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COOL COVID CLOSURE CHILD CARE
UPDATES REGARDING HARMONY CLOSURE..... PLEASE SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN FOR ALL UPDATES, most recent at the top
Please check here during the closure to find out if there is any information that is being shared and/or communicated. Thank you, Susie
THURSDAY, JULY 09, 2020
Harmony Childcare Centre staff is currently in the process of getting the centre ready for a safe re-opening for children, staff and families.
Harmony’s Board of Directors met on Wednesday, July 08, 2020 to discuss the steps being taken to ensure that all is being done for a successful transition from home to day care.
Part of this discussion included:
* training for staff
* mandatory parent training (attendance & participation in webinar), prior to your child(ren) returning / beginning care
* the development of policies, new protocols, practices and a Covid-19 Parent Handbook
* an adequate and sustainable supply of PPE’s
* meeting classroom and environmental regulations
* approvals needed from TPH, TCDSB and the Ministry of Education
* responsibility of the Board to determine financial viability and opening based on the number of children returning to care
The Board reviewed and discussed all of this with the weight of wanting to meet the needs of the children and families we serve.
Based on all of the above, we are aiming to open on Tuesday, August 04, 2020 – subject to change if necessary.
All updates will continue to be posted as necessary on the website, followed by an email to the parent group.
If you are not receiving emails, please reach out.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.
Looking forward to welcoming you all back to Harmony soon.
Susie Pascuzzi, Director on behalf of the Board of Directors.
MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2020
Just wanted to provide a quick update. We have been given access to the school and our rooms. The staff and I are back and are in the process of preparing the rooms; removing items / toys that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected, cleaning and disinfecting rooms, surfaces, toys and equipment, re-configuring our space to meet guidelines, adding a screening area, adding signage, etc. We are also developing our policies, procedures and protocols as well as taking part in staff training. A re-opening date has not been determined by the Board of Directors yet as many factors will determine this.
As previously mentioned, the re-opening date is dependant on many factors, most important of which are:
- receiving supplies and PPE’s needed
- having all of our Policies, Procedures and Protocols in place that meet / approved by Public Health
- preparing our classrooms / creating a screening area
- forming cohorts that meet guidelines and would work with programming responsibilities
- training and preparedness of staff
- number of children returning that would determine financial feasibility
The Board and I will be planning a meeting for the week of July 06 to discuss plans for going forward.
Wishing you a great week and a Happy Canada Day!!
TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2020
A Parent Zoom Meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss re-opening and address any questions or concerns. If you have not received the email, please contact me and I will send you the link so that you can join us. If your child was supposed to start August / September or fall of 2020 and would like to join us, please email me and I will send you the Zoom link.
Thank you and I hope to see you there, Susie
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 2020
Hope everyone continues to be well and has been enjoying this beautiful weather.
With the announcement yesterday that child care centres may re-open as of Friday, June 12, 2020, I wanted to update you on what I know so far.
We will definitely not be open on Friday.
The Board of Directors and myself will be meeting on Thursday, June 11, 2020 to discuss plans for going forward. Part of this meeting will be to discuss a re-opening date.
Late last night emails came in from the City of Toronto and the Ministry. Children's Services realizes that although the date of June 12th was given, there is a lot of work to be done by child care centres prior to re-opening.
They will be providing us with guidelines and training opportunities for staff that are needed to safely re-open.
The Ministry of Education basically stated they will support the safe re-opening of child care and encourage school boards to do everything possible to give staff access to schools so we can begin with preparations. As many of you are aware, I (we) have not been allowed into our space since we closed on March 13, 2020. I've only been "allowed" in once so far to retrieve items I needed to work from home.
I am planning on hosting a Zoom Meeting early next week for any parent that wants to sign on to hear what's involved and the steps we're taking in safely re-opening Harmony and answer any questions / concerns you may have - I may not have all the answers yet but will do my best to inform you of what I know so far. Please stay tuned for the invite to this Zoom Meeting.
The staff and I look forward to seeing you soon.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 06, 2020
Just checking in to say hi and I'm hoping everyone is doing well.
This week the teachers have started check in's with their classroom children through Zoom Meetings. I'm hoping everyone will be able to participate. If you're not getting these invites, please send me an email.
I just received an email from the Ministry of Education that the emergency order for the City of Toronto has been extended to May 19. Schools until May 31 but I still haven't heard if that applies to child care centres in schools too. As soon as I hear more, I will let you know.
Harmony has started working on a plan to safely get back to work and how we will manage all the new protocols we need to put in place to ensure and do our best to maintain everyone's safety and well-being.
I'm still issuing refunds for any unused portion of paid fees for March. Please send me an email to request this...if not, fees will be held and used as a credit towards your fees once Harmony resumes services.
We're looking forward to seeing you all again soon and until then please keep safe.
FRIDAY, APRIL 03, 2020
Hope all continues to be going well with you, your families and friends and that you are keeping healthy and safe.
Just wanted to share a few updates with you:
1. A memo from Shannon Fuller, Assistant Deputy Minister of Early Years and Child Care Division was sent out on March 31, 2020 to confirm the extended closure date for child care centres located in schools. It states, "the Minister of Education announced the extension of the Ministerial order to close all publicly funded schools. This means that all Ontario schools, and school-based child care centres, have been ordered to remain closed from March 14, 2020 through to May 1, 2020."
2. At our teleconference Board Meeting (held on Thursday, April 02, 2020), the Board approved the refund of fees to all parents who advance paid all of March - and other months if applicable. The refund will include payment of fees from March 16 to March 31, 2020 and any additional March Break Fees paid. I retrieved Harmony's cheque book today, when I was allowed back into my office for short period, so I am now able to do this for you. All requests for refunds must be forwarded to me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will respond back with the amount that will be refunded back to you. At this time, we will also arrange how I can get this cheque to you as quickly as possible. If you do not request and/or need your fees refunded at this time, this option is available at any time prior to the day care reopening. Anyone who doesn't request a refund, the fees will be credited back to you and will apply to fees owing when we are again providing services.
3. I will also develop a new tab next week with resources available to all of you with information and activities that you can do online with your children during this closure - CLOSURE IDEAS / INFO FOR PARENTS
The staff and I look forward to welcoming you all back when this situation settles and it is safe to do so, with approval from all our governing agencies.
Thank you and keep well, Susie
THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2020
Hi Everyone...hope all is well with you, your little ones and your families.
I can tell you that the staff and I miss you and hope that we can all get back to normal soon....but safely and with everyone's well-being as the top priority, so we can all return happy and healthy.
I am trying to gain access to my office, as I haven't been back since the last day we closed - it is ONLY intended for me to retrieve paperwork / documents / items I need to continue to work from home and be able to communicate with you, the Board and Harmony's "partners" (City of Toronto, Ministry of Education, TCDSB, Toronto Public Health, etc.).
Once this happens, I'm hoping that more options will open up in regards to communication with all of you and information I can send out as it comes in. Until then, please regularly check here for any updates. I will do my best to provide any information that I think you may need during this time.
If you haven't already heard it on the news, there will be a $200 child care credit provided for each child between 0 to 12 years of age ($250 for children with special needs - exceptionalities). They said the application will be available on April 06, 2020. If I get any more information on this or anything else, I will pass it along.
As always, I am only an email away. If you need anything, please let me know.
For now take care and let your children know that we miss them, we say hello and are sending virtual hugs their way!!
Thank you, Susie
FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020
Hope everyone is continuing to keep safe and healthy. We've made it through the first week.
As I had mentioned, the Board and I were able to have a teleconference meeting last night to address the issues arising from this closure. Many are wondering about fees.
For those of you that had paid the first payment for March, that payment was applied to the time that we were open, up until our last day of service - March 02, 2020 to March 13, 2020.
For those of you that paid for the month, which may or may not include March Break fees - the "unused" portion of fees that would have covered March 16, 2020 to March 31, 2020 - will be a credit towards your next payment once Harmony re-opens and services resume. As mentioned, this credit will also include any March Break fees that were paid and also unused.
As it stands now, the above also applies to our families with subsidized fees.
I am still waiting for direction from the City of Toronto on how these day's away will be applied and or paid...but please reach out to your caseworker with any of your concerns around fees. You can also ask me and if I can't answer your question or address your concern, I will bring it back to my City Consultant.
The Board and I have agreed to have another meeting on Thursday, April 02, 2020 to reassess the situation as well as plan for anything that happens in the meantime.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, concerns or information to share during this time, please reach out by email. Keep well.
Thank you, Susie