Child Care Centre COVID-19 Updates

Updates

December 17, 2020

The UNBC Child Care Centre has fully re-opened following a potential COVID-19 exposure between Nov. 23 and 27.

Each licensed child-care facility in B.C. has a COVID-19 safety plan in place. In our case, the safety plan was followed “precisely” according to NH, which means the risk of further transmission is low.

Following a period of facility closure, it was deemed safe to re-open Cub’s Corner and Porcupine Pals on Monday, Dec. 14 and Raven’s Nest re-opened on Dec. 17.

We understand that learning of potential exposure to COVID-19 may cause concern. 

If you have questions, please send them to kelly.thirkettle@unbc.ca.


UNBC Childcare Society Pandemic Plan/COVID-19 Response Plan

In the event of a Pandemic, UNBC Childcare Society may need to temporarily close regular operations in order to clean and sanitize the centre and review procedures.  

If deemed safe to do so, the centre may re-open with much smaller groups sizes for the children and with extra staffing in order to adequately keep up with extra cleaning precautions and provide more one on one care to children. To minimize exposure to multiple people, staff will only work in their designated program rather than combining groups. These spaces will be open to children who has one or more parent who is an essential services worker as defined by the Province of BC (health and health services worker, social services worker, law enforcement providers, first responders, and emergency response workers) and is prioritized to children who are enrolled in full time care. As Pandemic restrictions ease, and depending on recommendations from the Province, more children may be accepted back in to the program as staff and Manager deem safe and appropriate. (please refer to Public Health Guidelines for COVID-19 and Childcare Settings). 

Staff and parents will keep a physical distance of 2 m from each other at all times. Where this is not possible, masks should be worn. To minimize contact with multiple individuals, drop off times will be staggered. Each classroom will use its own door for drop off and pick up.  The parent will fill out a wellness survey or sign child in attesting that they are free of fever, difficulty breathing, cough, or sneezing symptoms (each family is asked to have their own pen). If the child exhibits any symptoms listed on the wellness survey/sign in sheet they will not be permitted to attend. Staff may take childrens’ temperature from time to time if they seem unwell.  If the child’s temperature is 37.7 C or higher, or if they have any other symptoms of illness, they will not be permitted to attend. (See excerpt from Health Policies). Children who have been excluded from care due to the above mentioned symptoms will need clearance through the Nurses’ Line 811, the Northern Health online clinic at 1-844-645-7811 or a physician in order to return to care. Documentation of medical clearance may be requested at the discretion of centre staff.  If a child or family is in self isolation or if a child or family member tests positive for COVID 19, we will take direction from Northern Health for reporting to other enrolled families. If a child or member of a child’s family is awaiting COVID 19 test results, they should be self-isolating and are NOT to come to the centre. 

Parents are asked to send lunches in a harder surface container, such as a bento box style container, that can easily be disinfected.  Children will be encouraged to keep physical distance where possible for snack and lunch times, circle times and story times.  All snacks and lunches will be provided by the family. 

Toys and equipment that can easily be cleaned will be provided for use.  Staff will clean and disinfect toys and equipment once per day.  Washrooms will be cleaned after use.

Door knobs, light switches and other high touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least once per day

Children will spend as much time as possible outdoors.

Hand washing is paramount in preventing the spread of illness. 

Children will wash their hands with the supervision of a staff member:

  • When they arrive at the centre and before they go home
  • Before and after eating and drinking
  • After a diaper change, using the toilet
  • After playing outside
  • After sneezing or coughing (children will be shown how to cough or sneeze into their elbow or a tissue)
  • Whenever hands are visibly dirty 

Staff will use all procedures as per a communicable disease outbreak (as per the UNBC Childcare Society Health Policies). Staff will do a self-wellness survey each day (each staff will have their own clipboard and pen), and will not come to work if they have any symptoms of illness. If they are away from work for any COVID-19 like symptoms, clearance from the Nurses’ line 811, the Northern Health online clinic at 1-844-645-7811 or a physician will be required. Wearing a mask is not recommended, but if it’s the preference of individual staff they may do so. Staff will wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible. Staff will use surgical gloves when cleaning contaminated areas, and when needed as per Universal Precautions. 

Staff will wash their hands:

  • When arriving at the centre and before going home
  • Before handing food or feeding children
  • Before and after administering medication or ointment to child or self
  • After changing diapers or assisting a child in the bathroom 
  • After contact with bodily fluids
  • After removing gloves
  • After handling garbage
  • Whenever hands are visibly dirty

Staff should remove clothing and launder it as soon as they get home. 

If children start showing signs of what could be influenza or COVID-19, the parent will be contacted for the child to be picked up right away. They will wait in an area away from the other children. A thorough cleaning of the area will be done as soon as the child is picked up.

If a staff member becomes ill, they will be sent home immediately. If they have symptoms of respiratory illness, they will need clearance from the Nurses’ Line 811, the Northern Health online clinic at 1-844-645-7811 or a physician. 

If any enrolled child or staff has come into contact with an individual who is confirmed COVID-19 positive OR has travelled outside of Canada they must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days and be symptom free before returning to the childcare Centre. 

A copy of the COVID-19 Guidelines form Public Health will be kept in the classroom for reference, as well as the Work Safe BC safety checklist.

Only enrolled children and staff will have access to the building. There will be absolutely no visitors, tours or volunteers during this time. Practicum students will be permitted under advisement of Public Health Protection.  

Please check our website periodically for updates. Feel free to email me should you have questions as well at kelly.thirkettle@unbc.ca.