WCAS Family Update June 3, 2020

Dear WCAS families,

We would like to thank you all for your continued patience as we navigate the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19.    After consultation with the school district, we have resumed operations at 8 of our 9 facilities, returning to our original out of school hours of 7am-9am and 3-6pm for the month of June. Should you need your child to attend School between the hours of 9am-3pm, please contact your school’s principal.

Recall notices were recently sent out to all WCAS centre staff and we are pleased to announce that many of them have returned. However, please note that we are not currently operating at our pre-COVID staffing capacity. The health and safety of both children and staff remain our top priorities and as such, we are also not currently filling any of our centres to their maximum numbers.

WCAS has opted into the Temporary Emergency Funding Program for Childcare offered by the provincial government to help in maintaining operations. In accepting this assistance, we are bound by the Ministry of Child and Family Development’s directives. A few of their key instructions are as follows:

Families who temporarily withdraw will not be required to pay their monthly fees until such time as their child returns to care.

Centres are mandated to prioritize the care of children of essential workers. The government has created a tiered system of COVID 19 Essential Service roles in terms of childcare that goes as follows:

TIER 1 (Highest Priority)

Individuals employed in Health & Health Services, Social Services, Law Enforcement, First Responders and Emergency Response. For childcare, Tier 1 also includes children who: are approved to access care at a designated Young Parent Program, are referred to child care by MCFD or a Delegated Aboriginal Agency, and/or children of teachers and support workers providing care to children of essential service workers.

TIER 2 (Second Priority)

All other occupations not included in Tier 1 that are listed in the Essential Service Workers list.

Tier 3 (Third Priority)

Individuals employed in Health & Health Services, Social Services, Law Enforcement, First Responders and Emergency Response. For childcare, Tier 1 also includes children who: are approved to access care at a designated Young Parent Program, are referred to child care by MCFD or a Delegated Aboriginal Agency, and/or children of teachers and support workers providing care to children of essential service workers.

All other occupations not included in Tier 1 that are listed in the Essential Service Workers list.

All other families not employed in an occupation listed on the Essential Service Workers list.

Unfortunately, this prioritized system creates the possibility that WCAS will not be able to return your childcare space to you at the time you request it if that centre is full of Essential Service Worker children. Additionally, should we find ourselves in a scenario when a centre is full and a Tier 1 essential worker contacts us in need of care, children whose parents fall under Tier 3 or possibly even Tier 2 will have their spot temporarily revoked. However, when the pandemic is declared over and the Temporary Emergency Funding has ceased, all spaces will revert to their original pre COVID “owners”. Please see the WCAS COVID-19 Policies and Procedure document also enclosed to this email for further information.

Information regarding Summer 2020 will be out as soon as we can make that information available to you.

 Thank you for your time,

Sincerely,

Your WCAS Board of Directors