Pandemic Policy & Protocols

Home Child Care

Pandemic Policy/Protocols

In efforts to reduce the risk and to protect each other from COVID-19, the protocols below have been put in place. Please note all procedures below MUST be respected at all times. We all have a responsibility in ensuring each other’s safety.

Notice of Risk:

When children from multiple families attend a single home child care, there is an increased risk of the COVID-19 virus coming into the home child care. Children who are infected with the COVID-19 virus are more likely than adults to have very mild infections or to have no symptoms at all, but these children can still transmit the infection to other children and to adults in the home child care.  This means that children can bring home an infection acquired in the home child care and put other persons at risk. The home child care follows Ottawa Public Health’s screening process to help detect infections when there are symptoms; however, this screening process will not detect infected children or adults who do not have symptoms at the time of screening.

Cohorting and Distancing

As of Monday, March 21, 2022, cohorting and distancing will no longer be required for indoor or outdoor activities.

Screening

As of Monday April 4, 2022, Daily confirmation of screening for children, providers, family members and staff will no longer be required by CVOC; however, individuals must continue to self-screen every day before attending/providing childcare using the COVID-19 SCHOOL AND CHILDCARE SCREENING TOOL. This tool is posted on the Ottawa Public Health website.

Masking for children

As of Monday, March 21, 2022, masks will no longer be required but optional for all children.

Masking and eye protection for staff

As of Monday, March 21, 2022, eye protection will be optional for all providers/staff and as of Monday, April 4, 2022, masks will be optional for all providers/staff.

Masking for children who have travelled outside of Canada

A reminder that under current Federal travel requirements, upon return from international travel, individuals (including children) must, wear a mask at all times when in public spaces (including schools and childcare), maintain a list of all close contacts for the first 14 days in Canada, and monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

Parents welcomed back into our Home Child Care Program

Effective Monday April 4th, 2022 parent(s) / guardians will be welcomed into their child’s home child care for the sole purpose of dropping their child/ren off and for picking up. We discourage lingering or staying in the home for any other reason. We will also be limiting the number of families entering into the home at any given time. To limit the number of people in the home at once, only one parent/guardian per family will be permitted to enter.

Remaining Health and Safety Measures

In accordance with Ottawa Public Health direction, appropriate hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, cleaning and disinfecting will continue to be promoted and integrated throughout the day.

Ventilation Measures

CVOC will continue to implement best practices and measures to optimize ventilation. We will continue to ensure;

  • Use of standalone HEPA filer units;
  • Moving activities outdoors when possible;
  • Opening windows when possible.

Absence Reporting

CVOC will continue to report absenteeism rates to the Ottawa Public Health should they rise to a defined level (approximately 30% above their baseline). Daily observation will continue to be made of each child before the child begins to associate with other children in order to detect possible symptoms of ill health. If a child appears to be ill, the child will be separated from other children until arrangements are made for the child to be picked up. As a reminder, anyone who is sick or has any new or worsening symptoms of illness must stay home until their symptoms are improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours for nausea, vomiting, and / or diarrhea) and should seek assessment from their health care provider if needed.

Rapid Antigen Tests

The Ministry has made rapid antigen tests available to child care programs. The bi-weekly shipments will continue to support symptomatic testing for providers/staff and children. Tests will be available following an unplanned absence or where a child is sent home due to onset symptoms.

Vaccination

Vaccination remains the best defense against COVID-19, including the Omicron variant. CVOC will continue to require, support and promote vaccination for all providers, household members  and staff.

Case and Contact Management Guidance

The Ministry has updated guidance for close contacts in the community and in households:

  • Asymptomatic, non-household close contacts (of a symptomatic or COVID-19 positive individual) are no longer required to isolate but must self-monitor for 10 days following last exposure (and wear a mask in public settings including child care during their self-monitoring period). Children identified as a close contact may return to child care without a mask.
  • Asymptomatic household close contacts (of a symptomatic or COVID-19 positive individual) are not required to isolate if they are 17 or younger and fully vaccinated OR are 18 and older and have already received their COVID-19 booster OR tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and have completed their isolation period however, they must self-monitor for 10 days and wear a mask in public settings including child care during their self-monitoring period.
  • Children under 5 who are asymptomatic household contacts are required to stay home for 5 days.

Self-Isolation Requirements

Please be aware no amendments have been made to self-isolation requirements for symptomatic or household close contacts who do not meet the above noted criteria (i.e., children under 5, unvaccinated children between 5 and 17) Self-isolation requirements are:

  • At least 5 days if fully vaccinated or under 12 years old OR 10 days (immunocompromised) after symptom onset and until no fever and symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if gastrointestinal symptoms), whichever is longer in duration.

Communication Plan:

Communication strategies are an important component in managing any infectious disease outbreak and are essential in the event of a pandemic. Accurate, timely, and consistent information at all levels is critical in order to minimize miscommunication and to maximize the effective outcome of the communication.

Should a provider, child or visitor develop COVID-19 symptoms, or test positive for COVID the persons below will be notified immediately:

  • Provider will notify: Home Child Care Advisor; Families attending the home child care
  • Home Child Care Advisor will notify: Manager/Assistant Manager of Home Child Care,

Families attending the home child care;

  • Manager/Assistant Manager of Home Child care will notify: Executive Director and OPH when necessary;
  • Executive Director will notify: Board of Directors when necessary.

Sick

If you are sick or a member of your household is sick with Covid-19 or Covid-19 like symptoms or do not feel well DO NOT COME TO CHILD CARE.

Home Child Care have a responsibility to notify the Ministry of Education when:

Report as a Serious Occurrence of any closure of homes due to exposure or confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Entering the Home Child Care Premise

  • Children will access the home child care through the front door;
  • All children, visitors entering the home must sanitize their hands with the hand sanitizer prior to moving past entranceway; a hand sanitizing station will be set up.

Food Provision:

Proper hand hygiene will be practiced when preparing food and for all individuals before and after eating;

  • There should be no food provided by the family unless special diets are required (i.e. children under the age of one, dietary restrictions.)
  • No self-serve or sharing of food at meal times. Meals to be served in individual portions to the children and individual utensils used at all times.
  • Where possible, children should practice physical distancing when eating;

Cleaning/Disinfecting:

  • Increased sanitization of high touch surfaces (door handles, handrails, faucets, tables) as well as toys and other furnishing used for child care (high chairs, playpens, and mats) at least twice a day, using an enhanced cleaner/disinfectant for outbreaks and documented in the daily cleaning log.
  • Perform and promote frequent, proper hand hygiene (including supervising and assisting children with hand hygiene) using soap and water.
  • Washroom use must be limited to one child at a time and cleaned between each use.
  • If  sensory materials i.e. water, sand, playdough, etc. are offered, emphasis should be placed on hand hygiene before and after use of materials;
  • Reduce clutter and limit toys to those that can be disinfected daily;
  • All toys that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected, will be removed as much as possible;
  • Personal belongings (i.e. backpack, clothing, etc.) should be minimized. If brought, belongings should be labelled with child’s name and kept in a child’s cubby/designated area.

Home Child Care Ratios:

  • Child care ratios in a provider’s home may be limited during an epidemic or pandemic;

Home Visits:

  • All home visits will be conducted in the safest manner possible during an epidemic or pandemic as advised by the Ministry of Education and Ottawa Public Health.

Prevention:

  • Follow all Health regulations as per Ottawa Public Health and Health Canada for the prevention of spread.
  • Follow all Children’s Village Policies and Procedures in addition to policies listed above
  • Notify management of any children who have not attended daycare or have been denied access due to screening immediately.
  • Notify management of any information about exposure or confirmed cases of COVID-19 immediately.

Recovery:

  • The agency will communicate directly with providers and parents when the return to regular care procedures can commence.


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