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Keeping You Informed: COVID-19 & CCPRN Service Delivery—Policies, Procedures, and Protocols

Written by Julie Bisnath, BSW RSW

It’s September 1st and CCPRN is excited to announce that we are actively planning the fall calendar of events.  While many workshops and programs will be offered virtually, we do hope to offer some in-person events.

Although service delivery methods have shifted as a result of COVID-19, CCPRN will continue to deliver programs and events to empower, support, and connect individuals who offer child care in a home setting.

To that end, we have developed comprehensive policies, procedures, and protocols based on the Ministry of Education document: Operational Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak EarlyON Re-Opening August 2020 and in consultation with Ottawa Public Health recommendations.  The policies and procedures (and this post) will be modified as applicable should Provincial restrictions be lifted and/or amended to reflect new advice from either the Ministry of Education or Ottawa Public Health.

In addition to being posted on the CCPRN website, an electronic copy of this blog post will be emailed to all in-person event participants.  We want to make sure that our enhanced health and safety measures are available and accessible to those of you attending our events and/or programs.

Current Provincial Limits for Indoor Gatherings: 50      Outdoor Gatherings: 100

Effective September 1st, 2020:

  • CCPRN program participants will continue to register, in advance, for all CCPRN events and programs.
  • Registration for all in-person events and/or programs will include an acknowledgement of risk relating to COVID-19 and a release of liability.
  • All individuals including children, caregivers, parents, staff, volunteers, and visitors must be screened before participating in a CCPRN in-person event or program.
  • Screening questions include:
    • Do you have any of the symptoms outlined below: Fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath? Other symptoms including – sore throat, difficulty swallowing, new olfactory or taste disorder(s), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, runny nose, or nasal congestion (in absence of underlying reason such as seasonal allergies, post nasal drip, etc.) or other signs/atypical symptoms:–pneumonia, unexplained fatigue, delirium (confusion, changes to memory, and odd behaviours), unexplained or increased number of falls, acute functional decline, worsening of chronic conditions, chills, headaches, croup, or conjunctivitis (pink eye)?
    • Are you awaiting COVID-19 test results, have received a positive COVID-19 result, or have received an inconclusive laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19?
    • Have you travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days?
    • Do you live with, or have provided care for (without appropriate PPE), or spent time with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is suspected to have COVID-19, has an inconclusive laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19, or who has symptoms that started within 14 days of travel outside of Canada?
    • Have you lived in/worked in/visited an institution, group home, or other facility known to be experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 (e.g., child care centre, long term care, prison)?
  • Participants not able to complete an electronic questionnaire will be required to complete a hard copy prior to participating in the event or program.
  • Parents and/or caregivers are responsible for completing the screening questionnaire for the children in their care.
  • Participants exhibiting signs or symptoms of illness (or who answered “yes” to any question on the screening questionnaire) will not be permitted to attend/remain on-site. Symptomatic children and/or adults will be referred for testing.
  • Hand sanitizer will be placed at the in-person screening station for mandatory use prior to entry/participation and will be made available for adults to use throughout the event or program. Participants are also welcome to use their own, scent-free, alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately prior to entry/participation.
  • All adults are encouraged to perform and promote frequent, proper hand hygiene.
  • Adults will be responsible for the hand washing and/or hand sanitizing of the children in their care.
  • Hand washing using soap and water is recommended over alcohol-based hand rub for children.
  • CCPRN will maintain event records of any person (staff, volunteers, caregiver, parents, child, visitor) entering the in-person event or program space (within reason for outdoor events) and the approximate length of their stay. Records (e.g. name, contact information, time of arrival/departure, screening completion/result, etc.) will be kept up-to-date and available to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case or outbreak.  Upon request, Records of Attendance will be provided to Ottawa Public Heath.
  • Outdoor programming is strongly encouraged as a program delivery model as it can easily allow for safe, physically distanced activities for children, caregivers, and families.
  • CCPRN programs and events will be planned considering the following guidelines:
    • planning activities that do not involve shared objects or toys
    • limiting the use of CCPRN toys and equipment
    • planning activities that can be spaced out by caregiver groups (i.e. Storywalks)
    • removing and not using any toys made of porous materials
    • offering only single use art and/or sensory materials to be disposed of at the end of the event or program
    • avoiding indoor singing activities
    • encouraging physical distancing among all participants
    • planning and arranging adult workshops and training to allow for physical distancing
  • All CCPRN staff and/or volunteers are required to wear medical masks and eye protection (i.e. face shield) while facilitating an indoor event or program.
  • All other adults (i.e. caregivers, parents/guardians, and visitors) are required to wear a face covering or non-medical mask while attending an indoor event or program.
  • Masks are not recommended and not required for young children under the age of two. The wearing of non-medical or cloth masks is encouraged, but not required, for children over 2 years of age while attending an indoor event or program. School-aged children in grade 4 and higher are required to wear non-medical or cloth masks indoors.
  • Exceptions to wearing masks indoors include circumstances where a physical distance of at least 2 metres can be maintained between individuals, situations where a child cannot tolerate wearing a mask, and/or reasonable expectations for medical conditions.
  • CCPRN staff/volunteers will ensure proper cleaning and disinfection of all CCPRN toys, equipment, and materials.
  • In the event of a positive COVID-19 test result, any person directly, and recently involved (staff, volunteer, parent, caregiver, child, visitor) in a CCPRN in-person event or program will be expected to disclose, to Ottawa Public Health, this recent participation (within the past 14 days).
  • Disclosure of a positive COVID-19 test result (of a CCPRN volunteer, visitor, and/or participant) to the CCPRN Program Coordinator, is voluntary. In the event of a voluntary disclosure, the CCPRN Program Coordinator will consult Ottawa Public Health for advice and direction.
  • Voluntary disclosure of a positive COVID-19 test result will be kept confidential by the CCPRN Program Coordinator.

REFERENCE DOCUMENTS:

 

Original Post Date: September 4, 2020

Together in Caring: Advocacy Update

Written by Julie Bisnath, BSW, RSW

Advocating for quality home child care has always been a priority for CCPRN and 2020 has certainly not been an exception.   Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the CCEYA 2014 review, we have been busy asking questions, gathering information, writing letters, formulating ideas, and meeting (virtually!) with partners and key players.  Here is a look at our key messages and an update as to what we’ve been doing lately:

Key Messages:

  1. The CCPRN leadership is committed to and focused on the well-being and safety of all children.
  2. CCPRN is dedicated to quality by providing information, training, resources, and support to those providing home child care.
  3. CCPRN will continue to work with the Government of Ontario to advocate for children and parents to modernize child care.
  4. CCPRN is committed to parental choice in finding child care best suiting their family’s needs.
  5. Nearly 80% of Ontario’s children under the age of 4 are in independent child care which includes Independent Professional Caregivers, relatives, and nannies.
  6. CCPRN supports a network of 4500+ in our region and across Ontario.
  7. IPCs are the foundation of child care in Ontario. They provide an essential service caring for the majority of children across the province.
  8. IPCs contribute to Ontario’s economy as small business owners.
  9. Independent Professional Caregivers are committed to the well-being and safety of the children in their care. IPCs urge the government to establish provincial health, safety, and welfare standards for all home child care.

Advocacy updates relating to COVID-19:

  • Contacting the Honourable David McGuinty, Member of Parliament, to inquire about and clarify the initial criteria for the CERB, bringing forward the concerns of Independent Home Child Care Providers.
  • Writing to the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and the Honourable Doug Ford, Ontario Premier, for clarification and direction relating to the provincial State of Emergency and Emergency Orders (Specifically Ontario Regulation 139/20 Child Care Fees).
  • Writing to the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, to advocate for safety equipment/PPE, standards/protocols, and training for all caregivers.
  • Contacting Ottawa Public Health for information and guidelines for operation during the pandemic. Advocating for the inclusion of Independent Home Child Care in all documents/publications.
  • Advocating at the Provincial level (with Premier Ford, Minister Lecce, and Minister Phillips) for financial assistance for Independent Home Child Care Providers as they remain open throughout the pandemic and/or are preparing to re-open their business.
  • Participating in a round table discussion facilitated by Cardus focusing on child care in post-pandemic Canada and submitting a written response for review.
  • Reaching out to Assistant Deputy Minister (Early Years and Child Care Division) Shannon Fuller for clarification regarding the Ministry of Education document “Operational Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak” and how it applies to Independent Home Child Care in particular.
  • Participating in a teleconference with Mr. Abdikheir Ahmed, Director of Policy and Research (Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development) to advocate for targeted federal spending to support the independent sector of home child care and preparing a written submission.
  • Thinking ahead to the bigger picture:  During the pandemic, home child care was deemed an essential service.  Providing individual care, sibling care, and care for small groups, home child care is the ideal choice when considering physical distancing, social circles, and community safety and well-being. Additionally, we feel that many parents will choose not to send their school-age children to school in September.  This will create a need for additional care.  In discussion with the Ministry of Education, CCPRN has proposed two new models of care to help mitigate this need.

Advocacy updates relating to the CCEYA (Child Care and Early Years Act) 2014 5-year review:

  • Participating as part of the Provincial Early Years Cross Sectoral Table (focused meetings on key cross cutting topics including: Working Together for the Early Learning and Child Care Sector, EarlyON, Inclusion, Home Child Care, and more lead by the Ministry of Education)
  • Gathering and consolidating information from our network via Facebook, email, and a dedicated survey.
  • Consulting with The Coalition of Independent Childcare Providers of Ontario (CICPO) as a like-minded organization to share thoughts, concerns, and ideas.
  • Advocating directly (via teleconference) with the Ministry of Education for changes to the CCEYA 2014 and producing a written submission outlining all recommendations.

We know that Independent Home Child Care Providers are often parents’ first choice for child care.  Chosen with careful thought and consideration, parents value the more personal, home-like environment which offers flexibility and personalized care while nurturing the developmental needs of each child.  Now more than ever, ensuring families have access to affordable, quality child care as they go back to work means ensuring they have access to Independent Home Child Care homes.  

COVID-19 Q&A with the Ministry of Education–UPDATED JUNE 10 2020

Updated June 10 2020

UPDATED JUNE 10 2020

On June 9th , the Ministry of Education released a document: Operational Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak Child Care Re-Opening

Upon review, we had some questions as to how the document affects Independent Home Child Care Providers.

Please see below for a question and answer exchange with Shannon Fuller from the Ministry of Education regarding COVID-19 and Independent Home Child Care.

CCPRN Questions in Black

MOE Answers in Blue

The Operational Guideline  is intended to support Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Service Administration Boards (CMSMs and DSSABs); child care licensees and staff; licensed home child care agencies and providers; and district school boards.

In response to your questions:

Are Independent Home Child Care Provider required to follow these measures?

The MOE website states “COVID-19: Reopening child care–Licensed child care centres will be permitted to operate under enhanced health and safety protocols as part of Ontario’s Stage 2 of reopening. All child care providers must review the operational guidance document (PDF, 499 kb) to ensure the health and safety of children, parents and staff.”  Could you please clarify the term “review” as this is quite vague and to me is not the same as “required to follow” or “must adhere to” etc.  Again, we are looking to understand what exactly are the requirements for Independent (unlicensed) Home Child Care Providers.

Unlicensed child care providers are not required to follow the measures outlined in the document, however where possible, the health and safety measures could be implemented to support the safe provision of care to children. Local public health unit may also have additional direction or guidelines for unlicensed providers to consider.

If independent home child care providers are to follow the above measures, when does the 30 day notice take effect? Immediately?

If a family is offered a space and opts not to return, can another family use it?

Is the emergency order “Child Care Fees” (currently extended to June 19th) still in effect and if so, until when?

Licensed home child care providers must give parents 30 days to indicate whether they want to keep their space. After the 30 days, payments would be required to secure the space, whether the child attends or not.

This does not apply to unlicensed child care providers.

Unlicensed child care providers are still required to adhere to the requirements set out in the emergency order related to fees.

Will there be any re-opening grants for independent home child care providers to cover the extra costs of PPE, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, cleaning time, etc.? 

The funding approach will be consistent with existing provincial funding arrangements.

Could you please clarify the specific regulations for Independent Home Child Care Providers. 

Unlicensed child care providers should continue follow the directions of their local public health units and emergency orders related to physical distancing and social gathering restrictions.

Under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA), unlicensed child care providers can care for a maximum of 5 children under the age of 13.  The CCEYA would require that unlicensed providers adhere to the same age restrictions as licensed home-based child care (i.e. care for no more than 3 children under the age of 2 years old of age) and they include their own children under the age of 4 when determining the total number of children being cared for on the premises.

The CCEYA provides flexibility to home child care providers with the option to exclude their own children who are four years of age or older.

Unlicensed providers must also:

  • Disclose to parents that they do not hold a licence.
  • Retain a record of disclosure that they do not hold a licence for two years.
  • Provide receipt for payment upon request, free of charge and in accordance with the regulations.

For additional information, you may review The New Child Care and Early Years Act: What Providers and Parents Need to Know document. 

Ontario Regulation 139/20 under the  Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.9  prohibits a person from charging fees to parents where care is not being provided and are also prohibited from penalizing parents, for example losing a child care space or a parent decides not to send their child to child care while they are open, as a result of fees not being paid during the emergency period. Unlicensed child care providers are expected to adhere to these requirements as well until such time that the emergency order is no longer in effect.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

POSTED APRIL 17 2020

Please see below for a question and answer exchange with Shannon Fuller from the Ministry of Education regarding COVID-19 and Independent Home Child Care.

 

1. Should an Independent Home Child Care Provider be open for business if the families they serve are not essential workers?  For example, parents are home working, or on parental leave, but prefer to send their child to daycare.

As part of our government’s efforts to protect Ontario families, on March 17, 2020, the Premier of Ontario declared a state of emergency and ordered the temporary closure of licensed child care centres. Workplaces deemed essential are exempt from the order to close, including emergency child care services for frontline workers and home child care services.

Home child care providers overseen by licensed agencies may still operate and care for a maximum of 6 children under 13 years of age and unlicensed home child care providers can care for a maximum of 5 children. If a local public health organization recommends the closure of a home child care in a particular municipality, that order needs to be followed.

2. If a home child care provider has had to temporarily close their business due to COVID-19 related reasons (illness (self or household member), high risk for illness (self or household member), provider’s own children are home from school requiring attention and care, provider does not feel that they can respect physical distancing guidelines, provider does not feel it is safe to be open, etc.) can the provider still charge the parents a full or partial fee during the temporary closure?

The Minister of Education announced that effective April 9, all child care providers are prohibited from charging fees to parents where care is not being provided and that parents will not lose their child care space or be otherwise penalized as a result of fees not being paid during this closure period. If fees have been paid in advance by parents, child care providers should reimburse parents for any fees paid for April 9 and beyond.

Even though a home child care provider (licensed and unlicensed) is able under the provincial emergency order to operate, in cases where they have closed or a parent has decided to remove their child due to COVID-19, the home child care provider is prohibited from charging parent fees, effective April 9.

3. What are the caregiver’s obligations regarding holding a spot for a parent, while temporarily closed, if the parent is not paying a fee?

Under the emergency order issued April 9, all child care providers are prohibited from charging fees to parents where care is not being provided. The order also prohibits child care providers from penalizing parents, for example taking a child care space away from parents, who have not paid fees during this period of closure.

4. Does the “no fee for child care” regulation apply to home child care providers who are remaining open for business?  I understand that “home-based child care providers (licensed and unlicensed), are permitted to continue to operate” (https://www.news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2020/04/ontario-taking-action-to-support-parents-during-covid-19.html).  If they continue to operate (remain open for business) and a parent chooses to not send their child due to COVID-19 related reasons (illness, respecting physical distancing measures, parent is working from home, parent has loss of income or employment, etc.) can the provider still charge the parent a full or partial fee?

Even though a home child care provider (licensed and unlicensed) is able under the provincial emergency order to operate, in cases where they have closed or a parent has decided to remove their child due to COVID-19, the home child care provider is prohibited from charging parent fees, effective April 9. If fees have been paid in advance by parents, child care providers should reimburse parents for any fees paid for April 9 and beyond.

5. What are the caregiver’s obligations regarding holding a spot for a parent who is choosing to keep their child at home?  From a business perspective it is unreasonable to expect a provider to hold a spot for free, indefinitely, if the business is open.  One spot typically represents 20% of the provider’s income.

Under the emergency order issued April 9, all child care providers are prohibited from charging fees to parents where care is not being provided. The order also prohibits child care providers from penalizing parents, for example taking a child care space away from parents, who have not paid fees during this period of closure.

6. Many independent home child care providers have contracts that stipulate parent fees are due regardless of attendance.  For example: the family has travelled and are now self-isolating, the child is not attending care but the fees are still due to the provider.  Does this new regulation “EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND CIVIL PROTECTION ACT ORDER UNDER SUBSECTION 7.0.2 (4) OF THE ACT – CHILD CARE FEES” override home child care contracts currently in place?

The emergency order is the law in Ontario and supersedes the terms of any child care contracts. Under the emergency order issued April 9, all child care providers are prohibited from charging fees to parents where care is not being provided.

7. Can/does the local public health unit supersede other provincial/municipal authorities?  For example, although “home-based child care providers (licensed and unlicensed), are permitted to continue to operate”, it does not necessarily mean that they should continue to operate…(for instance, if they are showing signs of COVID-19 or if they have travelled recently)…is it correct to say that all home child care providers should be following the recommendations of their local public health unit?

Child care providers should follow the recommendations of their local public health organization. If a local public health organization recommends the closure of a home child care in a particular municipality, that order needs to be followed.

Additionally, the Ministry of Health has developed a guidance document to support those operating emergency child care centres. It provides helpful advice, including requirements for health and safety, how to screen individuals accessing the centre (children, parents and staff), what to do if a child begins to show symptoms of COVID-19, and requirements for promoting the health and safety of staff. It can be found at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/2019_child_care_guidance.pdf

8. Are Independent Home Child Care Providers eligible to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

If they have made the decision to close their business due to COVID-19 related reasons (illness (self or household member), high risk for illness (self or household member), provider’s own children are home from school requiring attention and care, provider does not feel that they can respect physical distancing guidelines, provider does not feel it is safe to be open, etc.)

If they have no income because all families have either withdrawn from services or are not paying fees due to COVID-19 related reasons?

The supports announced recently by the federal government offer financial assistance for businesses and individuals, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for businesses and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for individuals. We encourage child care providers to research and optimize these federal supports.

For your ease of reference, below is a link to the federal government site that outlines all federal supports in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:

https://www.canada.ca/en/departmentfinance/economicresponseplan.html

9. What provisions are in place for Independent Home Child Care Providers who are working at a reduced income (open for business but only have 1 or 2 children in their care (presumably children of essential workers) due to COVID-19 related reasons)?

The supports announced recently by the federal government offer financial assistance for businesses and individuals, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for businesses and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for individuals. We encourage child care providers to research and optimize these federal supports.

For your ease of reference, below is a link to the federal government site that outlines all federal supports in Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan:

https://www.canada.ca/en/departmentfinance/economicresponseplan.html

 

 

 

COVID-19: Information and Ideas to Share

Written by Julie Bisnath, BSW, RSW

Hello Readers,

We hope that you are all as well as can be during this time of uncertainty and concern relating to the Coronavirus COVID-19.  We understand that feelings of angst are at the forefront for many.

  • We see you—independent caregivers who are faced making critical business decisions, looking for direction and solidarity.
  • We see you—parents who can not work from home and desperately require childcare.
  • We see you—parents and caregivers who have travelled in the past few weeks and are self-isolating.
  • We see you—caregivers and parents who had hoped to travel this week and have had to cancel.
  • We see you—adults concerned for your own health or the health of a loved one.
  • We see you—school age children with hopes of camps, playdates, sleepovers, and a March Break filled with fun outings.
  • We see you—children who don’t quite understand what is going on—who may feel confused, stressed, or anxious about what you see or hear from adults around you, or in the media.
  • We see you—little ones for whom routines have been disrupted, change is hard.
  • We see you.

 

While it is certainly a time for diligent precautions, it is also a time for compassion, support, communication, and sharing.  We want you to know that while we may not be able to answer all of your questions, we are here to offer whatever support we can. We also want to encourage you to share resources and support with each other.  Talk about your feelings and concerns, brainstorm ideas, and share strategies.  Together we are stronger.  Together we are a community.

Today we will be sharing several types of resources we hope you will find helpful.

  1. Where to get up to date information regarding COVID-19.
  2. How to talk to children about the current situation.
  3. How to teach young children about germs and handwashing.
  4. Ideas, activities, and online learning resources to help children thrive during the next few weeks while respecting the guidelines for social distancing and non-essential outings.

Where to get up to date information regarding COVID-19:

One of the best and most accurate sources for information is your local public health unit.  To find your local public health unit search here: https://www.phdapps.health.gov.on.ca/phulocator/.

Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website for information on COVID-19 updates, Canada’s response, being prepared, travel advice, prevention and risk, and symptoms and treatment: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

How to talk to children about the current situation:

While it may be tempting to avoid talking about COVID-19 with your children, having the talk—with careful thought about what you say and how you say it—will in fact help them to feel safer.

It is also important for parents and caregivers to communicate openly and decide together on some consistent messaging.  This will help to reassure young children by creating a feeling of calmness and uniformity between home and childcare.

General Principles from the Center for Disease Control:

 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html

Remain calm and reassuring.

  • Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.

 

Make yourself available to listen and to talk.

  • Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.

 

Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.

  • Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s race or ethnicity. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.

 

Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.

  • Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.

 

Provide information that is honest and accurate.

  • Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
  • Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.

 

Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.

  • Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
  • Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
  • Discuss any new actions that may be taken at school to help protect children and school staff. (many schools are currently closed but this also applies to potential new protocols effective once schools re-open) (e.g., increased handwashing, cancellation of events or activities)
  • Get children into a handwashing habit.
    • Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
    • If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and childcare facilities.

 

Sometimes a short video can provide a helpful visual when communicating information.  Here is an example from a recent CTV article on talking to kids about the coronavirus:

Visual representation of self-isolation and social distancing—good for school age children: https://twitter.com/i/status/1239154162962780160

 

Read the full CTV article here: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/what-should-you-tell-your-kids-about-coronavirus-1.4853921

Finally, PBS has some great tips and wording to use when talking to children: https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-coronavirus

How to teach young children about germs and handwashing:

From the above cited PBS article: Here are four ways we can help young kids build germ-busting habits.

  1. Wash your hands: Use soap and water, rub and scrub for 20 seconds. Sing the ABCs slowly for a general timer.
  2. Catch that cough or sneeze: Teach children to catch their coughs and sneezes in their elbows.
  3. Rest is best: When we stay home sick to rest our bodies we are avoiding the spread of germs to others.
  4. Practice healthy habits: Good sleep, daily exercise, and nutritious foods help to keep our bodies strong and healthy leading to less germs.

 

For young children try an activity that provides a visual representation of germs and handwashing.

 

 

  • Explain to the children that germs are invisible. Paint your hand with some washable paint (a highly noticeable colour) and then explain that you are pretending that the paint is really lots of germs.  In front of the children touch the table, a doorknob, a toy, your face, a child, etc. so that they can see the “germs” spreading. Demonstrate hand washing: what does it take to get off all the paint? A dry cloth? Water only? A 5 second rinse? Soap and water without scrubbing? Soap and water and scrubbing for 20 seconds? Let the children try this for them selves by painting their hands and providing shallow pans with soap and water for washing away the “germs”.

 

Provide and post handwashing visual steps for children to follow—you can find many examples online, here is one from Ottawa Public Health: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/professionals-and-partners/resources/Documents/handwashing_poster.pdf

Take a look at the information from Parenting in Ottawa on Hand Hygiene for Children: https://www.parentinginottawa.ca/en/children/Hygiene.aspx

Handwashing songs and printables: https://fun-a-day.com/hand-washing-songs/

Handwashing sequence file folder game: https://fromabcstoacts.com/hand-washing-file-folder-game/

Ideas, activities, and online learning resources to help children thrive during the next few weeks while respecting the guidelines for social distancing and non-essential outings:

Children (and often adults too) thrive with the predictability and structure of a routine.  If possible, create a new routine for your children (whether at home or childcare) to help them adjust to the current guidelines. Here is an example of an at-home routine with a link to modify for your own purposes.  Obviously, routines will change based on the age and number of children in your care.  Use the sample to create something that will work for you and your children.

Daily Schedule: https://mommyhood101.com/daily-schedule-for-kids. Click here to download the schedule in Microsoft Word format (modifiable).  Click here to download the schedule in Open Office format (modifiable).

Here is a great guide full of ideas for art and play geared towards children ages 3-8: https://www.artbarblog.com/art-and-play-activity-guide-for-kids-in-quarantine/

Search pinterest.ca for ideas to keep your toddlers and preschoolers busy indoors.  Here are a couple of interesting finds:

40+ Super Easy Toddler Activities

42 Easy Indoor Activities for Toddlers

Indoor Recess Games and Activities for Preschoolers

 

Here are 25 non-screen activities perfect for slightly older children but also many are easy to modify for toddlers and/or preschoolers. https://medium.com/pobble/simple-and-fun-non-screen-activities-that-children-can-do-at-home-115543cb3b9c

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities for older children:

https://www.vivifystem.com/blog/2020/3/12/top-stem-resources-for-school-closings

Other screen-free ideas:

  • Theme days: a great way to pass the time and can be extended to develop early literacy, motor skills, dramatic play, art activities, and sensory play (note: depending on the age of the children you may want to limit sensory play as a way to reduce the spread of germs). Examples include beach day, pyjama day, colour or rainbow day, sports day, spa day, etc.
  • Have a dance party: dress up, play fun music, dim the lighting, enjoy party/special snacks. Search up links for music and movement like this one: https://www.growinghandsonkids.com/movement-songs-for-preschoolers.html#_a5y_p=5575753 Try Zumba or yoga for a change.
  • Storytime or Circle time marathon: everyone chooses their favourite books and/or songs, gets a blanket or pillow, and enjoys an extended version of this popular activity.
  • Art exploration: have children wear play clothes and spend the day exploring various art mediums: finger paint, paint with brushes and other tools, collage using various materials and textures, crayons/pastels/markers, etc. Tape up the artwork and pretend that you are at an art gallery.
  • Set up a games circuit outside and around the house: water bottle bowling, bean bag target practice, balance beams made from painter’s tape, etc. Google indoor obstacle course for toddlers.
  • Choose a topic of interest to learn about and work on this each day.
  • Bake or cook together (practice lots of good hand washing!).
  • Board game or card game marathon for older children.

Ideas for online learning and/or using online resources: Always visit the site yourself first to ensure that it is appropriate for the children in your care.  Monitor screen time closely, when possible access content together, and limit screen time according to guidelines (https://participaction.cdn.prismic.io/participaction%2F125a8a50-dfb2-4050-b8fe-7172da079438_participaction-24hour-guidelines-early-years-0-4-educator-one-pager-en.pdf)

  • Free children’s literacy resource featuring the world’s best storytellers reading books aloud. Each video includes an activity guide with lessons for K-5 students to do at home. https://www.storylineonline.net/

 

 

 

https://www.highlightskids.com/

http://www.abcya.com/

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/games/

https://www.funbrain.com/pre-k-and-k-playground

http://www.switchzoo.com/puzzles.htm

http://pbskids.org/

http://www.seussville.com/

http://www.starfall.com/

http://www.storylineonline.net/

And a few more:

https://www.cbc.ca/kidscbc2/

https://haveaballtogether.ca/activities/

https://www.canadiangeographic.ca/kids

  • Keep your eye on Facebook and other types of social media—I found this yesterday: “While the Cincinnati Zoo is closed and kids are home from school, let us help make your children’s hiatus from school fun and educational. Join us for a Home Safari Facebook Live each weekday at 3pm where we will highlight one of our amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home. Join us starting Monday, March 16 at 3pm for our first Home Safari- featuring Fiona!”

http://cincinnatizoo.org/news-releases/cincinnati-zoo-is-bringing-the-zoo-to-you/

 

We encourage you to share your thoughts, concerns, and support for one another on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Child-Care-Providers-Resource-Network-CCPRN-234504449898448/

Be well.

Yours in sharing and caring.

COVID-19 and Independent Home Daycare

Updated: March 29 2021

UPDATED MARCH 29 2021:

The Ministry of Education has published an updated version of their document: “Operational Guidance for Child Care
During COVID-19 Outbreak” Version 5 March 2021 can be found here: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/child-care-guide-child-care.pdf

Last week CCPRN sent letters to the Minister of Health, the Minister of Education, and OPH Medical Officer of Health seeking clarification and advocating for all home child care providers to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the phase 2 schedule.

UPDATED MARCH 6 2021:

Memo received from Minister Lecce, by email on March 5th 2021: Prioritization of Education and Child Care Workers – Phase Two: COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan

Thank you for your continued efforts in keeping schools and child care settings open and safe.

As you are aware, the province continues to expand capacity and ramp up efforts under the phased roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. I am pleased to share the government’s announcement that the province is moving forward with Phase Two of this plan which includes education and child care workers. Phase Two, which focuses on vaccinating populations based on age and risk is expected to begin in April and be completed by the end of July.

As you know, prioritizing education and child care workers is something I have advocated for some time. Vaccine prioritization for education and child care will commence with education and child care sector workers who work directly with children in both schools and licensed child care settings. Education workers as a group includes bus drivers who transport students. It is estimated that over 300,000 education and child care workers in schools and licensed child care settings would be eligible for early vaccination under Phase Two.

Local public health units are responsible for distribution of vaccines and will provide further information on how education and child care workers can access vaccines in their communities. Ontario is working with all public health units to plan and implement mass immunization clinics across the province.

We recognize that education and child care workers have been on the front-line of this pandemic and have worked to keep our children, students and families safe and supported over a difficult time. The government recognizes the importance of vaccinations for education and child care workers to support continued health, safety and well being for staff, children and families across the province. By vaccinating education and child care workers, we are providing greater protection for the school and child care community.

Specific guidance will be forthcoming to provide additional details of workers captured in Phase Two prioritization.

Stephen Lecce

Minister

 

 

UPDATED FEBRUARY 22 2021:

Both the Ministry of Education and Ottawa Public Health have revised their COVID-19 screening tools to reflect the new recommendations which state that children with even one symptom should stay at home (and their household contacts should too) and get tested for COVID-19.

The Provincial Tool can be found here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

The Ottawa Public Health Tool can be found here: https://secureforms.ottawapublichealth.ca/School-Health-Sante-scolaire/COVID-19-Screening-Tool-for-Students

OPH Letter to parents explaining new screening measures and travel guidelines.

English: https://ocdsb.ca/UserFiles/Servers/Server_55394/File/Our%20Schools/Coronavirus/New%20Student%20Screening%20Requirements_ENG.pdf

French: https://ocdsb.ca/UserFiles/Servers/Server_55394/File/Our%20Schools/Coronavirus/New%20Student%20Screening%20Requirements_FR.pdf

Memo from the Ministry of Education: “Ministry of Education Updates, Revised School and Child Care Screener and Updated Health and Safety Measures”  Operator Memo – Child Care Updates February 22 2021

Excerpt from today’s Memo:

The government is committed to the safety and well being of all staff, providers, children and families. Our priority continues to be keeping schools and child care open and safe. The purpose of this memo is to provide you with updated guidance for early years and child care settings that builds upon a number of public health and safety measures as outlined below, specifically:
1. The provincial school and child care screening tool
2. Isolation requirements for household members
3. Masking and other PPE requirements
4. Use of gymnasiums in schools for before and after school programs

Read the full Memo here: Operator Memo – Child Care Updates February 22 2021

Regions across the Province are returning to the Response Framework.  There are different public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations depending on what region you are in.   Learn more about your region here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions

UPDATED FEBRUARY 4 2021:

New Memo from The Ministry of Education: Child Care Updates

Memo to Operators on Child Care Updates February 3 2021 (002)

UPDATED JANUARY 20 2021:

Two memos from the Ministry of Education: Child Care Updates and Enhanced Health and Safety Protocols in Child Care Settings

Memo to Operators – Child Care Updates – 01 20 21

Operational Guidance Addendum – Child Care Programs – 01 20 21

The Ministry of Education has confirmed the following information (via email Jan 15th):

How does the gathering limit of 5 people apply to home child care where a providers could have up 6 children?

The rules relating to child care can be found in section 24 of Schedule 2 of O. Reg. 82/20.  The gathering limits apply to outdoor organized public events and social gatherings and not child care.

Will home child care providers be prohibited from charging parents for spaces “on hold” due to the lockdown—for example, if parents are working from home and are deciding not to bring their child to the home daycare can a provider still charge fees for the spot?  This was a huge issue last spring (O. Reg. 139/20: ORDER UNDER SUBSECTION 7.0.2 (4) OF THE ACT – CHILD CARE FEES) with lots of confusing messages.  I am hoping to be able to provide very clear and accurate information as soon as possible.

The rules relating to charging fees can be found in O. Reg. 137/15 under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014. ss. 88.7 (1) and (2) of the CCEYA prohibits providers of before and after school programs that are required to close during the current provincial shutdown from charging fees or otherwise penalizing parents during this time period (e.g., parents must not lose their respective child care spaces). In some circumstances provisions under 88.6(12) may apply, if the provider has not opened since the previous emergency declaration.

 

UPDATED JANUARY 13 2021:

The Province of Ontario has declared another State of Emergency.  Home child care can remain open during this time.

“Child care for non-school aged children (and JK and kindergarten children not enrolled in school immediately prior to December 21, 2020) will
remain open including child care offered in licensed centres and in home-based settings (licensed and unlicensed).”

Details of the enhanced shutdown can be found here: https://files.ontario.ca/moh-enhanced-provincewide-shutdown-2021-01-12-v2.pdf

The Ministry of Education released a memo acknowledging the extended shutdown but did not address home child care specifically.  You can read the memo here: EYCC Memo- Child Care Update _Jan 12_2021

Conversations yesterday between Kelli Cassidy of Natural Connections Childcare and the Ministry of Education confirm the following information specific to home child care:

1- You can remain open

2- You can charge for space if parents choose not to come and that is part of your contract (i.e. sick days)

3- You can care for anyone’s children not just essential workers as taking a child to child care even if the parent works from home is permitted

4 – Providers can have 5 or 6 children (if licensed) as they are an essential service not a social gathering.

All information is subject to change.  CCPRN has requested that the Ministry of Education confirm these details as soon as possible.

UPDATED JANUARY 9 2021:

Details of the Provincial lockdown can be found here: https://files.ontario.ca/moh-provincewide-shutdown-en-2020-12-21.pdf

During this time, home child care providers can care for school age children.  Here is the email response from the Ministry of Education regarding this issue:

The current closures only apply to child care centres providing child care to school-age children.  Only licensed child care centres approved as ECC sites for school-age children are permitted to provide full day care to school-age children during the provincewide shutdown.

Licensed and unlicensed home child care is not impacted by the shutdown and may continue providing service to school-aged children.  Please note, all applicable requirements under the CCEYA must be met for these types of care.

Further information on the shutdown and its impacts to child care can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200082

Updated guidance document from Toronto Public Health: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reopening-recovery-rebuild/covid-19-reopening-guidelines-for-businesses-organizations/covid-19-guidance-child-care-centres/

Toronto Public Health PDF Document: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/9571-COVID-19-Guidance-for-Child-Care-Settings.pdf

UPDATED DECEMBER 10 2020:

Ministry of Education Operational Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak Child Care Re-Opening Version 4 – November 2020: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/child-care-guide-child-care.pdf

UPDATED NOVEMBER 5 2020:

From Ottawa Public Health: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/supporting-child-care-during-covid-19.aspx

Child Care Guidance

In an effort to support the Ottawa childcare sector during the pandemic, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) had been developing and updating local adaptations of the Ministry of Education’s guidance as new Provincial information/directions were released. As OPH understands that waiting for updates to local guidance can cause delays in Childcare Providers’ abilities to make the necessary modifications to their plans and protocols, the Provincial guidance will now provide the direction for Providers here in Ottawa. OPH will continue to support Providers via the OPH information line (613-580-6744) as well as the Outbreak Reporting Line if questions arise regarding case management and/or outbreaks.

OPH Screening Tool for School or Child Care:

https://secureforms.ottawapublichealth.ca/School-Health-Sante-scolaire/COVID-19-Screening-Tool-for-Students

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 10 2020:

City of Ottawa COVID-19 Guidance for Home Childcare Settings–Updated Sept. 8 2020: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/resources/Guidance_Home_CC_ENG_Sept-1.pdf

Toronto Public Health Guidance for Child Care Settings–Updated Aug. 28 2020: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/9571-COVID-19-Guidance-for-Child-Care-Settings.pdf

Ministry of Education Tip Sheet for Licensed Home Child Care–Using Medical Masks, Eye Protection and Face Coverings: https://ccprn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/hcca-mask-ppe-tip-sheet-en.pdf

CCPRN Resuming Care & COVID-19 Best Practice Guidelines for Home Child Care–Updated Sept. 9 2020–Open as a PDF Document: https://ccprn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/COVID-19-and-Resuming-Care-Updated-Sept-9-2020.pdf

CCPRN BLOG–Keeping You Informed: COVID-19 and Service Delivery: https://ccprn.com/covid-19-ccprn-service-delivery-policies-procedures-and-protocols-keeping-you-informed/

UPDATED AUGUST 18 2020:

Ministry of Education Operational Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak Child Care Re-Opening Version 3 – August 2020: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/child-care-guide-child-care.pdf

City of Ottawa COVID-19 Guidance for Home Childcare Settings–Updated August 13th: https://www.santepubliqueottawa.ca/fr/public-health-topics/resources/Documents/Guidance_Home_CC_ENG_Aug-13.pdf

CCPRN Resuming Care & COVID-19 Best Practice Guidelines for Home Child Care–Updated August 18 2020–Open as a PDF Document: https://ccprn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/COVID-19-and-Resuming-Care-Updated-Aug-18-2020.pdf

UPDATED JULY 30 2020:

Information on accessing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit which has been extended for another 8 weeks can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html and here: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/06/16/prime-minister-announces-extension-canada-emergency-response-benefit

“Ontario has now transitioned into the recovery phase with the new Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act. While the provincial declaration of emergency has ended, the new act will provide the province with the necessary flexibility to address the ongoing risks and effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.” Read the full update and get information on emergency orders currently in effect here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/emergency-information

The specific emergency order relating to Child Care Fees has been revoked, effective June 12, 2020: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200139

The Ministry of Education announced today that licensed child care will be permitted to operate at full capacity as of September 1st.  EarlyOn centres and before-and-after school care will also be permitted to re-open. https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2020/07/ontario-continues-to-gradually-and-safely-reopen-child-care-for-working-parents.html

School plans for September were also announced today: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/07/ontario-releases-plan-for-safe-reopening-of-schools-in-september.htmlDetails of the plan can be found here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/guide-reopening-ontarios-schools?share=df1f50a0-d1a2-11ea-8b1a-e3b1c683b5f9&_ga=2.144471221.1616135453.1595857626-1879706399.1584367446

CCPRN Resuming Care & COVID-19 Best Practice Guidelines for Home Child Care–Updated July 30 2020–Open as a PDF Document: https://ccprn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/COVID-19-and-Resuming-Care-Updated-July-30-2020.pdf

UPDATED June 19 2020:

The Emergency Order “Child Care Fees” has been revoked, effective June 12th 2020: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200139

Other Emergency Orders have now been extended to June 30th 2020: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/06/ontario-extends-emergency-orders.html

Ministry of Education: Operational Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak Child Care Re-Opening: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/child-care-re-opening-operational-guidance.pdf

Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 Guidance for Home Childcare Settings: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/professionals-and-partners/resources/Documents/childcare/COVID-19_Home-based-Childcare-Guidance-EN.pdf

Santé publique Ottawa Directives pour les services de garde en milieu familial en ce qui a trait à la COVID-19: https://www.santepubliqueottawa.ca/fr/professionals-and-partners/resources/Documents/childcare/COVID-19_Home-based-Childcare-Guidance-FR.pdf

CCPRN Resuming Care & COVID-19 Best Practice Guidelines for Home Child Care–Updated June 18 2020–Open as a PDF Document: https://ccprn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/COVID-19-and-Resuming-Care-Updated-June-18-2020.pdf

UPDATED June 8 2020:

Emergency Orders (including Child Care Fees) have now been extended to June 19th 2020: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/06/ontario-extends-emergency-orders-to-support-its-reopening-efforts.html

CCPRN Zoom Chat “Resuming Care and COVID-19” Discussion notes from May 27th and June 3rd here: (removed).

Handsanitizer Recall: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/health-canada-recalls-six-hand-sanitizers-containing-industrial-grade-ethanol-1.4973056?cid=sm%3Atrueanthem%3Actvnews%3Apost&utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+New+Content+%28Feed%29&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook

UPDATED June 3 2020:

Province of Ontario extends State of Emergency: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/06/ontario-extends-declaration-of-emergency-until-june-30.html

Ottawa Public Health: COVID-19 Guidance for Emergency Childcare Centres Revised May 27 2020: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/professionals-and-partners/resources/Documents/childcare/COVID-19-Emergency-CCC-Guidance-May-27.pdf

Weekly Zoom Chats for discussion and sharing ideas regarding home child care and COVID-19–follow us on Facebook for details.  Summary chat notes available here: (removed).

CCPRN has compiled many online resources which can be found here: www.ccprn.com/resources/

UPDATED May 27 2020:

Emergency Orders (including Child Care Fees) have now been extended to June 9th 2020: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/ontario-extending-emergency-orders-during-covid-19-outbreak.html

UPDATE MAY 21 2020:

Emergency Orders (including Child Care Fees) have now been extended to May 29th 2020: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/ontario-extends-emergency-orders-to-keep-people-safe.html

Ontario Extends School Closures–Schools remain closed for the rest of the school year:                                                                          https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/health-and-safety-top-priority-as-schools-remain-closed.html

UPDATE MAY 11 2020:

Emergency Orders (including Child Care Fees) have now been extended to May 19th 2020: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/ontario-extends-electricity-rate-relief-during-covid-19.html

The specific Emergency Order for Child Care Fees was amended on May 8th to include the following:

No penalty, withdrawal

3. A child care provider, within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, who is authorized to provide child care during the declared emergency and whose premises are open during the declared emergency shall not penalize any person who withdraws their child from the provider’s care while they are open during the emergency period.

https://files.ontario.ca/solgen-oic-amendchildcarefees-2020-05-08.pdf

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200139

 

UPDATE APRIL 27 2020:

Memo to CCPRN from the Ministry of Education re Parent Fees: https://ccprn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Memo-to-CCPRN.pdf

Ontario Extends School Closures: https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2020/04/school-closures-extended-to-keep-students-staff-and-families-safe.html

 

UPDATE APRIL 15 2020:

Province of Ontario extends State of Emergency:

https://www.news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-extends-declaration-of-emergency-to-continue-the-fight-against-covid-19.html

Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act including new regulations and emergency orders:

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90e09?fbclid=IwAR1LqYL3apTnhu-l9-JoGQuQT11tCJycvjG7uTaWUNk21rX7LOV8mF8A6iY

Ottawa Public Health guidelines for child care centres supporting essential workers.  Although geared towards centre-based care, many best practices can be adopted and/or amended for home-based care.

https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/professionals-and-partners/resources/Documents/EN-COVID-19-Guidance_EssentialWork_CC-Centre_Apr-8.pdf

__________________________________________________

UPDATE APRIL 3 2020:

Information for independent home child care providers from Ottawa Public Health.

https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/resources/Corona/Covid-19-Guidance-For-Childcare-Settings-Letter-v2020.1-EN.pdf

https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/resources/Corona/COVID19_ChildCare_Checklist_eng.pdf

https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/resources/Corona/Covid-19-Childcare_Do-Not-Enter-This-Home-Sign-v2020.1.pdf

__________________________________________________

An interview this morning with two home child care providers answering if they are open or closed, how they made their decision, and more.

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-100-ottawa-morning/clip/15769103-daycare-providers-trying-to-figure-out-whether-they-should-close-or-remain-open

UPDATE MARCH 25 2020:

News release
March 25, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

Government introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers and businesses

To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full news release here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/introduces-canada-emergency-response-benefit-to-help-workers-and-businesses.html

UPDATE MARCH 23 2020:

Breaking News:

“Premier Doug Ford is ordering the mandatory closure of all “non-essential workplaces” effective Tuesday, March 24, 11:59 p.m.

“The next 36 hours will give non-essential businesses the chance to adapt and prepare,” he said.

The province will release a list of businesses tomorrow that are permitted to stay open.

The order will last for 14 days.”

Read more here:

https://www.guelphtoday.com/local-news/live-premier-doug-ford-to-make-announcement-2191055

________________________________________________

Eastern Ontario Health Unit orders salons, daycares and churches to close due to COVID-19

“All daycares and other childcare centres and services (those that were not previously included in the provincial closure order)…

The order covers all the communities in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s area, including Cornwall, Casselman, Winchester, Alexandria, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Prescott-Russell.”

https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/eastern-ontario-health-unit-orders-salons-daycares-and-churches-to-close-due-to-covid-19-1.4863769

https://eohu.ca/files/resources/eohu-section-22-order-bilingual.pdf

We have yet to see a similar order for Ottawa.

UPDATE MARCH 17 2020:

Please see the following update from Ottawa Public Health (March 16th at 6pm) highlighting recommendations from Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Ministry of Health– including the recommendation that all licensed home childcare close temporarilyRead the update here.

Best Practice would dictate that yes, if the recommendation is for licensed home childcare to close, then independent home childcare should consider following this recommendation too.  Ultimately, however, it is still up to each provider to make the best decision that they can.

___________________________________________________

Ontario Providers: Are you wondering whether or not to keep your home daycare open?

As an independent business owner you make your own policies and contract etc. based on Best Practice. While the conditions keep changing, at this time we believe that these are the best steps for the upcoming week:

  1. Review your health/sickness policies and your contract.
  2. Review and ensure each child’s emergency contacts are up to date and that someone will be available to pickup a child immediately (~30 min) should the child develop symptoms while in care.
  3. Follow the guidelines from Public Health – do extra cleaning and more rigid screening of adults and children. You may want to send your daycare parents an email over the week end that states something like this:
    **As per Public Health guidelines please do not attend my daycare if:
    • You are displaying cold/flu/COVID-19 symptoms
    • You have travelled outside of Canada within the last two weeks
    • A member of your household has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, is flu, cold or COVID-19 symptomatic or has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  4. Keep up to date with your local Public Health Unit recommendations and forward any important updates to your daycare families:

 

Ottawa residents: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/professionals-and-partners/child-care-providers.aspx

Not in Ottawa? Find your local Public Health Unit here:  http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/services/phu/locations.aspx

With a small number of daycare families the screening process listed above should be able to guide you in your decisions.

It is certainly a time for prudence, compassion and open discussion. Encourage your families to limit public outings as you yourself plan to – in order to keep everyone safe. If possible, have hand sanitizer at your entrance and encourage use by those entering.

In terms of government funding, should you decide you have to close, that is an unknown at this time.

CCPRN will keep you posted with any updates we hear about and we encourage you to support each other by sharing your creative art and other activities on our Facebook page. As always, “Sharing in the Caring” is the way to go!