With Phase 3 of Saskatchewan’s reopen plan set to begin on Monday, the province announced there will be increased access to child-care spaces for working parents.
According to a provincial release, parents will now have access to school-based child-care facilities.
As well, child-care facilities will now be allowed a maximum of 15 children per designated space, up from eight.
This means that 15 children will be allowed per facility, or in the case of larger facilities, a maximum of 15 children in one defined area.
According to the release, these areas need to be separated by a barrier that prevents children, toys and other items from crossing over.
As well, each group has to stay together throughout the day and must be in the same room at the same time. This includes pickups and drop-offs, meal times, playtime and outdoor activities.
For child-care facilities located within special care or personal care homes, a private entrance is required. Also, there can be no interaction between children and residents of the home.
When it comes to physical distancing, guidelines include minimizing direct contact with children and each other, avoiding contact activities and limiting the use of play areas to one group at a time, unless physical distancing can be maintained.
The only exception to physical distancing is for those children from the same household.
Parents are being asked to only bring personal comfort items like stuffed animals, if they are clean and laundered at the end of each day.
When it comes to dropping off and pick up, there will also be modified procedures in place.
These could include separate group entrances, limiting pickups and drop-offs to one parent or guardian, and staggering entry or limiting the number of people in an entry area.
Ideally, parents are discouraged from entering the facility, unless they need to do so. In that case, parents are asked to maintain physical distancing from staff and other children.
Parents are also being asked to use their own pens and avoid touching the sign-in or sign-out sheet.
Children who are ill will not be allowed to attend child care.
According to the guidelines, hand hygiene stations or hand sanitizers should be set up at the entrance so that children can wash their hands when they enter. These sanitizing practices are to continue throughout the day.
Other sanitation guidelines include disinfecting all items used by children that day, decreasing the number of toys available and disinfecting indoor shared space and structures.
When it comes to personal protective equipment, masks and eye protection are not required in the child care setting.
A complete list of guidelines can be found here.