As of August 4, 2020, all child care services as defined in The Child Care Act, 2014, are limited to a maximum of 25 children per building space. This may mean 25 children per facility or, in the case of larger facilities where area permits, a facility reconfigured to allow a maximum of 25 children in one defined area. These areas must be separate for each group and need to be separated by a barrier (floor to ceiling barriers not necessary) that can prevent children, toys and other items from crossing over. The child-to-adult ratios and usable floor space requirements for the child care areas must align with the Child Care Guidelines for Care and The Child Care Regulations, 2015.
Groups of children and the staff members assigned to them must stay together throughout the day and cannot mix with other groups. Staff should remain with the same group. Groups must be within in the same room/space at the same time, including pickups and drop-offs, meal times, playtime and outdoor activities.
Children are restricted to attending a single facility to reduce transmission risks. All child care facilities located within special care or personal care homes are subject to all general restrictions and must have private entrances and separate spaces so there are no shared common areas. There must be no interaction between children and residents of the home.
Guidelines for operators of child care facilities are included in Phase Three of Re-Open Saskatchewan, the Government of Saskatchewan's plan to re-open the provincial economy. These guidelines provide specific information for operators of child care facilities.
On June 4, 2020, the provincial government announced that anyone currently working or returning to work under Phase One, Phase Two or Phase Three of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan will have access to licensed child care services located within Saskatchewan schools. These child care services are for these particular workers who do not have other child care options available to them.
The Ministry of Education has information available for these workers, including:
- Eligibility for child care;
- Lists of available licensed child care centres; and,
- Application for child care.
Are there special steps my daycare can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and is transmitted in the same fashion as influenza. Administrators, teachers, caregivers, parents and students should take the same precautions they do to prevent the spread of influenza.
Practise good cough/sneeze etiquette (into your elbow or tissue and immediately throw the tissue away), wash hands frequently and immediately after using tissues. Individuals who are sick should stay home.
Hard surfaces (i.e. toys, counters, door knobs) should be cleaned frequently and when obviously soiled with an approved disinfecting solution such as household bleach (one part bleach to 50 parts water).
There is no special handling requirement for soiled laundry, such as blankets or towels.
I have a child in my daycare that has developed a fever and shortness of breath. What do I do?
If a child develops symptoms at the facility, the child should be isolated from other children and the parent or guardian should be notified to pick up the child immediately. If a separate room is not available, the child needs to be kept at least two metres away from other children.
If the sick child is young and requires close contact and care, staff can continue to care for the child until the parent is able to pick the child. Staff must wear a procedural/surgical mask and eye protection during all interactions with the sick child, and should try to avoid contact with the child's respiratory secretions.
Once the child leaves, staff must wash their hands and ensure all areas that the sick child touched are cleaned and disinfected. All items used by the child while isolated should be cleaned and disinfected as soon as the child is picked up. Items that cannot be cleaned and disinfected (e.g. paper, books, cardboard puzzles) should be removed from the program and stored in a sealed container for a minimum of three days.