Many Six Nations parents are breathing a sigh of relief with local daycares set to re-open on June 22 with strict pandemic safety measures in place.
Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council agreed last week to allow daycares to re-open after approving an extensive re-opening plan created by social and health service providers on Six Nations.
The re-opening plan calls for a gradual return to full daycare capacity by January 2022.
Until then, daycare spaces will remain tight, with only a quarter of children allowed to return on June 22.
The daycare re-opening plan covers Six Nations Child Care Services on Bicentennial Trail and Stoneridge Children’s Centre.
The daycare was closed in accordance with Six Nations’ colour-coded pandemic alert system, which saw the community in alert level black for much of the year. In alert level black, schools and daycares remained closed.
Six Nations is currently in alert level orange, which allows daycares to operate with certain restrictions.
In accordance with the plan, staff must be pre-screened before starting their shifts every day, as do the children.
Yvette Martin, manager of Six Nations daycares, said parents can screen their kids using the “Hi Mamma” app.
Under the plan, daycares will close for 10 days if five or more Covid cases are confirmed at either daycare within a two-week timespan.
Among some of the Covid-19 measures in place:
-windows are opened to allow for the circulation of fresh air
-Covid-19 wellness rooms have been created for those displaying symptoms
-cleaning and disinfecting routines have been increased
-staff and students must wear personal protective equipment
-parents and visitors are not permitted on site until further notice
-separate entrances and exits
The plan calls for a return of the full cohort by January 2022 if all staff and students are Covid-free.
Daycare and Six Nations Health Services staff are in talks to provide rapid Covid testing for the staff and children.
Elected Chief Mark Hill acknowledged how difficult the past year has been on parents with daycares closed on Six Nations.
“As difficult as it was to make that decision to close schools and daycares and how hard it was on our parents, it really gave that time to put in thorough plans,” he said.