Wednesday 25 November, 2020

Day-care centres, early childhood institutions permitted to open - MOE

iStock photo

iStock photo

The Ministry of Education is reminding that day-care centres and early childhood institutions are permitted to reopen operations subject to the provisions of the Disaster Risk Management Order.

In a statement Wednesday, the ministry noted that the government has advised that day-care centres may operate during regular business hours, this despite Jamaica being in the community transmission phase of COVID-19 with over 8,400 infections and 174 deaths.

“Operators are required to ensure, among other things, that signage, appropriately customized for children and adults, advising of all the applicable health protocols for the centre, are conspicuously placed throughout the centre, including at each entrance,” the statement said.

Additionally, staff members are to be trained in, and sensitised to, all the health protocols. At the start of each day of operation, the children at the centre are to be instructed about health protocols and safe practices such as properly covering the nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing, to minimize the transmission of flu-like viruses.

Prior to reporting for work for the first time during the period, each person employed for work at the centre is required to be tested for COVID-19, and shall not be permitted at the centre unless cleared as healthy for work.

It is expected that during the hours of operation, there will be sufficient staff to ensure proper supervision of children at all times. The Order advises of permitted ratios of:

- One  adult to five  children, for each group of children aged under 13 months;

- One  adult to eight children for each group of children aged over 13 months but less than 3 years;

- One adult to 10 children, for each group of children aged over three years but less than five years. Each person, other than a child aged five years or less, at the centre must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth.

Temperature checks are to be conducted on each person entering the centre, and no one with a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius (or higher) shall be permitted to enter the facility. Anyone at the centre who develops a fever, other flu-like symptoms or gastrointestinal symptoms must be sent home. The Disaster Risk Management Order (No.14) also stipulates guidelines for temperature checks, sanitizing equipment and toys and disposal of garbage.

Exercise and play shall only take place outdoors, with appropriate supervision to ensure adherence to social distancing requirements and applicable health protocols, including the washing of hands with soap and water before and after such exercise or play.

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