COVID 19 Policies and Procedures – 2021/22

Our new policy updates are linked below regarding Covid 19 safety and procedures.

COVID-19 Safety Plan

Updated: March 6, 2022

Reviewing the latest Public Health Guidance for Childcare Settings, updated February 7, 2022, Strawberry Vale Preschool has updated the COVID-19 Safety Plan and Protocols.

Key updates:

  • 5-day absence requirement for children who have identified as, or children with others living in the same home who have been identified as, having COVID-19
  • Removal of physical distancing cones for pick up and drop off
  • Removal of mask requirement for parent/caregiver at pick up and drop off UNLESS the parent/caregiver enters the preschool yard or building
  • Masks for staff members within the outdoor areas of the preschool yard are optional

Health/Illness Policy added to address COVID-19 Protocol

Risk Assessment – Protocols added to current Health and Safety

Identified Risk: Person to person contact

Child:Child; Child:Staff; Child/Staff:Volunteer/Parent; Staff:Staff

Protocols in place to reduce the risk:

  • Minimize physical contact Child:Child, Child:Staff, Staff:Staff,
  • Physical distancing: Volunteer/Parent:Child (that are not their family) Volunteer/Parent:Staff, and Volunteer/Parent:Volunteer/Parent
  • Suspension of our regular Parent Volunteers program in the classroom *Reassess reinstatement of Duty Parents for spring 2022
  • Parent Volunteers will perform tasks that can be carried out without direct contact with staff or children (before class starts/end of class)
  • Suspension of spontaneous parent visitors and open-door policy (admittance upon approval); mask mandatory for all visitors
  • Parents permitted in the yard if necessaryto assist their child with transition or when performing outdoor duty assistant tasks; masks mandatory
  • Posted occupancy limit notice
  • Posted distancing notices
  • Posted handwashing notices
  • Daily health check before admittance to the program
  • Outdoor drop off and pick up
  • Handwashing & Hygiene rigorous protocol meeting COVID-19 health standards
  • PPE available for staff/child displaying symptoms identified while in program (mask/gloves); protocols in place to support staff or child with symptoms of COVID-19
  • Increase outdoor program time

Identified Risk: Surface transmission

  • High touch surfaces/equipment indoors such as doorknobs, counter tops, bathrooms, light switches, tables, cabinet handles, pens, phone, fax machine, file cabinet tables, chairs, etc.
  • High touch equipment outdoors bikes, scooters, climber, gates

Protocols in place to reduce the risk:

  • General cleaning and disinfecting is done after each class
  • High touch surfaces/equipment indoors are disinfected end of each class such as doorknobs, counter tops, bathrooms, light switches, tables, cabinet handles, pens, phone, fax machine, file cabinet tables, chairs, etc.
  • High touch equipment outdoors are cleaned after each class: bikes, scooters, climber, etc.
  • Designated outdoor toy bins for each class to reduce class to class contact
  • Increased outdoor program time
  • Restricted availability of toys & equipment (each class has their own designated toys) or the toys are cleaned between class use on the same day; playdough portioned out for individual use
  • Removal of toys and objects that are not easily cleaned such as stuffed animals, plush toys, etc.
  • Increased frequency of toy cleaning
  • Outdoor equipment is sanitized between classes
  • Physically spaced cubby area to reduce contact between children’s personal items
  • Shared sensory play items such as water play available with monitored hand washing before play

Strawberry Vale Preschool COVID-19 Health/Illness Policy

Please remember that the COVID-19 public health emergency is rapidly changing, and our ability to remain open may change without notice; or we may be ordered closed by BC’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and/or our licensing officer. 

Dr. Henry maintains that childcare centres can safely care for children if they are following the prescribed health protocols.  

Accordingly, please note the following COVID-19 Health/Illness policy, which applies to all staff and children within this facility and is in addition to established preschool illness policy (pg. 35 parent manual).

Please refer to the information on page 4 to determine if your child meets the Daily Health Check – measure of “Good Health” required to attend preschool on any given day.


Fever is indicated by the following temperature Forehead/ Ear Temp. 38 C / 100 F Chills Cough Loss of sense of smell or taste Difficulty breathing

1 (or more) of these symptoms:
Stay Home and Consult 811 for guidance regarding testing or self-isolate
Sore Throat Loss of appetite Headache Body aches Extreme Fatigue or Tiredness Nausea or Vomiting Diarrhea Skin Changes or Rashes (in children)
1 of these symptoms only Stay Home until you feel better and symptom free
2 (or more) of these symptoms Stay Home and wait 24 hours to see if symptom free
If still experiencing symptoms after 24 hours contact 811 for guidance
Runny Nose
Stay home: return when symptom free
International Travel: Unvaccinated children returning from international travel must stay home from preschool 14 daysStay Home: 14 days
If you or others living in the same home have just returned from international travelMust follow current Public Health Orders
Children who have, or children with others living in the same home who have, been identified as having COVID-19Stay Home 5 days

As Per Strawberry Vale Preschool’s Health Policy:

In addition, as Per Strawberry Vale Preschool’s Health Policy, children may not attend programs while they have any of the following symptoms:

  • unusual, unexplained loss of appetite, fatigue, irritability, or headache
  • eye infections
  • unexplained rashes or any rash that is not confirmed by doctor to be non-contagious
  • known or suspected communicable diseases (measles, chicken pox, pink eye, hand, foot and mouth, etc.)
  • ear infection
  • nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea in the last 48 hours

Parents will additionally be asked to confirm each morning that their child is

of good health”, which means that they meet the above noted criteria and are symptom free and that their child has not been given acetaminophen or ibuprofen in the last 12 hours as this could mask symptoms.

Additionally, if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the child’s home, we request that parents please notify Strawberry Vale Preschool so that potential spread and outbreaks can be controlled; as with any health disclosure, the children’s and families’ privacy will be respected and maintained.

Strawberry Vale Preschool

COVID-19 Safety Plan – Protocols

Access to facility

  • Staff, children, parents, and caregivers must not enter the workplace for 5 days if they have COVID-19 or if someone else in their home has COVID-19
  • Unvaccinated adults and children returning from international travel must stay away from preschool for 14 days following their return to Canada
  • At drop off, a daily check is required, which indicates that children do not have symptoms outlined in our Daily Health Check list. A child will not be accepted for drop off if the parent/caregiver can’t confirm that the child is of good health.
  • Telephone or video conferencing will be used to meet with workers, parents, and caregivers, when possible
  • Parents and visitors have limited access to the facility
  • Any person entering the facility must wash their hands or hand sanitize and sign a Health Check document

Protocol: Child has tested positive for COVID-19, or COVID-19 suspected

  • The child must stay away from the preschool as per the following scenarios:
    • 5 days if someone in the household has COVID-19 (and is not completely isolated) OR themselves have tested positive or COVID-19 is suspected
  • In all cases:
    • The number of days count begins at the date of symptom onset or positive test result, whichever is earlier
    • At the end of the child’s absence, they must also be in “good health” and not show signs/symptoms listed in our COVID-19 Safety Plan that would exclude them from returning to preschool.

Protocol: Staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, or COVID-19 is suspected

  • Staff member must stay away from the preschool as per the following scenarios:
    • 5 days if someone in the household has COVID-19 (and is not completely isolated) OR themselves have tested positive or COVID-19 is suspected

Protocol: Child develops symptoms while at home

  • Children experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are required to stay home until symptoms resolve. Please reference the Health/Illness policy in the Parent Manual.
  • Children suffering from known seasonal allergies will be exempt from exclusion. Medical clearance to ensure COVID-19 like symptoms are confirmed as allergy related may be requested by the preschool.

Protocol: Child develops symptoms while at preschool

  • Staff will identify a staff member to supervise the child
  • Staff will isolate the child exhibiting symptoms from the group until the parent arrives
  • Staff will notify parents/guardians if their child begins to show symptoms of COVID-19 including the need for immediate pick up
  • Staff will wear a disposable mask and encourage the child to wear a mask while awaiting pick up
  • If inside, staff will open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area
  • Staff will avoid touching the child’s bodily fluids and will wash hands if contact occurs
  • Staff will clean and disinfect any rooms that the child was in while symptomatic
  • Staff can contact the local public health unit to seek advice, as needed

Protocol: Staff member develop symptoms while at home

  • Staff with symptoms of COVID-19 must be excluded from work, stay home, and follow the COVID-19 Health Check. Staff will call 811 for public health guidance regarding COVID-19 testing and remain home until tested or symptoms resolve. If testing is not required, staff will remain home until symptoms have resolved. Staff will follow current BCCDC guidelines for return-to-work policies for vaccinated adults and/or Strawberry Vale Preschool organizational policies, whichever is more stringent.
  • Staff suffering from seasonal allergies may be asked to provide medical clearance to ensure COVID-19 like symptoms are confirmed as allergy related.

Protocol: Staff member develops symptoms while at work

  • Staff will report symptoms to senior staff/manager
  • Staff should go home immediately or self-isolate on site until replacement staff arrives or families arrive to pick up children, to ensure staff:child ratio is met
  • Staff will maintain a distance of 2 metres from others
  • Staff will wear a mask while on site
  • Staff will follow current public health/BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) guidance for return-to-work protocol
  • Remaining staff will clean and disinfect the space where staff was separated and any areas used by them (e.g., office, bathroom, common areas).
  • Staff can contact the local public health unit to seek further advice, as needed
  • If a person is found to be a confirmed case of COVID-19, staff will assist Health Authorities with contact tracing and management of any clusters or outbreaks


When to Perform Hand Hygiene

Children should perform hand hygiene:

  • When they arrive at the childcare centre and before they go home
  • Before and after eating and drinking
  • After a diaper change After using the toilet
  • After playing outside
  • After sneezing or coughing
  • Whenever hands are visibly dirty

Staff should perform hand hygiene:

  • When they arrive at the childcare centre and before they go home
  • Before and after handling food or children with their food containers
  • Before and after giving or applying medication, ointment, sunscreen to a child or self
  • After changing diapers
  • After assisting a child to use the toilet
  • After using the toilet
  • After contact with body fluids (e.g., runny noses, spit, vomit, blood)
  • After cleaning tasks
  • After removing gloves
  • After handling garbage

How to perform hand hygiene:

  • Hand hygiene stations are set up at the entrance so that children can clean their hands when they enter
  • Wash hands with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing the “ABC’s” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”). Antibacterial soap is not needed for COVID-19.
  • If sinks are not available (e.g., children and staff are outside), use handwashing station or supervised use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 70% alcohol
  • If hands are visibly soiled, alcohol-based hand sanitizers may not be effective at eliminating respiratory viruses. Soap and water are preferred when hands are visibly dirty.
  • Additional hand hygiene opportunities are incorporated into the daily schedule
  • The centre is well-stocked with handwashing supplies at all times, including plain soap, clean towels, paper towels, waste bins and, where appropriate, hand sanitizer with a minimum of 70% alcohol
  • Staff will assist young children with hand hygiene as needed

Cleaning and Disinfection

The preschool will be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the BCCDC’s Cleaning and Disinfectants for Public Settings document.

  • General cleaning and disinfecting of the centre will occur after each class, bathrooms will be disinfected after each use
  • Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day. These include doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, table counters, chairs, electronic devices, and toys
  • Any surface that is visibly dirty will be cleaned and disinfected
  • The preschool will use common, commercially available detergents and disinfectant products and will follow the instructions on the label
  • Toys and other items that cannot be easily cleaned will be removed (e.g., avoid plush/stuffed toys)
  • Garbage containers will be emptied daily, at minimum
  • Disposable gloves will be worn when cleaning blood or body fluids (e.g., runny nose, vomit, stool, urine). Wash hands before wearing and after removing gloves.
  • There is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via textbooks, paper, or other paper-based products. As such, there is no need to limit the distribution of books or paper based educational resources to children.

Physical Distancing / Minimized Contact

Staff should maintain physical distancing from one another when possible and maintain physical distancing from parents/caregivers.

  • It is reasonable to establish different expectations based on age and/or developmental readiness
  • Children will be supported to have limited direct contact with one another
  • Children from the same household (e.g., siblings) do not need to maintain physical distance from each other
  • Staff use of masks in outdoor spaces is optional

The following physical distancing strategies should be implemented where possible in the childcare setting:

  • Avoid close greetings (e.g., hugs, handshakes).
  • Strive to minimize the number of different staff that interact with the same children throughout the day
  • When appropriate, children may be organized into smaller groups and/or spread out to minimize direct physical contact
  • Incorporate more small group activities or activities that encourage more space between children and staff
  • Staff will help younger children learn about physical distancing and less physical contact by creating games that include basic principles such as “two arm lengths apart”
  • Outside snack or mealtime will allow spacing between children during meals
  • The number of additional adults entering the centre will be minimized, unless that person is providing care and/or supporting inclusion of a child in care (e.g., supportive childcare assistants, speech language pathologist, etc.)

Pick-up and Drop-Off

  • Pick-up and drop-off of children will occur outside the preschool building unless there is a need for the parent/caregiver to enter the setting (e.g., a very young child). If a parent/caregiver must enter the setting, they must wear a mask, should maintain physical distance from staff and other children present, and be reminded to practice diligent hand hygiene and maintain physical distance when they are in the facility.
  • Daily health check at drop-off will be conducted by asking parents and caregivers to confirm that their child does not have symptoms of illness and are “of good health”.
  • Staff will sign on behalf of the parent/caregiver with verbal consent.