Legacy Childcare in Slave Lake planned to reopen on June 15 at a limited capacity. This is in line with the health requirements of the Alberta COVID-19 relaunch strategy.
Abi Rayner is the executive director of Legacy Childcare, which is a daycare in the Legacy Centre in Slave Lake. This is the only daycare in Slave Lake. There are also day homes in the community.
The daycare is licensed for 184 children, with 50 staff. However the new requirements limit it to 30 people including staff and children. Within the framework of the relaunch, daycares are open to essential workers as defined by the COVID health orders. This will be 21 children and nine staff.
All parents of children who will be returning to daycare have been informed.
Like many businesses and organizations, the daycare was closed mid-March because of health orders from the provincial government to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some daycares in larger centres were opened for essential workers in April. However, Slave Lake and the rest of the province had to wait until May 14. The health orders specific for reopening became available after that date.
The most recent copy is from May 23.
The daycare is run by the Slave Lake Child Care Society. At the May 26 meeting, the board decided to reopen on June 15. The main reason for the delay was to allow time set up to follow the guidelines and ensure that the personal protective equipment arrived before opening.
These were in place ahead of the deadline, and everything was set to open on July 15. There was no word as of June 11, if Stage 2 of the relaunch would change the requirements for daycares. Stage 2 started on June 12.
Most of the restrictions have to do with physical distancing and number of children, says Rayner. The daycare usually runs a summer program for school-aged kids, but with the restrictions this won’t happen.
On June 15, the provincial government launched a survey on childcare for parents and staff at facilities, says a media release. Alberta has 726,200 children aged 12 and under. About 105,300 children are registered in more than 2,900 active licensed programs in Alberta.