Dear Families,

We hope you are doing well, staying healthy and enjoying the beautiful weather! As you know, we will be reopening some of our childcare centres on Monday, July 13, 2020. In order to ensure a safe and healthy return that aligns with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education, we are planning a phased in approach of our 26 program locations. Additionally, we will be temporarily reducing our hours of operation during the summer to 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at all locations.

As an organization, we are committed to the well-being, health and safety of our children, families and educators. As part of our preparation we have updated our Infectious Disease and Pandemic Policy. This policy is included in this email for your reference, and will also be posted on our website at Our policy reflects the guidelines outlined from the Ministry of Education and aligns with the directives from Durham Region Public Health. Additionally, we have prepared a comprehensive training/orientation for our childcare professionals and we are working hard to prepare our learning environments to support the social, emotional and physical safety of the children we miss so much!

We are very excited to be welcoming our children and families back into care! We are confident in our ability to provide an environment that ensures your children are safe, while providing them with rich play-based learning experiences.

There are some notable changes to the way our childcare centres will operate during the COVID-19 pandemic and we continue to rely on the information provided by Durham Region Public Health to guide our decisions. Some of the changes you will observe as your return to care;

          ▪ daily health screening of children, families, educators and visitors upon arrival to the centre to ensure no symptoms of ill health (this includes temperature checks) Please allow for extra time in the morning to drop off your child. You will be asked to complete a daily health screening checklist and we will be taking the temperature of all children and those who drop off. Anyone who exhibits the symptoms outlined on the screening tool will not be admitted into the centre and will be directed to seek further assessment prior to returning to care. We will be strictly enforcing our policies related to sick children in care

         ▪ we will have a dedicated cleaner that will ensure frequent cleaning and sanitizing of our physical environments, toys and equipment ▪ there will be fewer children and educators to a defined childcare space, and the maximum number of individuals (including children and educators) will be 10 in each classroom. Groups will not mix with other groups throughout the day, and children will remain with the same group for at least one week at a time

         ▪ families will not be permitted in the centre. You are asked to drop your child off and complete the health screening tool in the morning. In the afternoon, you are asked to contact the childcare centre by phone 5 minutes prior to your arrival. One of our educators will bring your child and their belongings to you!while the learning environment will be set-up to encourage physical distancing, children will still be allowed/encouraged to play with one another. Once children go through the daily “health screening” they are considered safe to participate

         ▪ our screeners/greeters and cleaners will be utilizing PPE (personal protective equipment). Educators are not encouraged to use PPE in the classroom unless the activity would typically require PPE (i.e. diapering children)

         ▪ we will be providing snacks and meals for all children, and we will not permit outside food into the centre. You are encouraged to send your child with a clearly labeled water bottle.

How can you prepare for a safe return to childcare?

         ▪ plan to arrive at the centre with enough time to successfully drop your child off, complete the health screening tool and get your temperature read

         ▪ avoid sending toys and plush toys/stuffed animals to the centre. This is to avoid cross contamination. If your child uses a “stuffie” as a calming tool or sleep aid, it will be kept on your child’s bed and will only be utilized during sleep time. Please send this in a Ziploc bag

         ▪ please send disposable diapers and wipes, re-usable diapering materials will not be accepted during the pandemic. Please send diapers in a plastic sleeve and wipes in the original container (so we can seal them appropriately)

         ▪ please send extra clothing in a Ziploc bag, and ensure all belongings are clearly labelled with your child’s name

         ▪ please send your child to the centre with their own sunscreen, and ensure the bottle is clearly labelled with your child’s name. Please check to ensure that the sunscreen does not expire prior to September 2020. We will not allow children to share sunscreen.

         ▪ waterplay will be available, please send your child with a bathing suit and a towel

         ▪ please label everything you send for your child with their first and last name

We want to thank you for your ongoing support, and patience, as we work through this new way of doing things! This is all very new to us, and our educators are working hard to ensure the new guidelines are implemented while planning FUN, engaging experiences for your children. If you have any questions, please speak with your childcare supervisor.


Lisa Rankin

Executive Director

Schoolhouse Playcare Centres of Durham

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