The Discovery Childcare Program recognizes its obligation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of our staff, visitors, volunteers, children and their families.
Contingent upon vaccine availability and the exemptions described below, all staff, people employed by another agency or other third party, students on an educational placement, and volunteers (regardless of how often they are at the location and how much time they spend there) (hereinafter “employees”) are strongly encouraged to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Reference to “fully vaccinated” in this policy means the two-week anniversary after having received the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccination series (i.e. Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or approved combination thereof).
The organization recognizes the importance of immunization of employees due to the nature of their work with vulnerable children and their families. The purpose of the COVID-19 immunization policy is to protect the children and employees of the Discovery Childcare Program.
COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It may be characterized by fever, cough, shortness of breath, and several other symptoms. Asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic infection is also possible. The risk of severe disease increases with age but is not limited to the elderly and is elevated in those with underlying medical conditions.
It is important that all employees subject to this policy make an informed decision about whether to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. All Workers subject to this policy will be adequately educated about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines.
One of the following three (3) requirements for all employees must be satisfied within 30 days of the effective date of this policy:
1. Provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19; or
2. Provide a formal/official documented medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19; or
3. Participate in an educational program approved by the licensee.
· Childcare employees, visitors, volunteers, students who are not immunized, including those with medical reasons, will be required to complete regular COVID-19 rapid testing as directed in the provincial guidance. Staff, people employed by another agency or other third party, students on an educational placement, and volunteers will need to show proof that testing has taken place at least twice a week to enter into our programs.
· Each employee who declines to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for reasons unrelated to a medical reason (referred to in number 2 above) will be required to fill out a declination form that will be placed in the relevant health file.
1) Ensure this policy is communicated to all employees.
2) Ensure that a copy of the policy - either in hard copy or electronic format - is made available to staff, students, volunteers and our child’s guardians.
3) Track proof of vaccination and medical reasons tracked by Executive Director, Supervisor or designate with a copy placed in the relevant staff file, and education programs completed will be record in staff files.
4) Have a process in place to support employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which may include:
· Assistance with transportation to receive the vaccine;
· Assistance with booking vaccine appointments;
· Opportunity to receive up to one (1) hours of paid time to receive the vaccine when obtaining it at a third-party provider; and
· Peer-to-peer support.
5) Ensure that there is a process to follow up with employees to obtain the required proof of vaccination, medical reasons, and/or completion of an education program.
6) Engage Executive Director for any non-compliance with the policy.
The Supervisor or designate will be responsible for the following:
1) Follow a COVID-19 Immunization program that meets the provincial regulatory requirements and work in collaboration public health, Ministry of Health, and hospital partner(s) to obtain vaccines. In addition to the above requirements, the program will also include:
· The education of Workers on the COVID-19 immunization program, Hand Hygiene, and COVID-19 outbreak protocols; and
The Management will be responsible for the following:
1) Ensuring all new employees abide by the organization’s policies on COVID-19 immunization.
COLLECTION OF STATISTICAL INFORMATION:
The Discovery Childcare Program will collect, maintain, and disclose to the Ministry of Education, at a minimum on a monthly basis and in a manner set out by the Ministry, the following statistical information:
· the total number of individuals subject to the care community’s policy for the reporting cycle;
· the total number of individuals who have submitted proof as per the Requirements above, broken down by which type of proof was provided; and
· for each type of proof, the number of individuals who submitted each type of proof who are team members, student placements, or volunteers.
NOTE: No identifying information will be provided to the Ministry in relation to this policy; all statistical information will be provided in aggregate form.
Further details and guidance will be provided to support licensees in implementing the proposed policy, testing strategy, and reporting expectations for early Fall 2021.
ON: Minister’s Directive: Long Term Care Home COVID-19 Immunization Policy, July 1, 2021. https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministers-directive-long-term-care-home-covid-19-immunization-policy
National Vaccine Storage and Handling Guidelines for Immunization Providers 2015. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/national-vaccine-storage-handling-guidelines-immunization-providers-2015.html
Vaccine Temperature Log Book: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/flu/uiip/log_book.pdf
ON: Adverse Event Following Immunization Reporting for all Healthcare Providers in Ontario. https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/F/2018/factsheet-aefi-healthcare-providers.pdf?la=en