arrival and Pick-Up Times

One parent/guardian (child/children and one parent/guardian) will be allowed in drop off/pick-up area at a time. Please maintain a distance of 2 metres/6 feet while waiting to be screened. Each school may develop its own pick up and drop off plan depending on the area they are working within the schools.

Take Temperatures Upon Arrival

All staff, children and parents/guardians will have their temperature taken and recorded upon arrival to verify that no one entering the building has a fever when they arrive at the centre. This provides some extra reassurance that no one is bringing any illness into the facility.

Cancel or Postpone Any Planned Events

Any large gathering type events will be postponed until further notice.

Social Distancing in The Classroom Setting

Having a smaller number of children in the classroom allows for creativity with how to set up and maintain social distancing while still allowing for conversation and interaction with peers. Children are encouraged to play separately and maintain a safe distance from one another. Naturally, children gravitate toward each other and we have always encouraged cooperative play. With that being said, staff will strive to keep children as distant as possible while interacting with each other. Program staff may choose to set out individual areas using painter’s tape (or using other resources) on the floor so that children can play together distantly. All classrooms are equipped with aids for judging how far apart children should be to maintain social distancing. As children get used to the new idea of playing separately together, staff will play an important role in encouraging this new type of play and keeping the children busy.

How Parents Can Help

As children return to the classroom, we can expect some anxiety and hesitation. Please talk to your children about social distancing and the make them familiar with personal protective equipment such as masks. Parents should remind children of the positive feelings they can associate with the classrooms to limit anxious feelings.

While things will seem different with the new procedures in place for the safety of all, we will work to foster an environment that promotes learning and creativity while having fun responsibly. We are excited to be moving forward together.