Updated Public Health Guidance for Child Care Settings
Published: November 25th, 2021
The Childcare BC Stakeholder Engagement Team sent out a message regarding the updated public health guidance for child care settings from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
Dear child care operators,
The BC Centre for Disease Control has updated its public health guidance for child care settings, in order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and maintain a safe and healthy environment for children and staff. Also, a COVID-19 pediatric vaccine is now available in British Columbia for children aged 5-11.
Updates to the guidance include enhanced recommendations around vaccination status and updates to language for child care programs in First Nations communities. Licensed child care operators must now be aware of the COVID-19 vaccination status of their staff and should keep this on record for all staff members. As private organizations, child care operators may also choose to implement their own staff vaccination policies. First Nations have the authority to make decisions about child care operations, vaccines, and COVID-19 response plans in the best interests of children and families in their communities. Updates to address guidelines for child care programs operating in First Nation communities should follow the requirements and processes set out by their First Nation leadership and/or emergency response committee.
We encourage you to read the updated guidance in full to learn about:
- Updates to language for child care in First Nations communities
- Updates on the impact of vaccines on transmission rates and the epidemiology of COVID-19 in B.C.
- Updated mask guidance
The new vaccine for children 5-11, approved by Health Canada and recommended by Dr. Bonnie Henry, will mean less disruption to activities for children, such as school, sports and social events. Children must be at least five years old and will receive two doses. The special formulated vaccine uses one-third of the dose formulated for older children and adults, which provides effective protection tailored to children’s immune systems. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) advises that children receive a two-dose series of the vaccine with an interval of eight weeks or more between the first and second dose. Children aged 11 who turn 12 between doses will receive the adult vaccine at their second dose.
Parents wanting to vaccinate their children can register online and invitations will start to roll out on November 29. Appointments will be mandatory with no drop-ins.
Anyone with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for their child can call 1-833-838-2323 or visit the government’s website. Parents can also consult with their child’s pediatrician, family doctor or nurse practitioner so they can make the best decision for their child.
Stakeholder Engagement Team
Ministry of Children and Family Development