We have been working with the Department of Health, Department of Education, Culture, and Employment, and the WSCC to ensure everyone has a positive, healthy, enjoyable after-school child care experience. The after-school program will open at the same time as Yellowknife schools for the 2020 school year. It is going to look a little different this year! Please read the info below to prepare you and your child(ren) for the after-school program.
We ask for your patience and understanding as we all adapt to this new reality. Our after-school staff are working as hard as they can to make the school year a safe, enjoyable experience for your children.
Pick up/Drop off Policy
Please note that parents will not be allowed in the program spaces at this time. Please call the program phone upon arrival for pick up and staff will bring the child(ren) to the door to meet parents. Our program staff will sign out the children (on parents’ behalf) upon pick-up and may ask to see identification if required. In cases where the staff person is temporarily covering or is new to our program, they may ask to see identification before releasing a child(ren). Please ensure you have your identification with you when picking up in the event it's needed.
Pick up for children is between 4:05 and 5:30. Please refrain from picking up children until 4:05. Staff are unable to leave the program until 4:05. If you are picking up children before 4:05 please make prior arrangements with staff or contact the school to pick up after the bell. For professional development day, a separate memo will be provided to parents that are enrolled in those program on our pick-up/drop-off protocol.
Please provide your children with separate snacks for the after-school program. We will continue to enforce a no-sharing policy between children for food.
Toys are disinfected between each use and we enforce a no-sharing policy between program participants. We limit the number of toys we put out each time and do thorough cleaning of the toys before it’s put out for the next programming. There will be a no-sharing policy of toys, supplies and food between program participants. Staff will disinfect toys and program materials between use. We encourage you to talk to your children about the importance of the no-sharing policy.
Staff and program participants are not permitted to come to the after-school program if they are sick. They are asked to stay home and self-isolate if feeling unwell and seek medical care as required before returning to the program. If a program participant arrives at the program showing signs/symptoms of illness, parents will be contacted to pick-up immediately. It is crucial that parent's pick up sick children immediately after receiving a call from a YWCA NWT after-school care staff to ensure the health and safety of all in the program. We understand this may cause some inconvenience, but we must minimize our risks.
When children arrive, we will conduct temperature checks and encourage the children to wear their masks. For those that are unable to wear masks, we will ask them to ensure they maintain social distance at all times. We also enforce hand washing hygiene and sanitizing of hands at all times in between playtimes/activities. Staff will discuss safety procedures and guide them on hand washing hygiene and healthy respiratory practices, and will provide the support they need to carry out these practices. This is important as we work with young children who need our support and guidance on how to stay safe and healthy.
Upon arrival at the workplace, childcare staff must answer a Covid-19 questionnaire, have temperature taken and wear masks and gloves at the work site. Staff are required to wash hands frequently, wear masks, and maintain social distancing.
Use of Face Masks
The use of face masks in the after-school program is mandatory when inside. We understand there are some exceptions and limitations for certain participants. In cases where participants are not able to wear a mask, social distancing will be strictly enforced. Please note the following regarding face mask use/exceptions:
Children under 2 are not required to wear a mask
Children with health concerns are not required to wear a mask
Children ages 3-6 showing signs of difficulty breathing or discomfort with wearing a mask will not be required to wear one. We also take into consideration children with disabilities who may exhibit discomfort wearing a mask.
Adults with health issues prohibiting them from wearing a mask will not be required to wear one. However, we will continue to enforce social distancing measures.
Use of a mask is not required outdoors. We'll continue to use outdoor play time as much as possible to enable the children to socialize and play.
Please provide your child with a face mask. The after-school program does not provide face masks. If your child is unable to wear a mask, a medical exemption letter is required. Please send the letter via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief explanation so our staff are aware of this exemption.
Travel outside NWT & Required Self-Isolation
If parents, children, or anyone in the after school childcare program's household leaves the NWT, they are required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days before returning to the program. In cases when the parent or a household member is the only one that left the NWT, the child is still required to self-isolate with the said parent and/or household member if they share the same dwelling upon their return to the NWT.
Storage of personal belongings
Belongings of program participants are stored in separate containers/bins and available for individual use. Participants don’t share the same storage for personal belongings.
Overall Cleaning Protocol
Cleaning of the after school program spaces will be done by school custodians. Our program staff will wipe down high touch surface areas prior to the students’ arrival in our program spaces using bleach and/or cleaning liquids recommended by our health inspector. Arrangement with schools has been made to ensure proper cleaning stations for toys following each use and a no-sharing of toys policy will be enforced between program participants.
Our staff have received training on the following and new staff are required to complete upon hire:
The risk of exposure to COVID-19 and the signs and symptoms of the disease
Safe work procedures to be followed, including hand washing, physical distancing and cough/sneeze etiquette
Location of washing facilities, including dispensing stations for alcohol-based hand rubs
How to report an exposure to or symptoms of COVID-19.
Additional training videos on what covid-19 is and how to prevent exposure.
Thank you for your understanding and patience.
About the After-school care program
The after-school program is available at all Yellowknife schools. Staff provide a wide variety of exciting indoor and outdoor activities to keep children engaged and entertained for ages JK - age 11, from school dismissal until 5:30 p.m. Parents must pick their children up no later than 5:30 p.m. Staff are trained in First Aid and CPR, providing a safe environment for all.
YWCA NWT also offers programming for early dismissal, full day programming for professional development days and March break programs when schools are closed. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to provide children with nut free snacks.