Sonshine Children’s Centre slates early-July reopening

Sonshine Children’s Centre plans to re-open for families in need on July 6.

Sonshine Children’s Centre plans to re-open for families in need on July 6.

“I’m anticipating we’ll be able to fill all of our child care spots in July, but it’s really hard to anticipate how it’s going to go in a pandemic,” said Jenn Broadfoot, Sonshine Children’s Centre manager. “We never want the quality of our child care to decrease so we’re going to decrease our enrollments by half.”

After the March 18 closure, Sonshine Children’s Centre has been preparing its staff to return to work while meeting the requirements of WorkBC, as well as updating lesson plans to adhere to social and physical distancing guidelines.

“The majority of our drop off and pick ups outside,” said Broadfoot. “Primarily, there will only be one parent in each program at a time.”

There will be assigned pick-up and drop-off times for families to send one-parent only to see if the number of people in the child care centre at one time can remain low, if possible.

In addition, there will be an emphasis on playing and eating outdoors when possible to encourage physical distancing.

Broadfoot has been working toward creating small play spaces for children to continually learn about social interactions, while reducing the number of participants in each group. Her goal is to have one or two children in each group.

There will be updated health and safety processes for families who attend to learn about, including a daily confirmation of wellness at drop-off as part of the COVID-19 screening process.

“All of our staff will be returning,” she said. “Everybody is feeling ready and safe to return to Sonshine for employment.”

However, the good news is that Broadfoot is optimistic about keeping the children who attend comfortable and happy during the push to make physical and social distancing part of the routine over the coming months.

“Our goal is to make it feel as familiar and as comfortable to children who return, but it is going to look different, and I don’t want the children to feel that difference,” Broadfoot concluded.

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