With the great weather lately and restrictions easing in many parts of Ontario, we are beginning to feel a bit more like our old selves. Opinions vary greatly on whether we are returning to normal too quickly or not as every person and family has experienced this pandemic uniquely. We would like to take this opportunity in our newsletter to share our approach as we continue to provide childcare under some new regulations, while also reinforcing that all the reasons you chose Wee Watch initially remain!
Operating for over 35 years puts us in a unique position as we have been proud to provide childcare to families under every government party and under ever changing circumstances, but perhaps none as challenging to date as COVID-19. Our 42 Childcare Agencies across Ontario, with over 900 childcare Providers rose to the challenge and remained open to provide childcare to families that required it throughout the pandemic. Our Agency Supervisors, Home Visitors and Providers worked tirelessly through this period of great uncertainty, with ever changing information and requirements. In addition to the many families that were already part of the Wee Watch family, we were able to provide over 250 spaces for the children of Emergency workers.
Early on in the pandemic, we put enhanced health and safety protocols into practice in all our childcare homes that ensured that the safety and well being of the Providers and the children in their care was the priority. On June 12, 2020 the Ministry of Education under the guidance of Public Health made regulatory amendments to the Child Care and Early Years Act that all Licensed childcare Agencies and childcare centers must comply with to maintain their license to operate. The regulatory amendments include additional procedures and requirements of childcare Providers as well as parents bringing children into care. A summary of these requirements is below. It is important to note that the direction of
local Public Health
departments differs and as such, the policies of each Wee Watch Agency may differ slightly. Each agency must follow the requirements of their local Public Health department, in addition to the ones described below:
- Each Childcare agency must have an Enhanced Health and Safety Policy that is shared with the Providers, Home Visitors and Parents of children in care. This policy will be in effect until we are notified otherwise by the Ministry of Education
- All persons entering the home where childcare is provided must be screened in advance of attending the home (children/parents/visitors) , this includes taking and reporting temperatures and answering a series of questions regarding potential exposure
- Providers and any household members must also self-screen each day before children are accepted into care
We thank you for your continued commitment to Wee Watch. We know it has been and will continue to be a challenging time for parents and Providers alike as we continue to navigate this! On the positive side, we have seen the courage and dedication of our Providers as well as their amazing creativity in keeping the children in care learning, active and engaged!