We provide care for children from infancy to 12 years of age.
Both full- and part-time programs are available 52 weeks per year, Monday to Friday. Most home providers offer daycare service up to a maximum of 12 hours per day, from 7:00am to 7:00pm. If additional daycare hours are needed, parents may make arrangements with the providers and the agency.
The office is open from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Our daycare homes are closed on the following statutory holidays: New Year Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and Boxing Day. Parents who require daycare on those days should arrange for alternative backup care. Some providers may be willing to provide care for those days at a special rate. Subsidized parents will be required to submit an employment letter stating the parents will be working on the holidays and must have prior-approval from Children's Services.
Twinkle Stars P.H.D.C. does not charge a fee to place a child's name on the waiting list for child care. The agency aims to manage admissions with fairness and transparency.
Waiting List Management:
To place a child on the waiting list, parents must call the agency to provide the following information: Parents' full names, contact phone number, child's name, child's date of birth, expected start date, nearest major intersection of home/work/school, program type, and any other preferences.
The seniority date on the waiting list is the date the agency is provided with the required information by phone.
When a space becomes available, the agency will contact the family with highest seniority date with the matching care requirements (distance, age group, program type, special requests, etc.)
If the contacted family is not interested in the space available, the family with the second highest seniority and matching care requirements will be offered the space.
If a family is contacted for a space and does not wish to accept it at the time, its seniority on the waiting list remains unchanged.
Parents may call to change information at any time and the seniority on the waiting list remains unchanged.
Parents may contact the agency to inquire about the best approximation of their status on the waiting list.
The agency reserves the right to give priorities to siblings to ensure that siblings are cared for in one location.
Waiting-list families' information are kept confidential and are accessible only by agency staff, home visitors, and home providers whose daycare homes are being offered to the families.
Admission: The agency will attempt to place your child in a daycare home which is close to your home or work/school. An interview will be arranged for you and your child to meet the prospective provider. When a decision has been made as to your child's placement, you will be required to fill out an application and necessary forms at our office.
Withdrawal: Prior to your child's withdrawal from the daycare program, a written two-week notice is required. Both parents and providers reserve the right to give a two-week notice due to moving, incompatibility, distance, unresolved behaviour problems, habitual late pick-up, or other special requests. The two-week notice is also required in case of a transfer to another day care home. A one-week to one-month withdrawal notice may be given due to non-payment or habitual late payment of fees. Where a child’s safety is involved, or an abusive act, either verbal or physical, is made against any staff member, home provider or client, by the parent, family member or their agent, the withdrawal shall be immediate.
Young children depend on regular routines for their own security; therefore, we ask that a fixed drop-off and pick-up schedule be confirmed with your home provider and the agency prior to admission. Unless arranged otherwise, your child will not be released to any person other than those specified on the daycare application. Parents must notify the home provider if someone else will be picking up the child. If the person is unknown to the home provider, a photo identification is required. Should late pick-up occurs, your home provider must be informed as soon as possible and a late pick-up fee may be charged by the home provider. If the child is to arrive late or to be absent, the parents need to inform the provider at least one hour before the scheduled time.
Subsidized Parents: Each subsidized child is allowed 35 days per year (January-December), including vacation, sick and absent days by Children’s Services. Absences are not to exceed 20 consecutive days. If your child is absent for more than 35 days (due to vacation, sick or absenteeism), you will be responsible for paying the full fee. Requests for additional days, beyond the 35 days, may be approved through an appeal process. Appeals will be considered by Children's Services for exceptional cases only, such as when your child has a serious illness, documented medical needs, or special needs.
If your child is enrolled between July and December, only 18 absent days are allowed.
If the child transfers to another daycare center or agency, the allotment and number of days already taken will also be transferred the new placement.
Both subsidized parents with an assessed daycare fee and full-fee parents are required to pay for all absent days including absence due to illness, vacation, statutory holidays, or any other reason. Parents will not be charged for days that their home providers are unable to provide care and back-up care is not needed, in which case the attendance will be marked “U” for the home providers’ unavailability and the home providers will not receive any payment. If both parties agree to arrange their vacations at the same time, the attendance form will be marked “A” for absence and the parents will be required to pay the daycare fees for the absence days.
Subsidized Parents: Your daycare fee rate is determined by Children's Services. The daycare fee rate may be changed from time to time; thus, it is the parents’ responsibility to verify the rate with their subsidy workers. Daycare fee adjustment will be made when the agency is informed of the fee-rate change by Children's Services.
Full-fee Parents: Please consult the agency for our current rates.
No registration fee is required. A refundable two-week deposit is required prior to or on the admission date for all parents who have a daycare fee. Monthly fee payment must be received by the agency by the 5th day of each month. Receipts will be issued upon parent’s request (ie. payment by cash). The agency does not send out monthly invoices, unless there is an outstanding balance.
Please call the office before dropping by to make a payment. Payment by cheques and money orders should be made payable to Twinkle Stars P.H.D.C. and sent to our office at 1279 Weston Rd., Toronto, ON M6M 4R2.
An annual receipt will be issued at the end of each year for income tax purpose.
Parents should verify the attendance form (filled out by the home provider )on the last working day of each Savemonth. Please sign the attendance form in advance if you will not be able to sign it on the last working day of the month or if your child will transfer out or withdraw from the program.
Daily contact between parents and provider ensures that the parents' expectations and the provider's concerns are discussed and responded appropriately. Parents are encouraged to inform the provider the types of activities the child enjoys, participate in daily programming, volunteer to help out with excursions, spend a few minutes at drop-off/pick-up time to talk about the child's day, communicate concerns or suggestions, and attend workshops sponsored by the agency. Parents are expected to provide extra change of laundered clothes, blankets, cream/lotion, and diapers as required.
Our home providers plan their menus in consultation with the parents and home visitors. Children who attend daycare 6 hours or more will receive a nutritious lunch and morning and afternoon snacks daily. Children who attend school full time will be provided with morning and afternoon snack. These meals comply with the nutrition requirements as set out in the CCEYA (Health Canada’s “Eating Well With Canada Food Guide”). Parents are required to give written instructions and supply food and milk for children under one year of age. Any food or drink brought to the provider's home must be labeled with the child's name. If the child is on a special diet, the parents will need to give the provider and agency written instructions. All food or drink is stored, prepared and served so as to retain maximum nutritive value and prevent contamination.
The home provider will administer only prescribed medication to the daycare children. Parents are required to complete and sign a Medication Consent form before medication is to be given. All medications to be administered must be in their original containers and have the pharmacist’s label with the child's name, name of medication, instructions for the administration of the drugs, date of purchase, storage instruction, and the physician's name. Over-the-counter medication will only be administered with the child’s physician’s written instructions and a signed Medication Consent form from the parents.
Upon parent’s request, kindergarten or school-age children may carry and self-administer emergency medication (eg. asthma inhaler or Epi-Pen). A Medication Consent For Self-Administration form must be completed and signed by the child’s physician and parent. The medication must be its original container and labeled with child’s name, name of medication, date of purchase, instructions for administration and storage.
Children must have up-to-date immunizations prior to attending our daycare homes. If your child is not immunized due to a medical reason,the Statement of Medical Exemption for Child form must be completed and signed by a physician; or if it is due to conscience or religious beliefs, the Statement of Conscience or Religious Beliefs form must be completed and notarized. In the case that your child is not immunized against an outbreak disease that is occurring in the daycare home, your child should be kept at home or transferred to another daycare home during the outbreak.
Daily observation of each child is made by the home provider before the child begins to associate with others in order to detect possible symptoms of illness. To prevent the spread of infectious diseases to other persons, the child should be kept at home if he/she has any illness symptoms, i.e. a fever of 101oF or 38.5oC or higher, vomiting, diarrhea, pink eye, chicken pox, etc.. If illness symptoms develop during the daycare hours, the child will be separated from other children and the home provider will contact the parents to request the child to be picked up. The child can then return to the daycare home when the symptoms are cleared and/or advised by a physician.
If the child has been diagnosed with an anaphylactic allergy, the parents will be requested to fill out an individual anaphylaxis emergency plan and train the home provider, backup persons, and family members on the child’s emergency plan prior to placement. Parents are required to inform and update with the home provider and home visitor of any allergy and changes.
Each child who attends day care for 6 hours or more is required to have at least 2 hours of outdoor play, weather permitting, unless a doctor or the parents advise otherwise in writing. Outdoor play will be supervised in accordance with agreed-upon plans between the parents, home provider, and home visitor.
With parent’s consent, the daycare children may accompany the home provider on local errands and excursions (i.e. going to the library, park, playground, shopping, drop-in center, etc.). More extensive outings to special places of interest may occasionally be planned, in these cases, parents will receive a prior notice with detailed information and a consent form to sign and return to the home provider.
Each toddler or preschool child who attends daycare for 6 hours or more will have a rest period not exceeding 2 hours in length. Toddler, preschool, and kindergarten children are permitted to sleep, rest, or engage in quiet activities based on their individual needs.
Children under 18 months will be provided with a playpen, whereas children between 18 months and 5 years of age will be provided with a cot. Should a mat be used for children between 18 months and 5 years of age, a prior written approval from the Ministry of Education must be obtained by the agency. Parents will be informed of their children’s sleep arrangements at the time of registration or whenever there are changes.
Children under 12 months will be placed on their backs to sleep (as recommended in the Public Health Agency of Canada’s “Joint Statement of Safe Sleep”), unless a child’s physician recommends otherwise in writing. All children will sleep or rest with their faces uncovered. Home providers will visually check on sleeping children at regular intervals for indicators of distress or unusual behaviours and will document the checks in a sleep monitoring chart.
When the home providers are selected, their attitudes towards child discipline and behaviour management are also considered. Behaviour management principles and methods are discussed during the provider orientation, workshops, training sessions, and reviewed yearly with the providers and their household members. While providing a nurturing care and positive learning environment for the children, home providers may at times encounter some inappropriate behaviours and must set guidelines and limits. In those occasions, the home providers must abide with the behaviour management policy and discipline the children in a positive manner at the level appropriate for their actions and ages. Views and philosophies on behaviour management are welcomed at the initial meeting between the parents and the prospective provider. The provider is required to inform the parents of any behaviour problems and discipline method applied at pick-up time.
The following practices are prohibited at all times in the daycare homes:
-Corporal punishment of the child.
-Physical restraint of the child, such as confining the child to a high chair, car seat, stroller or other device for the purposes of discipline or in lieu of supervision, unless the physical restraint is for the purpose of preventing a child from hurting himself, herself or someone else, and is used only as a last resort and only until the risk of injury is no longer imminent;
-Locking the exits of the child care centre or home child care premises for the purpose of confining the child, or confining the child in an area or room without adult supervision, unless such confinement occurs during an emergency and is required as part of the licensee’s emergency management policies and procedures;
-Use of harsh or degrading measures or threats or use of derogatory language directed at or used in the presence of a child that would humiliate, shame or frighten the child or undermine his or her self-respect, dignity or self-worth;
-Depriving the child of basic needs including food, drink, shelter, sleep, toilet use, clothing or bedding; or
-inflicting any bodily harm on children including making children eat or drink against their will.
Children are supervised by a home provider or backup provider (person over 18 years of age and with parent’s consent) at all times. Home providers are responsible for the daily routines and providing care for and supervising the daycare children. Daycare children cannot be left alone with volunteers or students, without the supervision of a home provider at any time. Volunteers and students can provide assistance but under the supervision and guidance of a home provider.
Serious occurrences, including injuries, abuse, death, child missing, and unsafe daycare disruptions , ie. flood and fire, will be reported immediately within 24 hours to the Ministry of Education and Children’s Services. A Serious Occurrence Notification Form will be posted in a conspicuous place, ie. the bulletin board, in the daycare home where the serious occurrence has happened. It is a legal duty for all staff, home providers, students, volunteers to report suspicions of child abuse to Children’s Aid Society. The person who suspects child abuse will not tell anyone about his/her suspicion, the intention to report, or that a report has been made, until after consultation with Children’s Aid Society.
To protect children from mishaps, all daycare children are prohibited from using or having access to all standing bodies of water (e.g., ponds) and recreational in-ground / above-ground swimming, portable / “kiddie” / inflatable wading-type, and hydro-massage pools, hot tubs, and spas located on or outside of the home daycare premises.
All daycare homes that have standing bodies of water / swimming pools must be in compliance with local by-laws requiring private residences with standing bodies of water / pools etc. in their catchment area to have an enclosure, e.g., fence and a latched gate. (Ministry of Education’s regulations)
We encourage clear and open communication. Should there be a conflict parents may wish to have a discussion with the staff/home providers involved, in a time and place away from the children, to find a resolution. If after this discussion, both parents, staff or home providers feel the issue is still not resolved within 5 business days, the matter can be brought to the supervisor or executive director. A resolution will be offered within the next 5 business days. Should the parents/staff/home providers feel that the concern has not been answered, they may submit in writing the concern to the Chair of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors’ decision will be final.
The Ministry of Education requires that all agencies funded or licensed by the Ministry develop and implement the Program Statement Policy & Procedures. These policy and procedures apply to all Twinkle Stars P.H.D.C.’s staff, home providers, home providers’ family members, volunteers and students.
All Twinkle Stars P.H.D.C.’s staff, home providers, home providers’ family members, volunteers, and students must implement the approaches specified in the agency’s Program Statement, which is consistent with the Ministry of Education’s “How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years”.
IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY
The Program Statement outlines the agency's goals and approaches that are implemented in our daily curriculum. With the inclusion of all children of all backgrounds and special needs, home providers are expected to provide opportunities in their daycare homes to support the children in their wellbeing and belonging while giving times for self expression and fostering positive communication and interactions. Home providers are required to promote safety, nutrition, and health by maintaining a safe daycare environment and constant supervision of the children; providing nutritious meals and snacks based on Canada's Food Guideline and in consultation with parents and home visitors; and providing adequate indoor and outdoor activities. Communication with parents is encouraged at drop off and pickup times. Home providers are also required to work with other professionals who assist their program with help and ideas. Home providers, staff, students, and volunteers, staff can support in accomplishing the goals and approaches through discussions, professional development workshops, training sessions, etc..
Before interacting with children, new home providers, persons who are ordinarily residents of the premises or regularly at the premises, staff, volunteers and students will be oriented to the agency's Program Statement, which is also reviewed and signed off yearly or any time there is an update. Through monthly visit observations, quarterly safety checks, and reports from parents, the daycare homes are monitored for compliance with the approaches set out in the Program Statement and the commission of any prohibited practices. The impact of the goals stated in the Program Statement will be reviewed with the home providers and their family members and also documented. The Parent Handbook, which includes the Program Statement and other general information, is available to all registering parents and persons who inquire about child care.
The following prohibited practices are not permitted:
MEASURES TO DEAL WITH CONTRAVENTION OF POLICIES AND PRACTICES
Contraventions of the Program Statement deliberately or constantly and/or any violations of prohibited practices will result disciplinary or corrective action or in the termination of contract for childcare services, employment, or placement immediately.
Individuals who have observed a prohibited-practice incident must report directly to Children's Aid. Home visitors must abide by the College of Early Childhood Educators’ Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice as well as all applicable and relevant legislation, regulations, by-laws and policies.
COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY
POLICIES & PROCEDURES
To help ensuring the health and safety of daycare children, daycare parents, home providers, home providers’ family members and residents, and staff, Twinkle Stars PHDC has developed the following health and safety policies and procedures specific to COVID-19. The policies and procedures are based on the Ministry of Education’s “Operational Guidance During COVID-19 Outbreak-Version 3, August 2020”, Toronto Children’s Services’ “Guidelines for Re-opening Home Child Care in Toronto”, and Toronto Public Health guidelines. Staff and home providers are required to adhere to the following policies and protocols to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
1. PREPARATION PRIOR TO RE-OPENING
· Each daycare home should have at least 2 weeks supply of disposable gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectants (bleach), hand soap, tissue papers, and paper towels.
· Each home must have a thermometer to check body temperature.
· Prior to re-opening the home, providers should thoroughly clean and disinfect the child care area, play materials, cutlery and tableware, and any other materials or surfaces that will be used by the children.
Carpets and rugs that cannot be removed from the space should be cleaned using a carpet cleaner.
· The following forms must be available for daily recordings: Log sheets (children’s attendance and temperature records), Record of Visitors, Record of Self-Screening for Provider, Family Members and Residents, and Record of Cleaning and Disinfecting.
· Prior to re-opening, home visitors and home providers are required to review the policies and procedures as stated below in addition to the training videos provided by Toronto Children’s Services.
2. MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE AND RATIO
· There are no changes to the group size for home child care which allows for a maximum of 6 children, including the provider’s children who are under 4 years, private children and a maximum of 3 children under 2 years old.
· Each daycare home’s children must stay together throughout the day and are not permitted to mix with other daycare homes’ children.
3. HEALTH AND SAFETY SCREENING FOR SYMPTOMS
· All individuals including children attending child care, staff and home providers, parents/guardians, students and visitors must be screened each day before entering the child care setting, including daily temperature checks. Daycare children’s temperatures must be recorded on the Log Sheet daily.
· Home child care providers and household members must also be screened each day before receiving children into care and record the screening results on the Record of Self-Screening for Provider, Family Members and Residents.
· Parents and guardians should be reminded of this requirement when children are first registered for the program and through visible signage at the entrances and drop-off areas.
· Providers should designate an area near the main entrance of their home to conduct screening. For providers who operate in apartments, screening may be done in the hallway.
· Parents/caregivers should not be allowed into the home or past the screening area (see section 3.3 Active Screening for more details) to permit physical distancing. For providers who operate in an apartment, parents/caregivers should be asked to remain in the hallway during drop-off/pick-up.
· A kit or basket should be placed in the screening area with the following materials:
-Thermometer intended for bodily use (armpit thermometers must be disinfected between uses)
-Hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content; dispensers should be out of children’s reach)
· If children are screened at the child care setting, screeners should take appropriate precautions when screening and escorting children to the program, including maintaining a distance of at least 2 meters (6 feet) from those being screened, or being separated by a physical barrier (such as a flexiglass barrier), and
wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) (i.e., surgical/procedure mask and eye protection (goggles or face shield)).
· Where an individual does not pass the screening and is not permitted to attend the daycare home, this does not need to be reported to the Toronto Public Health.
Passive Screening For Parents and Children: Before dropping off children at the daycare home, parents should check their children and themselves for the following symptoms: Fever (380C or higher); cough: muscle aches and tiredness; difficult breathing; sore throat; headache; diarrhea; and red eyes.
If any of the above symptoms are present, the parent/caregiver should NOT
drop off their children to the home child care. They should also inform the
provider of the situation. If the parent/caregiver or child exhibits any of these
symptoms, they should not bring their child to home child care for 14 days
from symptom onset and they feel well. The provider should then call their
home visitor, who may contact Toronto Public Health to seek advice on next
Passive Screening For Providers:
Providers and all other members living in the home must check for following
symptoms daily: Fever (380C or higher); cough: muscle aches and tiredness;
difficult breathing; sore throat; headache; diarrhea; and red eyes. The
providers must record the screening results on the Record of Self-Screening
for Provider, Family Members and Residents
If any of the above symptoms are present, the provider should call and
instruct parents NOT to drop off their children to the home child care. The
provider should then call their home visitor, who may contact Toronto Public
Health to seek advice on next steps.
When conducting screening, providers should wear a mask. Providers should ask
parents the following questions and document the answers daily:
· Do you, your child, or any member of your household have any of the following
symptoms: fever/feverish, cough and difficulty breathing?
· Have you or your child travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days?
· Have you or child had close contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case?
· Have you or your child been given fever reducing medicine in the last 5 hours?
If parents/caregivers reply "NO" to all questions, the provider should then take the
temperature of the child(ren). Providers should take the following steps to safely take
1) Wash hands with soap or use hand sanitizer
2) Put on mask then gloves
3) Take temperature, record, remove and discard gloves, perform hand
hygiene, remove and discard mask, and complete hand hygiene (hand
washing or hand sanitizer). Note: Temperatures of 38 degrees Celsius or
higher is considered a fever.
4) Disinfect thermometer and materials used to record
temperature and wait appropriate contact time.
5) Document the temperature in the Log Sheet each time it is
If the child and parent do NOT have a fever AND answers "NO" to any of the above
questions, the child is permitted to enter the home. The child should immediately be
taken to wash their hands under the supervision of the provider.
Anyone who answers "YES" to any of the above questions, refuses to answer the
questions, and/or has a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or higher should not be allowed into the home. Providers should contact the home visitor, who may call Toronto Public
Health to seek advice on next steps.
· When setting up the play space, physical distancing of at least 2 metres should be encouraged, where possible, between children:
Ø Spreading children out into different areas, particularly at meal and dressing time;
Ø Incorporating more individual activities or activities that encourage more space between children; and
Ø Using visual cues to promote physical distancing.
· In shared outdoor space, a distance of at least 2 metres between daycare groups and any other individuals outside of the daycare group must be maintained.
· Home child care providers are encouraged to increase the distance between cots/resting mats/playpens or place the children head to toe or toe to toe if the space is limited.
· Recognizing that physical distancing is difficult with small children and infants, home providers should:
Ø Planning activities that do not involve shared objects or toys;
Ø When possible, moving activities outside to allow for more space; and
Ø Avoiding singing activities indoors.
INTERACTIONS WITH INFANTS/TODDLERS
· Home providers should supervise and hold bottles for infants not yet able to hold their own bottle to reduce the risk of choking.
· Playpens must be placed far apart to support physical distancing.
· To support physical distancing, home providers should plan activities that do not involve shared objects or toys; and, when possible, moving activities outside to allow for more space.
· Children must not share food, feeding utensils, soothers, bottles, cups, etc. Mouthed toys must be removed immediately for cleaning and disinfecting and must not be shared with other children. Label these items with the child’s name to discourage accidental sharing.
SANITIZATION OF DAYCARE HOME, TOYS, SPACE, AND EQUIPMENT
These materials can be used for disinfecting:
-A mixture of 1 part bleach and 9 parts water.
Let the mixture make contact with the surface to be
cleaned for 10 minutes.
-Household disinfectants such as Lysol wipes
· Hi-touch surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day and as often as necessary (e.g., when dirty or contaminated with body fluids). These surfaces include doorknobs, light switches, toilet and faucet handles, handrails, sinks, electronic devices, and tabletops.
· Low-touch surfaces in the children’s play area must be cleaned and disinfected daily (e.g., window sills, doors, sides of furnishings, walls, floors).
· Other shared items: items such as phones, iPads/tablets, attendance binders, etc. must be disinfected between users.
· Tables and countertops: surfaces used for food preparation and food service must be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use.
· Highchairs: must be cleaned and disinfected before and after serving food.
· Spills or messes must be cleaned and disinfected immediately.
· Providers’ and children’s washroom areas must be cleaned and disinfected at least two times per day and as often as necessary (e.g., when visibly dirty or contaminated with body fluids).
· Floors: cleaning and disinfecting must be performed as required (i.e., when spills occur, after children leave the home).
· Floor mats: cleaning and disinfecting must be performed throughout the day, and at minimum twice daily.
· Outdoor play equipment: must be disinfected before each group uses it, and additionally as required (e.g., when visibly dirty). Any outdoor play equipment that is used must be easy to clean and disinfect. The amount of outdoor play equipment should be limited.
· Cleaning and disinfecting playpens, cots, and mats:
Ø Playpens, cots, and mats must be labelled with each child’s name and assigned to one child per use.
Ø Playpens, cots, and mats must be cleaned and disinfected before being assigned to a child.
Ø High touch surfaces on cots and playpens must be disinfected at least twice per day and as often as necessary.
Ø Cots must be stored in a manner which there is no contact with the sleeping surface of another cot.
Ø Bedding must be laundered daily on the "hot" setting, and when soiled or wet.
· Cleaning and disinfecting toys and play materials:
Ø The number of toys and play materials should be limited
Ø Toys should be cleaned and disinfected in between use or when visibly soiled. Otherwise, toys should be cleaned or removed from the play area if they cannot be immediately cleaned and disinfected.
Ø Toys and items such as electronic devices should be cleaned and disinfected before being passed on to another child.
· Cleaning and disinfecting small toys: 1. Wash in clean water and dish detergent.
2. Rinse with clean water
3. Sanitize using a mixture of ½ teaspoon bleach and 1 liter of water. Leave for at least 45 seconds.
· Cleaning and disinfecting large toys:
1. Clean with soap and water using a cloth.
2. Wipe with a clean wet cloth to rinse.
3. Disinfect by spraying the bleach and water mixture and let it sit
for a 1-minute.
4. A final rinse is required using a single-use wet paper towel.
5. Allow toys to air dry.
· Pacifiers must be individually labelled and stored separately (not touching each other), they must not be shared among children. The pacifier must be washed in soap and water upon arrival to the home.
· For creams and lotions during diapering, never put hands directly into lotion or cream bottles, use a tissue or single-use gloves. Upon arrival at the home, wipe the cream/lotion container with a disinfecting wipe.
· Children's hygiene items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes should not be permitted in the home.
MASKS AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
· All adults in a child care setting (i.e., home child care providers, home child care visitors, and students) are required to wear medical masks and eye protection (i.e., face shield) while inside in the child care premises, including in hallways.
· All children in grades 4 and above are required to wear a non-medical or cloth mask while inside in the child care premises, including in hallways.
· All school-aged children are encouraged but not required to wear a mask while inside in the child care premises, including in hallways (see information about the use of masks on the provincial COVID-19 website or the Public Health Ontario factsheet on non-medical masks). Parents/guardians are responsible for providing their schoolaged
child(ren) with a mask(s).
-Exceptions to wear masks indoors include circumstances where a physical distance of at least 2 meters can be maintained between individuals, where a child cannot tolerate wearing a mask (parent’s written consent is required), and where a child has a medical condition (parent’s written consent is required).
· The use of masks is not required outdoors for adults or children if physical distancing of at least 2-meters can be maintained between individuals.
· Masks are not recommended for children under the age of two (see information about the use of masks on
the provincial COVID-19 website).
· Do not use plastic or other non-breathable materials as a face covering or face mask.
· Do not share face coverings or face masks with others
· When wearing a face covering, you should: 1. Wash your hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off (practise good hand hygiene while you are wearing the face covering).
2. Make sure the face covering fits well around your nose and mouth
3. Avoid moving the mask around or adjusting it often
4. Avoid touching the covering while using it
5. Not share it with others
6. Face coverings should be changed when they get slightly wet or dirty.
· A mask should be used: - In the screening area and when accompanying children into the daycare home from the screening area.
- When physical distancing (2m) is not possible.
- When cleaning and disinfecting blood or bodily fluid spills if there is a risk of splashing
- When caring for a sick child or a child showing symptoms of illness.
· Home providers should secure and sustain an amount of masks and gloves and cleaning supplies that can support their current and ongoing operations.
· Perform and promote frequent, proper hand hygiene (including supervising or assisting participants with hand hygiene). Hand washing using soap and water is recommended over alcohol-based hand rub for children
· There are two methods of killing/removing germs on hands:
1. Hand washing with soap and running water: 1. Wet hands.
2. Apply soap.
3. Lather for 15 seconds. Rub between fingers, back of hands, fingertips, under nails.
4. Rinse well under running water.
5. Dry hands well with paper towel or hot air blower.
6. Turn taps off with paper towel, if available.
2. Hand sanitizing with alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR) containing 70% to 90% alcohol. Hand sanitizer is used when soap and water are not available and hands not visibly soiled.
· Home providers must practice hand hygiene: -Before preparing, handling or serving food
-Before and after giving medication
-After coming in from outside
-After providing care involving blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions of children or staff, even if gloves were worn
-Before and after glove use
-Before and after handling animals
-After handling garbage
· Children must practice hand hygiene: -After coming in from outside
-After using the washroom
-Before and after eating
-Before and after handling pets
-After sneezing or coughing
-Before and after sensory play activities
· Home providers must supervise children while using hand sanitizer.
· Hand sanitizer must be kept out of children’s reach.
Respiratory etiquette includes:
-Staying home when ill with a respiratory infection
-Minimizing airborne droplets when coughing or sneezing, by:
Ø Turning your head away from others and sneezing or coughing into your arm (e.g., "sneeze into the sleeve" and "cover your cough")
Ø Maintaining a two-metre separation from others, when possible
Ø Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue
Ø Disposing of used tissues into the garbage immediately after use.
Ø Practicing proper hand hygiene immediately after coughing or sneezing
EQUIPMENT AND TOY USAGE AND RESTRICTIONS
· Home providers are encouraged to provide toys and equipment which are made of materials that can be cleaned and disinfected (e.g., avoid plush toys).
· Toys that are difficult to sanitize and/or are communal in nature should be removed, such as: Stuffed of plush toys; porous toys (anything where water can get inside); multi-use water or sensory play materials (e.g., playdough, sand, pasta, etc. However, single-use sensory play materials are acceptable); rugs (if rugs cannot be removed, they should be cleaned and vacuumed daily)
· Mouthed toys should be cleaned and disinfected immediately after the child is finished using it.
· Limit the number of toys available for play per child.
· Communal and sensory activities should be suspended.
· Children can be assigned separate areas in which to play and provided with a select number of play materials.
· Home providers are encouraged to have designated toys and equipment (e.g., balls, loose equipment) for each room or group. Where toys and equipment are shared, they should be cleaned and disinfected prior to being shared.
· Outdoors toys can be shared outside and must be disinfected when returning inside.
· If sensory materials (e.g., playdough, water, sand, etc.) are offered, they should be provided for single use (i.e. available to the child for the day) and labelled with child’s name, if applicable.
· Play structures can only be used by one home provider’s group of children at a time.
· Playpens, cots, and mats should be kept 2 meters apart. Head-to-toe sleeping arrangements are ideal.
· Where possible, children should practice physical distancing while eating.
· No self-serve or sharing of food at meal times.
· Utensils should be used to serve food.
· Meals should be served in individual portions to the children.
· No sharing of spoons, forks, plates, and cups.
· There should be no items shared (i.e., serving spoon or salt shaker).
· There should be no food provided by the family/outside of the regular meal provision of the program (except where required and special precautions for handling and serving the food must be put in place).
· Children should neither prepare nor provide food that will be shared with others.
· Ensure proper hand hygiene is practiced when home providers are preparing food and for all individuals before and after eating.
· After cleaning tableware, cutlery, and food preparation materials, home providers should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
· In shared outdoor space, a distance of at least 2 metres between daycare groups and any other individuals outside of the daycare group must be maintained.
· If play structures are to be used by more than one provider’s group of children, the structures can only be used by one group at a time and should be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use by each group
· Outdoors toys can be shared outside by children within the provider’s group and must be disinfected when returning inside.
· Home providers are encouraged to have designated toys and equipment (e.g., balls, loose equipment) for each of their own groups. Where toys and equipment are shared, they should be cleaned and disinfected prior to being shared.
· Home providers should find alternative outdoor arrangements (e.g. community walk), where there are challenges securing outdoor play space. Home providers should follow physical distancing practices when possible.
· Children should bring their own sunscreen where possible and it should not be shared.
· Home providers may provide assistance to apply sunscreen to any child requiring it and should exercise proper hand hygiene when doing so (for example, washing or sanitizing hands before and after application).
· There should be no non-essential visitors at the daycare home.
· Students completing post-secondary educational placements will be permitted to enter daycare homes and should only attend one daycare home and be assigned to one group of children.
· Students will also be subject to the same health and safety protocols as home providers such as screening, and the use of PPE when on the child care premises, and must also review the health and safety protocols.
· The provision of special needs services may continue and operators may use their discretion to determine whether the services being provided are essential and necessary at this time.
· Use of video and telephone interviews should be used to interact with families where possible, rather than in person.
· Ministry staff and other public officials (e.g. fire marshal, public health inspectors) are permitted to enter and inspect a child care centre, home child care agency and premises at any reasonable time.
· As much as possible, parents should not go past the screening area.
· No volunteers are permitted at the daycare homes.
· Providers must document the name, arrival and departure times, date, and temperature taken of visitors.
4. PROCEDURES WHEN A CHILD, HOME PROVIDER, HOME PROVIDER’S RESIDENT, OR STAFF SHOWS COVID-19 SYMPTOMS
· Daycare children, staff, students, home child care providers and those ordinarily resident/regularly at the home child care premises who are symptomatic or have been advised to self-isolate by the Toronto Public Health, must not attend the daycare home. Asymptomatic individuals awaiting results may not need to be
excluded and should follow the advice of Toronto Public Health.
Symptoms to look for include but are not limited to: Fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, and a general feeling of being unwell.
Children in particular should be monitored for atypical symptoms and signs of COVID-19, which may include: Unexplained fatigue, delirium, unexplained or increased number of falls, acute functional decline, exacerbation of chronic conditions, chills, headaches, croup, red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rash, vomiting, nausea.
· A single, symptomatic, laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 in a daycare child, staff, home provider or home provider’s household member must be considered a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, in consultation with Toronto Public Health.
· If a child, staff, student, home child care provider and those ordinarily resident/regularly at the home child care premises becomes symptomatic while in the daycare home, the person should be isolated in a separate room and family members contacted for pick-up.
· If a separate room is not available, the person who is symptomatic should be kept at a minimum of 2 metres from others.
· The person who is symptomatic should be provided with tissues and reminded of hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and proper disposal of tissues.
· If the person who is symptomatic is a child, his/her home provider should remain with the child until a parent/guardian arrives. If tolerated and above the age of 2, the child should wear a medical mask. The home provider should wear a medical mask and eye protection (i.e., face shield) at all times and not interact with others. The home provider should also avoid contact with the child’s respiratory secretions.
· All items used by the person who is symptomatic should be cleaned and disinfected. All items that cannot be cleaned (paper, books, cardboard puzzles) should be removed and stored in a sealed container for a minimum of 7 days.
· Toronto Public Health should be notified (phone 416-338-7600), and their advice should be followed.
· If a person who resides in the daycare home becomes symptomatic and/or tests positive for COVID-19, the Toronto Public Health should be notified and their advice on next steps should be followed (including closing the program and notifying all families if necessary).
· When a person becomes symptomatic the home child care agency will report to Toronto Public Health, the Ministry, and where public health advises, families.
· It is recommended that daycare children, parents, home providers, home providers’ household members, staff, and students with symptoms of COVID-19 attend an assessment centre for testing as soon as possible, and to self-isolate at home until their result is available.
· The home provider and children who were exposed to an individual who became ill with symptoms (i.e. suspected COVID-19 case) must continue to be grouped together and monitored for signs and symptoms of illness. Parents of the ill child should monitor their child for symptoms. The home provider should avoid being in contact with vulnerable persons. Toronto Public Health will provide any further direction on testing
and isolation of these close contacts.
· If a child is suspected of having COVID-19 and is waiting for the test result, the daycare home can still operate and must closely monitor other children for symptoms. If the test result is negative, the child can return to the daycare home after being symptom free for 24 hours and he/she pass the screening. If the test result is positive, the daycare home is closed for 14 days and/or clearance has been received from
Toronto Public Health; and all daycare children must stay home (no back up care will be provided) to prevent the spread of the disease.
· If a home provider or a household member is suspected of having COVID-19 and is waiting for the test result, the daycare home is closed. If the test result is negative, the daycare home can reopen after the person is symptom free for 24 hours and passes the screening. If the test result is positive, the daycare home is closed for 14 days and/or clearance has been received from Toronto Public Health; and all daycare
children must stay home (no back up care will be provided) to prevent the spread of the disease.
· If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, the service of the daycare home will be suspended. Anyone who has been in contact with the infected person must quarantine for 14 days. No backup care will be provided for the daycare children to prevent the spread of the virus.
-Individuals who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 should get tested as soon as any symptoms develop.
-If asymptomatic, individuals who have been exposed are also encouraged to get tested any time within 14 days of the potential exposure. They will need to continue to self-isolate for 14 days even if the test result is negative.
· Daycare children, staff, home providers, home providers’ household members, and students who are being managed by Toronto Public Health (e.g. confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, close contacts of cases) must follow their instructions to determine when to return to the daycare home. Clearance tests are not required to return to the daycare home
· The agency must immediately report the following to Toronto Public Health at 416-392-7411 during work hours (8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday) or 3-1-1 after hours:
-Clusters of suspected cases (e.g. two or more children or home provider and her household members with COVID-19 symptoms within a 48-hour period).
-Cases of COVID-19 among children, home providers, home providers’ household members, students, and staff that are laboratory-confirmed or probable (i.e. symptoms occurring among a staff or child who has been exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19).
· Where a child, staff, parent, student, home child care provider, person who is ordinarily a resident at a home child care premises or a person who is regularly at a home child care premises is suspected of having or has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the agency must report this to the Ministry of Education as a serious
5. SERIOUS OCCURRENCE REPORTING
· Twinkle Stars PHDC has a duty to report suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. The agency should contact Toronto Public Health to report a child suspected to have COVID-19. Toronto Public Health will provide specific advice on what control measures should be implemented to prevent the potential spread and how to monitor for other possible infected daycare
children, daycare parents, staff, home providers, and home providers’ household members,
· Where a child, parent, student, home child care provider, home child care visitor or a person who is ordinarily a resident at/regularly present at a home child care premises is suspected (i.e. has one or more symptoms and has been tested) of having or has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the agency must report this to the Ministry as a serious occurrence.
· Where a daycare home closes due to COVID-19, the agency must report this to the ministry as a serious occurrence.
· The agency is required to post the serious occurrence notification form as required under the CCEYA, unless Toronto Public Health advises otherwise.
6. HOME VISITORS
· Home visitors can make monthly in-person visits provided they wear a mask and eye protection (i.e.face shield) and conduct a self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms and document their responses one hour prior to entering the home.
· Home visits should be scheduled to ensure visits occur at a time that is less busy that is convenient for the provider.
· Home visitors will play an important role in ensuring health and safety guidelines are being followed. To the extent possible, it is recommended that virtual platforms be used instead to connect with providers. Where virtual (e.g., video conference, email) technologies are not available, home visitors may connect with
providers over the phone.
7. PROVISION OF SPECIAL NEEDS RESOURCES SERVICES (SNR)
· The provision of in-person special needs services in child care settings should continue where appropriate.
Should questions arise in respect of which service providers are permitted to enter the premises, Toronto Public Health should be consulted. Alternative modes of service delivery where in-person delivery is not possible should be explored with SNR staff.
· Maximum capacity rules do not apply to SNR staff (consultants and enhanced staff) on site (i.e., if they are not counted towards staff to child ratios they are not included in the maximum capacity rules).
· Where SNR services are provided through external staff/service providers, the agency and home providers should inform all families of this fact, and record attendance for contact tracing purposes.
· All SNR staff must be screened before entering the daycare home.