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Childcare & Schools

B.C. will begin optional and part-time in-class instruction on June 1.

Schools

Parents and students will have the option to return to in-class instruction on June 1, 2020 with a goal of returning to full-time classes in September. To make sure schools are safe for students and staff, the number of students in school each day will be reduced, with most receiving in-class instruction part time. School districts will determine scheduling for classes and transportation arrangements. 

For more information on K-12 schools, programs and educational services visit: www.gov.bc.ca/SafeSchools.

As schools plan for some in-class learning to resume, measures to reduce transmission in K-12 school settings will be incorporated into the plans including:

  • Routine daily screening for all staff and students.
  • Routine and frequent environmental cleaning.
  • Implementing a range of options to reduce transmission including smaller class sizes; separation of desks; potential of differential school attendance on a routine basis each week; strong focus in the daily routine on frequent washing of hands and other hygiene practices; small group activities and wearing of non-medical masks for group activities; no high contact sports; limiting group sizes of extracurricular activities.
  • Explicit policy for children, youth and staff who have the symptoms of a cold, flu, or COVID-19 with coughing or sneezing not coming into school or taking part in extra curricula activities and sports.
  • Planning over the summer for increased use of remote online learning, especially for high school children.
  • Early arrival and self-isolation for 14 days of international students.

Find the latest information about education and K-12 schools for parents, students and school administrators:

Information for post-secondary institutions can be found on this page. Students, faculty and staff should consult their institution's website for specific information. 

Childcare Settings

Child care owners and/or operators and staff play a key role in protecting children from, and minimizing the impact of infection and illness. Childcare centres will need to take additional precautions to maintain the health and safety of their employees and the children they are caring for. BC’s Restart Plan provides information about the province’s step-by-step process to re-open different sectors.

Measures that will be implemented to reduce transmission in childcare school settings include:

  • Routine daily screening for all staff and students
  • Routine and frequent environmental cleaning
  • Explicit policy for children or staff who have the symptoms of a cold, flu, or COVID-19 with coughing or sneezing not coming into child care

Here is some further information about precautions for child care settings:

If you’re ill, stay at home

  • All children and staff who are ill with fever, have cold, influenza or infectious respiratory symptoms of any kind need to stay home.
  • Children and staff with symptoms can be tested for COVID-19. To learn more about symptoms and where to go for testing, visit the testing page.
  • If you are at all unsure of your status, the online assessment tool can help you assess whether you should stay home or not.

Encourage hand hygiene

  • Hand washing with soap and water is still the single most effective way to reduce the spread of illness.
  • Hand hygiene for children includes washing their hands when they arrive at the centre and before they go home, before eating and drinking and after playing outside or handling pets.
  • Hand hygiene for child care staff includes washing their hands when they arrive at the centre, before they go home, before handling food, before preparing bottles or feeding children
  • For more information on hand hygiene, refer to the public health guidance fact sheet for childcare settings.

Fever or coughing

If a child or staff member starts showing symptoms of what could be influenza or COVID-19, it is important to:

  • Contact the child’s parent or caregiver to come and pick them up right away.
  • Have a separate and supervised area where you can promptly separate a child from others until their parent or caregiver can come and pick them up.
  • Ensure that staff who show symptoms go home right away.
  • For more information on what to do if a child or staff member starts showing symptoms, refer to the public health guidance fact sheet for childcare settings.

Maintain cleaning and disinfecting policies

We don’t yet know how long the virus causing COVID-19 lives on surfaces, but early evidence suggests it can live on objects and surfaces from a few hours to days. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of objects and high touch surfaces is very important to cleaning and disinfect public settings from contaminated objects and surfaces.

Toys

Offer toys that encourage individual play and that can be easily cleaned (i.e. no dress-up clothes or stuffed animals) and limit the use of playdough to reduce hand-to-hand-contact and cross contamination.

Physical distancing

Understandably, physical distancing is challenging in a childcare setting. At the same time, it is important that we do what we can to try to assist children. Use ideas that work for your setting like taking children outside more often and staggering snack and lunch time so you can accommodate smaller groups with more space.

More information

SOURCE: Childcare & Schools ( )
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