Update on reopening plans

June 24th, 2020 by Anna Gionet Leave a reply »

Friday, June 19, 2020
Dear Families of Orde Day Care;
Thank you for your patience while our Board of Directors and Management team continue to navigate through these unprecedented times.
Our Board of Directors met on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 and reviewed the requirements that Orde Day Care must incorporate into our programs prior to reopening and on a going forward basis.
The information conveyed in this letter is based on the information the Board and Management team had at that time, and may be subject to change due to the ever-evolving directives from our municipal and provincial partners.
The centre must:
a) first and foremost, feel confident and secure in providing quality care to our children while mitigating the health and safety risks to our children, families and staff members
b) develop a number of new policies and directives, based on a guidance document which was just released on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
c) train staff, with yet to be released training modules from the Toronto Public Health
d) complete a risk assessment of the program, which we still cannot undertake due to restrictions from the Toronto District School Board while they develop protocols for childcare centres located in schools
e) greatly reduce the number of children in a classroom with the staff to a total of 10 individuals per room, where there have been typically 16- 30 children dependent on the age of child
f) redesign our programs and activities to encourage social distancing without having a negative impact on the emotional well being of our children
g) increase our expenses with the purchase of personal protective equipment for the staff
h) increase our already stringent cleaning and disinfecting procedures
i) develop an equitable system to offer the limited spaces that we will have available
j) redeploy staff to work in programs in a way that respects their collective agreement and employment rights
k) relocate the Satellite site program due to a roof and air handling replacement which makes the building uninhabitable for the children and staff during the renovation
l) ensure the continued financial viability of the centres during and after the pandemic
All of these initiatives are to be completed without full details from the Province regarding funding to support childcare during this closure and reopening, along with the centre’s commitment to keep parent fees at their pre closure rates.
Given the extent of the challenges the Centre must face, the following decisions were made
1. Orde Satellite has been deemed unavailable for occupancy until the roof renovation and the replacement of the air handling units are completed. This work was originally scheduled to begin at the end of June and continue until the last week of August. Given that the school has been vacant, work began last week. We hope that we will be able to reopen at this location before the end of August. At the time of writing this letter a suitable relocation site for this group had not been secured to provide an earlier opening, as it must meet the diverse and unique requirements for our youngest children. We understand the hardship this causes for our children and their families, but we have many concerns relocating the children to an unfamiliar environment, that is not designed for them nor properly equipped, especially during a time when new requirements and restrictions are in place due to the pandemic. We will however continue to review our options and keep you apprised of the situation.

2. The Orde Site will look to reopen first for essential/front line workers for preschool, kindergarten and school aged children in the coming months. We have provided a link at the end of this letter for families to identify if they are an essential/front line worker (i.e. emergency services, grocery/pharmacy, childcare employee), or if they need care because their employment cannot be carried out at their home
Please complete this very brief survey below to ensure that we are prioritizing our emergency care to our front line/essential workers/families. If you are able to work from home for the remainder of the summer, we ask that you do not complete this survey.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8VVCD6Y

3. We will work toward a reopening when the TDSB has once again permitted us access to the space and the Centre has passed our regulatory inspections and staff training that is required by our licensing and regulatory bodies.
4. We estimate that this reopening will be anywhere from mid July to end of August.
5. A lottery system will be used if the need for care exceeds our current capacity for rooms for both essential/front line workers and then those for individuals who cannot work from home. Details of this will follow.
6. We will run at reduced hours of operation to ensure strict health screening, cleaning and disinfecting can be completed to mitigate the risk to your child, family and our staff.
The hours of operation will be from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parents will not be allowed into the centre to drop off and pick up their child. Details regarding our drop off and pick up procedures will be communicated to those families who secure a space.
7. We will stagger the opening of classrooms, with 1-2 classes being available upon reopening, and gradually increase this number as we move forward with a maximum of 6-7 classrooms.
8. Families that are not comfortable returning or we were unable to provide you a space due to our reduced capacity will be contacted once the we can increase our enrolment. We must wait for further direction from our licensing bodies before any changes to the enrollment can occur.

We hope you understand the difficult and complex decisions that were made on behalf of the parents/families of Orde Day Care. These decisions were not made lightly and took into consideration the health and well being of the children, families and staff during the very unusual and uncertain time.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Executive Director for further information.

Respectfully,

Sole Fernandez
Chair, Orde Day Care Board of Directors

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