March 25,2020 Update From ECEBC
Published: March 25th, 2020
Yesterday we reviewed the ‘COVID-19 Q&A for the Child Care Sector’ document from MCFD and are encouraged by this response. We anxiously await “the development of a detailed guideline to inform child care operators, Early Childhood Educators and licensing officers on implementation of best practice.”
As mentioned in the document, “Dr. Henry continues to maintain that child care centres can safely care for children if they are following the prescribed health protocols, and that fewer children at child care centres will reduce the burden on providers and ECEs.” (MCFD March 24, 2020) We require information that will adequately address issues such as ratio, availability of sanitation supplies, enhanced cleaning procedures, and other key policy protocols.
Summary Of Concerns:
On March 22nd 2020, ECEBC put out a call to our membership through our regional representatives for questions and concerns from our sector regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. ECEBC branch leaders gathered this information and discussed their collective concerns with the ECEBC provincial office. This document is the voice of early childhood educators throughout BC as they navigate the complexities of this pandemic.
Concerns are summarized below:
- What does physical distancing look like in child care programs?
- What are the risks for the children and families I serve
- What are the risks for myself and my own family
- How can I be part of flattening the curve during this crisis?
- How do we support vulnerable families who we know already needed extra support?
- How do we support children’s mental health and decrease potential for experiences of trauma during the pandemic?
- What are the specific COVID-19 policies and procedures for operations and safety?
- What is the BC government’s current definition of “essential services”?
- What is the policy for students who are in the middle of their practicum?
- Will our insurance still cover us if we operate during the pandemic?
- How will our programs have access to cleaning supplies, food and other supplies when needed?
- Will educators receive priority testing for COVID-19 if they display symptoms?
- How does the funding proposed by the provincial government not only address operators, but also educators as well as their families?
- What will the operators obligations be regarding existing government grants and contracts?
- How do the financial support for child care operators impact their eligibility to other government initiatives such as the small business supports, EI eligibility for workers, etc.