COVID-19 Operating and Safe Work Procedures


The Ministry of Health provides guidance information for child care settings on the implementation of best practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. This document is our plan for the protection of your children, the childcare staff, and parents and caregivers from exposure to COVID-19. 


Daily Checks for Respiratory Illness and Staying Home When Sick 

Parents and caregivers are required to assess their children daily for symptoms before sending them for child care.

Parents and Caregivers

  • All parents, caregivers, children, and staff who are ill or who have symptoms of COVID-19 OR who have traveled outside Canada in the last 14 days OR were identified by Public Health as a close contact of a confirmed case must stay home and self-isolate.

  • Parents and caregivers must assess their child and family members daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory diseases before sending them for child care. 

  • SEE BC COVID-19 SELF ASSESSMENT APP if a child is exhibiting symptoms

  • Children who are ill, including children of essential service providers, will not be permitted to attend child care.

  • At this time we are not permitting siblings of children who are sick to attend either. Once the 10 days have passed or symptoms resolved, the child(ren) may return once cleared by a health professional. Contact the Childcare Center Director Penny to discuss return to the Center.

  • There is no role for screening children or staff for specific symptoms, checking temperatures, or COVID-19 testing. Such activities are reserved for health care professionals.

Staff - Staff must assess themselves daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, or COVID-19 prior to working and stay home if they are ill. SEE BC COVID-19 SELF ASSESSMENT APP if you are exhibiting symptoms.


Pick-up and Drop-Off 

  • Pick-up and drop-off of children will take place by contacting the Childcare Center by phone when you arrive and someone will meet your child at the designated pick-up point which will be explained to you for each department. If a parent must enter the setting, they should maintain physical distance from staff and other children present and be reminded to practice diligent hand hygiene and maintain physical distance when they are in the facility. 

  • Parents and caregivers that are symptomatic must not enter the child care facility.

  • There are multiple entrances for pick-up and drop off to avoid parents and caregivers gathering in large numbers.

  • Daily check at drop-off time will be conducted by asking parents and caregivers to confirm that their child does not have symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, other respiratory diseases or illnesses of any kind.

  • Caregivers will sign children in and out.


Physical Distancing and Minimizing Physical Contact

The physical space requirements for licensed child care settings set out in the Child Care Licensing Regulation mean that child care centres have sufficient space to support physical distancing (i.e., maintaining a distance of 2 metres between each other) between staff without reducing the number of children in care at any one time. 

Staff will minimize the frequency of direct physical contact with children and encourage children to minimize physical contact with each other.

Staff should maintain physical distancing from one another.

It is reasonable to establish different expectations based on age and/or developmental readiness. For example:

  • Younger children should be supported to have minimized direct contact with one another, while older children should be supported to maintain physical distance whenever possible.

  • Children from the same household (e.g., siblings) do not need to maintain physical distance from each other.

The following physical distancing strategies will be implemented where possible in our child care setting:

  • Avoiding close greetings (e.g., hugs, handshakes). Regularly remind children to keep “Hands to yourself”.

  • Strive to minimize the number of different staff that interact with the same children throughout the day.

  • Organize children into smaller groups and/or spread children out to minimize direct physical contact.

    • Use different room configurations (e.g., separating tables).

    • Set up small group environments to reduce the number of children in a group, for example, set up 2 or 3 areas for colouring or doing crafts.

    • Incorporate more individual activities or activities that encourage more space between children and staff.

    • Remove toys that encourage group play in close proximity or increase the likelihood of physical contact. NO STUFFIES WILL BE ALLOWED ON SITE AT THIS TIME PLEASE DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR CHILD(REN).

    • Keep toys that encourage individual play.

  • Consider using books, individual games, video and online programs as a part of learning so children can sit independently and distanced from each other.

  • Increase the distance between nap mats, if possible. If space is tight, place children head-to-toe or toe-to-toe.

  • Stagger snack or mealtime to allow spacing between children during meals.

  • Minimize the number of additional adults entering the centre, unless that person is providing care and/or supporting the inclusion of a child in care (e.g. supportive child care assistants, speech-language pathologist, etc.)


Outdoor Spaces and Ventilation

Children will be taken outside often for play and during learning activities whenever we can. Snack time, and playtime will happen outside when the weather permits. As identified by the Ministry of Health, playgrounds are a safe environment, and we will be encouraging appropriate hand hygiene practices before, during, after outdoor play.


Cleaning and Disinfection

Regular cleaning and disinfection are essential to preventing the transmission of COVID-19 from contaminated objects and surfaces. We will be ensuring that:

  • General cleaning and disinfecting of the centre occurs at least once a day.

  • Frequently-touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day including doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, table counters, chairs, electronic devices, and toys.

  • Any surface that is visibly dirty is cleaned and disinfected.

  • Remove toys and other items that cannot be easily cleaned (e.g., avoid plush/stuffed toys).

  • Empty garbage containers daily, at minimum.

  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning blood or body fluids (e.g., runny nose, vomit, stool, urine). Wash hands before wearing and after removing gloves.

  • Clean and disinfect cots and cribs weekly, and launder crib linens weekly because they are designated to each child. 

  • Clean diapering stations after each use.

NOTE: There is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via textbooks, paper, or other paper-based products. As such, there is no need to limit the distribution of books or paper-based educational resources to children because of COVID-19.


Handwashing Protocols for Children and Staff


Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves are not needed in the child care setting, beyond those used by staff as part of regular precautions for the hazards normally encountered in their regular course of work. They should only be used when all other controls have been fully explored.

  • Staff will wear disposable gloves when cleaning blood or body fluids (e.g., runny nose, vomit, stool, urine) and when diapering. Remember to wash your hands before wearing, and after removing gloves.

  • Cloth or non-medical homemade masks are not recommended. Wearing one is a personal choice. 

  • In young children in particular, masks can be irritating and may lead to increased touching of the face and eyes.

  • There is no evidence to support the use of medical-grade, cloth, or homemade masks in child care setting at this time.



Staff will no longer be administering medication as per Premier Horgan’s ‘zero tolerance’ for sickness policy.


Notifying Families when a child feels ill

If your child develops symptoms which concern staff while in our care, we will contact you immediately and then we will have a separate, supervised area available for children who have symptoms of illness where they can rest until they can be picked up and then we will ensure this area is cleaned and disinfected after the child has left.

In order to safeguard everyone’s health, please do not bring your child if s/he demonstrates any of the following symptoms:




runny nose

sore throat



stomach ache

skin rashes


communicable disease

Flu-like symptoms



We also have a no lice/nit policy which means if your child has live lice or nits in their hair we will ask you to keep them at home until they have been treated and/or all lice & nits have been removed.

If your child becomes ill or unduly upset while at our program, we will telephone you or the emergency contact person so you may take your child home where they can rest more comfortably. 

When your child is sick, we will contact you or the emergency contact and have the child stay in the special area and we will be following the guidelines given to us by the Ministry of Health listed below called Appendix B. Protocol for child or staff with symptoms of COVID-19 in a child care setting

Should children with allergies stay home? How can childcare workers know if it is allergies or something contagious?

  • Children with allergies don’t need to stay home. If a child has a new onset of a runny nose, it is important to check if they also have a fever and/or cough.

  • There are several viruses and bacteria circulating in the population, in fact influenza and colds are much more common than COVID-19. Parents of children with cold or influenza-like symptoms should keep their children home for a minimum of 10 days from the onset of symptoms.


What about keeping childcare staff safe? 

Staff may want to discuss concerns about attending work with their physician. Generally, people who have doctor approval to work in a child care facility would also be safe to work, even when COVID-19 is being transmitted.


Contingency Plan for Staffing During COVID-19 When Staff are Ill 

Staff who are off (written evidence) will be contacted by the Director at least once over the duration of the pandemic to check in on their ability to return to work. This list will be used to call staff back to work according to their ability to fulfill their duties in full compliance with the Child Care Licensing Act and Regulation. Anyone found not in compliance will not be called back unless they are in full compliance and appear healthy for work. 

Staff illness - Director will assess the list of eligible workers and consult the callback list. Staff who identify as feeling ill will be sent home immediately. Director will cover until a call-in staff member arrives. If staff members feel sick at home, they are to contact the Director as soon as possible and not arrive to work sick. There is a zero-tolerance for sickness policy in workplaces all across BC now so please be advised.

In case two or more staff become ill or adequate ratios cannot be provided or maintained, parents will be called to pick up their children. The center will close if not enough healthy workers are able to adequately provide care for the children.


Other notables

We have removed materials from the classroom(s) that can not be sanitized and/or we have provided strict procedures for their limited use- new: co-develop strategy to bring us into compliance with this directive at the staff meeting.

We have identified/prepared a space to isolate a staff with a child in the event symptoms arise during the day. The benches at daycare entrance will be where children will wait to be picked up and will be sanitized once the child has been picked up.


Documents Reviewed to Create this Plan

COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Settings


Other measures taken

  • Set up clear space and boundaries for parent drop off / pick up times, including any physical distancing markers - SIGNS UP at GATE and Door
  • Contingency plan in place for staffing shortages due to illness
  • Identified new routines, registration, and/or environmental set up to reduce group sizes and/or increase physical space within the classroom.
  • Removed materials from classroom(s) that can not be sanitized and/or provided strict procedures for their limited use
  • Identified / prepared a space to isolate a staff with a child in the event symptoms arise during the day
  • Have a contingency plan in place to ensure adequate staffing ratios if a staff member begins to exhibit symptoms during a staffing shift
  • Put up posters for handwashing / no entrance with symptoms
  • Meet with the staff team and reviewed this document and any other changes required 
  • Staffing recalls / layoffs and responses have all been documented in writing