Health & Safety at VSOCC
VSOCC is committed to maintaining healthy and safe environments, and providing high quality learning experiences and care. In addition to existing VSOCC policies and procedures, the following measures are informed by BC Public Health, BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), WorkSafe BC, the BC Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Child Care Licensing Regulations. Effective September 13, 2022.
* “You” refers to the employee/ child / visitor entering the childcare facility.
Health Awareness: Assess & Stay Home When Sick
All employees, children and visitors should assess their health for symptoms of illness each day prior to arriving and entering a VSOCC centre. Staying home when sick is one of the most important ways to reduce the spread of communicable diseases. All children that attend must be well enough to participate in all aspects of the program.
Do NOT enter the VSOCC centre and stay home if you* are experiencing symptoms of illness, including but not limited to COVID-19 Symptoms:
- new or worsening symptoms of illness that would limit your ability to participate fully in regular activities
- fever (38.5 ° C or higher, taken under the armpit)
- diarrhea (loose bowel movements that are more watery or unformed than usual) or have vomited within 24 hours
Please report your child’s illness to the Program Supervisor.
When can I (my child) come back to the centre?
If you* are well enough to fully participate in regular activity, and you are
- free of fever without the use of fever reducing medication, and / or
- free of diarrhea / vomiting for 24 hours after the last bout of diarrhea / vomiting.
For all other communicable diseases, please contact the Program Supervisor to confirm when you can return. Sneezes & Diseases (https://sneezesdiseases.com/resource/sneezes-diseases) provides information about common childhood communicable diseases, including what to do, when to seek medical help and when a child can return to child care.
Children and staff who test positive for COVID-19 should follow the guidance on the BCCDC website (http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19 ) related to isolation. They can return to childcare when they no longer need to isolate as long as symptoms have improved and they are well enough to participate in activities fully.
Optional Mask Use
Masks are OPTIONAL and a personal choice for VSOCC employees and families. The level of comfort varies amongst educators and families. Please be patient and understanding of individuals’ personal choices.
If a child or a family chooses to have their child wear a mask, Educators will supervise and support children to ensure safe and proper use of masks.
Children under 2 years should not wear a mask as it may make it difficult to breathe and become a choking hazard.
Children, Travel & Quarantine Requirements
Employees, families and visitors are responsible for understanding and adhering to all international travel requirements outlined by the Government of Canada and the Province of BC, including those required following return to Canada for communicable disease prevention including for COVID-19. For more information, visit the Government of Canada Travel website: https://travel.gc.ca/
What if my child has a previously diagnosed health condition?
Employees or children who are experiencing symptoms of a previously diagnosed health condition do not need to stay home and will not be required to provide a doctor’s note to attend child care.
Healthy Hygiene Practices
Children and employees wash their hands:
- When entering the centre and program area
- After sneezing or coughing
- When hands are visibly dirty
- Before and after all meals and drinking
- Before and after sensory play with shared materials such as water, playdough, goop and sand
- After returning from outdoors
- After use of the washroom
- When leaving at the end of the day
Children and employees are encouraged to cough and sneeze into their arm or a tissue.
If a CHILD Suddenly Develops Symptoms of Illness at Childcare
Educators will supervise the child, and contact the child’s parent / guardian for immediate pick up.
BCCDC encourages childcare staff and families to ensure they are up to date on all recommended vaccines. Vaccine-preventable diseases are serious diseases which can be found in the community and for which children can be vaccinated. Evidence-based immunization information and tools for B.C. residents are available from BCCDC and ImmunizeBC websites (https://immunizebc.ca/.
The BCCDC recommends Childhood Immunization by Age:
1st vaccines, 2 months
2nd vaccines, 4 months
3rd vaccines, 6 months
4th vaccines, 12 months
5th vaccines, 18 months
School age: Kindergarten entry, starting at age 4 – Grade 6, 9
Flu vaccine every year from 6 months of age
BCCDC recommends vaccines for families and childcare staff. Vaccines are important tools to protect against many serious communicable diseases. Vaccination protects individuals from serious illness due to COVID-19 and is the most effective way to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in our communities. All COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada protect against serious complications. It is important to get all vaccine doses in the vaccine series, including booster doses of vaccine, to get the most effective protection against serious cases of COVID-19 and to provide longer-lasting protection. People 6 months and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. More information about COVID-19 vaccines, including information about COVID-19 vaccines for children, is available from the BCCDC website: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine
VSOCC educators are committed to ensuring families and children feel safe, reassured and have great experiences in our programs.
For information and resources about communicable diseases and other common childhood health concerns in child care programs, go to Sneezes & Diseases
For information about COVID-19 in BC, go to www.gov.bc.ca/covid19.