Policy Established in July 2020
Policy Updated in October 2020
Arrival and Departure Procedures
- All individuals including children attending the preschool, all staff, and all visitors will be screened each day before entering the school. This includes daily temperature checks.
- Please screen your child at home before coming to school each morning. Please refer to the Admissions Section below for the screening tool.
- All parents MUST wear masks in the screening area and while waiting in line outside. Our check-in staff will do a visual assessment before allowing you into the screening area. Once you enter the area, please use the hand sanitizer station. Hand sanitizer will be available at the screening station. (70-90% alcohol concentration)
- Your child will get their temperature taken and logged. A teacher will then take your child to his/her classroom. Parents will not go past the screening area.
- The staff member doing the screening will be taking the appropriate precautions, including maintaining a distance of at least 2 meters from those being screened/or being separated by a physical barrier, and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), a mask, a face shield and gloves.
- A daily attendance record of all individuals entering the school will be kept. There will be no non-essential visitors permitted to enter the school.
- We will maintain daily attendance records of all individuals entering the preschool.This includes, but is not limited to, preschool staff, children, maintenance staff, food delivery services, contracted cleaning staff, Inclusion Support staff, caterers and government agency employees (e.g. public health inspectors, fire inspectors).
- Records will include the following information: name, date, and time of arrival/departure, reason for visit, rooms/areas visited, screening and temperature check results.
- Records will be kept up-to-date and available on site to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.
- The preschool director will follow-up with all individuals, including visitors, to determine the reason for any unplanned absences, and determine if the absence is due to illness to note any symptoms (e.g. fever, sore throat, cough).
- Non-essential visitors will not be permitted access to the preschool.
- Attendance records will be monitored for patterns or trends (e.g. children and staff in the same group or cohort absent at the same time or over the course of a few days).
Pick-up times will be staggered to allow for safe social distancing. Please abide by this pick-up time. If you see another family being helped, please be patient until it is your turn. Anyone entering the screening area to pick up their child must wear a face covering/mask. A teacher will bring your child to screening area for pickup.
Maximum Class Size (Cohort)
A cohort is defined as a group of children and the staff members assigned to them, who stay together throughout the duration of the program for a minimum of 7 days.
- Maximum cohort size for each room will consist of no more than 15 children (“a cohort”).
- Maximum capacity rules do not apply to Special Needs Resource staff on site (i.e., if they are not counted towards staff to child ratios they are not included in the maximum capacity rules).
- Each cohort must stay together throughout the day and are not permitted to mix with other cohorts.
- We are required to maintain ratios set out under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 (CCEYA).
Admission, Isolation and Exclusion due to symptoms of illness
Children who are obviously ill with fever, diarrhea, vomiting, green-runny nose, puss/oozing eyes will not be admitted to the program. It is a danger to other children and staff members at our facility. If you have any doubts about your child’s health, it is best to keep your child at home.
Each morning before school, we ask you to please;
Refer to the following self-assessment screening tool. COVID-19 School Screening Tool and then follow the Covid-19 school screening. The screening tool will now have two sets of questions about symptoms that may yield different next steps depending on which symptoms are selected:
The first set of questions asks about symptoms such as fever or persistent cough. Children with any of these symptoms should;
- Bring the child for testing at a COVID Assessment Centre and keep the child at home pending the test result.
- Bring your child for clinical assessment at a doctor’s office.
- Keep your child home for 14 days.
The second set of questions asks about other symptoms that are commonly associated with other illnesses, such as a runny nose or headache;
- children with only one of these symptoms will be advised to stay home for 24 hours, after which time they can return to school if their symptoms are improving.
- children with two or more of these symptoms will be advised to stay home until they are able to consult with a medical provider and receive an alternative diagnosis or a negative COVID-19 test.
If your child has tested for COVID-19 and their test result is negative, they can return to school after being symptom free for 24 hours and they pass the screening.
The child will be permitted to return when his/her temperature is normal for 24 hours without aid of fever-reducing medication. Your child must have any prescribed medication, such as antibiotics, in his/her system for at least 24 hours before returning.
If a child is showing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) OR if you have been in close contact with a person or child testing positive for COVID- 19, we ask Policy Established in July 2020 Policy Updated in October 2020 you to keep your child home. They must be isolated for a minimum of 14 days after symptom onset.
We ask that all parents and staff let us know of any potential exposure immediately. A potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 for at least 10 minutes. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.
If your child appears to be sick or has any of the above symptoms while at school, we will notify the parent or guardian immediately, and it is necessary that the child be picked up as soon as possible. In the event your child is sent home with one of the above health concerns, they will not be permitted back to school without a doctor’s note, a negative COVID test or after isolating at home for 14 days.
If a child becomes ill with symptoms while at school, they will be immediately separated from the rest of their group in a designated room and supervised until they are picked up. The designated room or space will either have a handwashing sink or hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol) and tissues available. Doors and windows will be opened to increase air circulations in the area, if this can be done safely. The staff supervising will maintain physical distancing as best as possible and wear PPE.
The ill child, if older than 2 years old will wear a mask (if tolerated) and if they are able to use it properly. Parents or emergency contacts will be contacted immediately. The area will be cleaned and disinfected immediately after the child with symptoms has been sent home. Teachers and staff that were exposed to an individual who became ill with symptoms will be monitored for signs and symptoms:
- Parents of the children who were exposed to the ill child will be informed and advised that they should monitor their child for symptoms.
- Staff and children who are exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be excluded from school for 14 days. These individuals must self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for the next 14 days.
- Individuals who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 should be tested as soon as symptoms develop.
- If asymptomatic, individuals who have been exposed are also encouraged to be tested any time within the 14 days of the potential exposure.
Outbreak Management and Serious Occurrence Reporting
If there is a positive case of COVID-19 of a child or an adult who has been present in the preschool, we will report the case to Toronto Public Health (TPH). The Toronto Public Health unit will provide specific advice on what control measures should be implemented to prevent the potential spread and how to monitor for other possible staff and children. Staff and children being managed by the Toronto Public Health must follow TPH instructions to determine when to return to school. A suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 will be reported to the ministry as a serious occurrence. A serious occurrence notification will be posted unless local public health advises otherwise.
Communication with Families and other Stakeholders
- Telephone or video conferencing will be set up for meetings between teachers and parents/guardians.
- We will be implementing a communication platform for parents/guardians to stay informed about:
- Program information
- Routine daily updates about your child
- Health and safety protocols and measures
- Policy and procedure updates
- Health and safety updates
- Toronto Public Health will provide further advice about information that should be shared in the event there is a case or outbreak of COVID-19 in the school
Extra Hygiene Measures and Procedures
- Handwashing: As soon as students arrive in their classroom, they will wash their hands properly, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hands will continue to be washed consistently and often throughout the day; before and after eating, after playing outside, after toileting, after coughing or sneezing, after touching your face and after art projects. Hand sanitizer (70-90% alcohol) will be used when soap and water is not available. Sanitizing stations will be located throughout the preschool.
- Social distancing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Each class is considered a “cohort”. Each “cohort” will social distance from other “cohorts” to assure safety. Children will not need to wear masks. Masks are not recommended for children, particularly those under the age of two.
- Teachers will wear masks at all times, including:
- in the screening area and when escorting children to their classrooms
- during toileting and changing diapers
- when cleaning and disinfecting blood or bodily fluid spills
- when caring for a sick child or a child showing symptoms of illness
- providing direct care (e.g. assisting a child with hand hygiene)
- consoling an upset child
- assisting a child with dressing or changing clothes
- Teachers will wear gloves when it is anticipated their hands will be exposed to mucous membranes, broken skin, tissue, blood, bodily fluids, secretions, excretions, contaminated equipment or environmental surfaces.
- Teachers will use blankets over clothing when holding or carrying toddlers.
- We recognize that physical distancing between young children in a preschool setting is difficult, however, our play space will be set up to encourage social distancing as much as possible:
- by spreading children out into different areas, particularly at meal and dressing time;
- by incorporating more individual activities or activities that encourage more space between children;
- by using visual cues to promote physical distancing;
- by planning activities that do not involve shared objects or toys;
- when possible, moving activities outside to allow for more space;
- by avoiding singing activities indoors.
3. Sanitary Practices and Toy and Equipment Disinfection Practices:
- All hard surfaces will be wiped down throughout the day, before and after use, when visibly dirty and at the end of each day.
- High Touch surfaces and objects will be disinfected (e.g. doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink faucets and tabletops) at least twice a day and when visibly dirty.
- Individual items that may be handled by more than one child, such as toys and balls, will be cleaned and disinfected between users.
- ‘Cohorts’ will have their own specific toys.
- Each ‘cohort’ will only use large play structures one “cohort’ at a time. In addition, the play structure will be cleaned and disinfected between cohorts.
- A two-compartment sink method will be used to clean and disinfect toys. Toys will be washed and rinsed prior to disinfection.
- A cleaning log will be kept to keep track of cleaning and disinfecting activities for each room or area as well as individual play items.
- All hard surfaces will be wiped down throughout the day, before and after use as well as at the end of each day. Any toys that go into a child’s mouth will be put into the disinfecting process right away. All surfaces and toys will be sprayed prior to leaving the room throughout the day.
- Cleaning Logs will be kept to track cleaning and disinfecting activities for each room/area and individual play items.
- All group sensory bins, soft toys, pillows, puppets and dress-up clothes will be put away during this phase of re-opening.
- Individualized, labelled bins for art materials and supplies will be provided for each child.
- Children may not bring in any personal belongings aside from what is approved. No toys or personal items from home will be permitted at this time.
4. Food Safety practices:
- Our food practices will be modified to ensure there is no self-serving or sharing food at meal and snack times.
- Meals will be served in individual portions to the children.
- Utensils will be used to serve food.
- No utensils will be provided to share.
- Children will not be allowed to prepare nor provide food that will be shared with others.
- There will be no outside food provided by the family.
- Proper hand hygiene will be practiced.
Worker Health and Safety
- Staff will be provided with written measures and procedures for staff safety, including Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC).
- Staff will have training in safety measures, polices and procedures.
- Staff will be provided with information about health and safety protections in the workplace. Including health and safety training videos and modules.
*Policies are subject to change: in conjunction with Toronto Public Health and The Ministry of Education.