COVID-19 Updates

BC CDC: When To Get Tested

VSOCC Health & Safety Measures

VSOCC is committed to maintaining healthy and safe environments, and providing high quality learning experiences and care during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  In addition to existing VSOCC policies and procedures, the following measures are informed by BC Public Health, BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC), WorkSafe BC,  the BC Community Care and Assisted Living Act and Child Care Licensing Regulations.  Updated August 24, 2021.

Daily Health Check

All employees, children and visitors must assess their health for symptoms of illness each day prior to arriving and entering a VSOCC centre.

Do NOT enter the VSOCC centre if you answer yes to the following questions.  Follow BC public health directions.

  1. Do you* have symptoms of fever**, chills, cough or worsening chronic cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, shortness of breath or breathing difficulty, sore throat, loss of appetite, headache, body aches, extreme fatigue or tiredness, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?
  2. Were you notified by Public Health that you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and have any symptoms listed above?

If based on your symptoms it is recommended that you get tested, (see BCCDC When to get Tested for COVID-19), you must stay home until you get your results.  The results will determine when you will be able to return to the centre.

* You refers to the employee/ child / visitor entering the child care facility.

** Fever = body temperature of 37.5 Celsius or higher taken under the armpit or orally, as directed by Vancouver Coastal Health – Child Care Licensing.

Stay Home When Sick

Staying home when sick is one of the most important ways to reduce the spread of communicable diseases, including COVID-19.

Children and employees must stay home when symptoms of illness develop.

If you have any of the following symptoms, stay home AND get tested:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Difficulty breathing (in small children, this can look like breathing fast or working hard to breathe)

If you have one of the following symptoms stay home until you feel better OR if you have 2 or more of the following symptoms, stay home and wait 24 hours.  If not better, get tested.

  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Extreme fatigue or tiredness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If based on the symptoms, a COVID-19 test not recommended, employees and children may return when well enough to participate.

If based on the symptoms,  a test is recommended and the COVID-19 test is negative, return to the child care facility once well enough to participate.

If based on the symptoms, a test is recommended and the COVID-19 test is positive, follow Public Health’s direction on when you can return.

All children that attend must be well enough to participate in all aspects of the program.


VSOCC employees and all adults must wear a mask in all VSOCC indoor areas and when having face-to-face conversations outdoors, except:

  • when there is a barrier in place, or
  • when eating or drinking, or
  • when VSOCC employees are alone in an office with no other person present.

VSOCC employees who work in the School Age Programs must follow the VSB Elementary School requirements at all times.

Children attending the Under 3 Years, 3 to 5 Years and Preschool Programs are not required to wear masks, and children under 2 years must not wear a mask due suffocation and choking concerns.   If you wish for your 2 years or older child to wear a mask, Educators will support, encourage and supervise your child to use the masks safely.  If your child does not want to wear a mask, Educators will respect the child’s personal choice.

Children attending the School Age Programs should and will be encouraged to wear masks while indoors.  Please provide masks for your child.

Children, Travel & Quarantine Requirements

As of August 9th, the Canadian government is permitting fully vaccinated adults to enter Canada including the US/Canada land borders.  This said, unvaccinated children under 12 years of age must avoid group settings including daycares for 14 days after their arrival.

As such, children who have travelled outside of Canada are not permitted to attend VSOCC programs for 14 days after their arrival back to Canada.

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.

What if a member of our household has developed new symptoms of illness?

Asymptomatic employees and children may still attend VSOCC child care programs if a member of their household develops new symptoms of illness.

If the household member tests positive for COVID-19, public health will advise on self-isolation and when they may return to the child care setting.

Arrivals & Departures

Families will drop off and pick up their children without entering the program room.

When arriving, an Educator will welcome you at the program door, and sign your child in / out.  They will assist your child to wash their hands, and put away or get their belongings.

Limited Access & Physical Distancing

All adults must wear a mask while indoors and maintain a 2-metre distance from each other.

Access to program rooms is limited.

Families will not have access to the program areas.

Children will not visit other program which are not part of their cohort.

VSOCC employees will only enter areas required for work purposes.

Visitors will be limited to public health, and authorized support services and maintenance workers, as needed.

Safe Entry Protocols

All individuals entering the centre must sanitize their hands, complete the health screen and sign in.

All individuals entering the program room must wash their hands.

VSOCC employees and all adults must wear a mask in all VSOCC indoor areas, and when having face-to-face conversations outdoors, except

  • when there is a barrier in place, or
  • when eating or drinking, or
  • when VSOCC employees are alone in an office with no other person present.

Children attending the School Age Programs (grades Kindergarten and up) should and are encouraged to wear a mask.

Children attending the Under 3 Years, 3 to 5 Years and Preschool programs are not required to wear a mask.

Everyone Must 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 activities 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
Cough & Sneeze Etiquette

Cough and sneeze into your arm or a tissue, and wash your hands.

Physical Distancing & Cohorts

All adults must wear a mask indoors and maintain a 2-metre distance from each other.  Educators will physically distance amongst adults:  no hugs or handshakes with families and colleagues.

For children, VSOCC interior and exterior program areas exceed the licensing requirement of 3.7m2 per child, therefore, VSOCC programs have space to maintain physical distancing while offering quality learning experiences. As physical connection, comfort and socialization is important for children’s health, well-being and development, it is not expected that young children will physically distance from one another. Educators will physically distance amongst adults and encourage physical distancing between children, including giving children lots of space when eating and resting/sleeping and providing lots of outdoor activities throughout the day.

Maintaining cohorts reduces each child or educator’s number of potential interactions.  At VSOCC, a cohort is based on the team of educators who regularly work in the programs, and may consist of one to three programs.  Cohorts should not mix with other cohorts, unless there is an emergency.

Examples of Cohorts:

  • A team of educators who work in both the Toddler and 3-5 Programs is considered 1 cohort
  • A team of educators who only work in a 3-5 program is also considered 1 cohort.
  • A team of educators who work in the school age program rooms at Dorothy Lam & Elsie Roy is considered 1 cohort
Personal Items

Please do not bring toys from home to the centre. 

For Under 3 Years and 3 to 5 Years Programs, personal comfort items such as a blanket, pillow or stuffy may be brought from home for rest time.  These must be clean and in a sealed bag, and will only be used by the individual child and not shared.

Personal items will be returned to families at the end of each week.  Please clean before returning the following week.

For School Age Programs, children may bring their homework to work on within the program room.


If a CHILD Suddenly Develops Symptoms

Educators will isolate and supervise the child; contact the child’s parent/guardian/ emergency contact to request immediate pick-up; and clean and disinfect all items and spaces with which the child was in contact.

If an EMPLOYEE Suddenly Develops Symptoms

Employees must immediately put on a mask, alert their supervisor, and maintain a 2-metre distance from others.  Employees will be sent home as soon as safe supervision of children is addressed.  Items and spaces the employee was in contact with will be cleaned and disinfected.

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

Public Health performs contact tracing and will determine if anyone was in contact with the individual who tested positive while potentially infectious.  Public Health will work closely with VSOCC to identify and notify those who were potentially exposed.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

High touch areas will be cleaned and sanitized at least once per day, and includes washroom sinks, counters, toilets & fixtures; elevator panels & buttons, intercom panels & phones; door & gate handles, handicap buttons & alarm silence buttons; and kitchen counters, handles & buttons. Toys are cleaned and sanitized weekly.  Toys which are mouthed or visibly dirty are removed immediately for cleaning.

Children's Activities

Educators set up and design learning areas, curriculum and activities (including sensory activities and walks), which reduce congregating or crowding, teaches children to physically distance and practice healthy hygiene, such as:

  • Adapt routines and activities for smaller groups
  • Create more play zones with fewer children
  • Slow down and reduce group transitions
  • Enhance cleaning and disinfecting of equipment and materials
  • Frequent handwashing before and after messy, sensory and outdoor activities
  • Fewer seats at tables for activities
  • Spread out nap and play area, where possible
Snacks and Lunch

Children will not share food items and will not serve themselves from a communal plate / bowl or jug.

For meals from home, educators will assist children to get and set out their meals.

For VSOCC meals, educators will serve the children using serving utensils, and provide the children with individually portioned meals.

Small groups of children will be rotating to eat their meals, and will have adequate room and space at the table.


While masks, hand hygiene and daily health checks provide some level of protection, the COVID-19 vaccine is the single most important preventative solution to keep yourself, your colleagues and our children safe.  According to Doctor Henry, if you are unvaccinated in B.C. today you have about 10 times higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and transmitting COVID-19.  Given children under 12 years are unable to receive the vaccine, it is imperative that the adults around them are immunized.

If  you have not already received the vaccine we strongly encourage you to book an appointment as soon as possible. You can find a drop in clinic here:  VAX for BC


VSOCC educators are committed to ensuring families and children feel safe, reassured and have great experiences in our programs. 

These measures are subject to change, as new information and guidelines from the BC Public Health Officer, BC CDC and WorkSafe BC become available. For information about COVID-19 in BC, go to www.gov.bc.ca/covid19.