SPECIAL COVID-19 UPDATES
Posted June 8, 2020
RE: RE-OPENING OF LICENSED CHILD CARE CENTRES AT 50% CAPACITY
The H&R MFRC is committed to a resumption of business plan that adheres to provincial directives and public health regulations to keep employees and our military family community safe and healthy. As we adjust to a new reality of operating during a pandemic, operations will look very differently and will continue to evolve.
The first phase is opening our child care centres on June 15, 2020 at 50% capacity. Our Director of Children’s Centres, Stefanie Hazelden, and her team are working now to implement the public health requirements set out in the COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Settings plan. More about the provincial requirements can be read here.
New hours of operation will be 7am – 5pm. This is a result of the new requirements for frequency of environment cleaning and disinfecting practices and the educator: child group bubbles (like a family bubble), which puts more demands on and limits flexibility of educators and staff.
You will be notified no later than June 9, 2020 if you have a space in this phase. Priority will be given to families who need child care to return to work. There is no perfect method for eligibility as our Centres serve only military families.
Families will receive a COVID-19 Family Handbook before you return to the Centre with details of the new practices and policies. It is your choice to decide if returning to group child care is what works best for your family. Families will NOT lose their child care space if they choose not to return before September.
What to know now:
Drop-Off (7 – 9am) and Pick-Up: Will be one family at a time at the entrance of the facility. Families will not have access to the child care centre, classrooms, or cubbies. A wellness checklist must be completed each day upon arrival. This will slow down the morning drop off process as you can expect to wait in line. Families must make every effort to have one designated family member to drop off/pick up. Family and educator daily communication will look different and new processes are being developed. The H&RMFRCs are not yet open to the public and the facilities are locked; parents must use the door buzzer to gain access for pick-up.
COVID Sick Policy: Children who show signs or are sick with COVID symptoms cannot be accepted at drop-off or will be sent home during the day.
Environment and signage: Our facilities have been modified to respect social distancing with floor markings, and with signage for hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting practices and must be adhered to for everyone’s health.
Social Distancing: We encourage social distancing however this is not practical in child care setting, so children will be in classroom “bubbles” with designated educators; this bubble is maintained throughout the day.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): is not required by public health for your children or educators and staff.
Outdoor Play: We will continue to adhere to all provincial Day Care Regulations for early learning and child care and we will be taking advantage of summer weather to spend more time outside; necessary cleaning and disinfecting practices will be implemented.
As directed by the province, opening will be progressive with a goal for child care centres to be 100% operational at full capacity by September, this is barring no significant changes in the curve, new COVID cases or a second wave.
We understand these new requirements will limit flexibility and as a result cause frustration. We ask for support and patience from families and the CAF as we adapt to our new reality. Our goal is to maintain a healthy and safe environment to reduce the spread and prevent an outbreak of COVID-19. We remain committed to providing quality early learning and child care.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Executive Director, H&R MFRC
The buildings may be empty but we are operational and will continue to serve and support military families remotely.
We have shifted some programs and services to virtual platforms as well as offering new program/services. We will do our very best to be responsive to military families in the Halifax & Region during this evolving situation.
Visit our new H&R MFRC Online page to view a full list of our new services and offerings.
Our local H&R MFRC 24-hour information line 902-427-7788 is fully operational for family inquires and referrals to the Duty Padre.
Feel free out reach out to us by private message on social media or by email (email@example.com) and we’ll connect with the appropriate staff person. If you ever need more immediate support, please call us directly: 902-427-7788. You can also call the Family Information Line by calling 1-800-866-4546. Both lines are 24/7.
Ways to stay connected with us:
CHILD CARE CLOSURE
Windsor Park Children’s Centre and Shearwater Children’s Centre
On March 30, following the recommendation of Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Premier McNeil announced that schools will close until at least May 1st, 2020.
We thank you for your support and cooperation during this unprecedented time.
All child care payments are being placed on hold until further notice. All Plooto payments have been cancelled and once we reopen we will organize a new start date for the automatic withdrawals.
Please check your Sandbox account regularly for updates. You can access Sandbox parent portal through www.runsandbox.com, or you can download the Sandbox Parent Portal App for your phone at www.runsandbox.com/parentapp. You will still receive an invoice for the time we are closed, along with a credit being applied for this time. If you cannot log into your account or you have any questions, please email Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org
The H&R MFRC has a rich 30 year history of supporting military families. We are a community organization governed by military family members that works in partnership with military families, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and Military Family Services (MFS) to deliver programs and services to children, youth, adults and families. We believe that family is the CAF member and those they care about: spouse, partner, parents, children and relatives.
The H&R MFRC supports regular and reserve force CAF members and their families and medically releasing and recently medically-released members and their families within Halifax and region, Shearwater, and Central and Northern Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton.
Where we serve
The H&R MFRC is unique in that we support all three branches of the CAF: the Royal Canadian Air Force at 12 Wing Shearwater, the Canadian Army - 5th Canadian Division and the East Coast Fleet of the Royal Canadian Navy. Operational Tempo and the inherent need for CAF operational readiness, dictates that the H&R MFRC is always prepared to serve military families in this ever changing world.
We believe military families are the strength behind the uniform; they are independent, resilient and resourceful, often managing many unique and challenging circumstances, including postings and deployments. We believe that military families know what their needs are and what works best for them, therefore our programs and services must be shaped by families. Our family centred approach to service delivery recognizes the complex and ever changing needs of families and strives to operate with a high degree of flexibility and responsiveness. Our programs and services encourage family-to-family support and connections with each other, and to supports and services in the larger community.
Our Mission, Vision and Values
To strengthen the well-being of all those who share the unique experience of military life.
Strong, connected, resilient military families.
Collaboration – We work in partnership with families, the community, military leadership and the Canadian Armed Forces.
Accountability – We demonstrate integrity, fiscal responsibility and performance measurement.
Respect – We respect the uniqueness and diversity of the military community.
Excellence – Our programs and services are flexible, responsive, strength-based, diverse, inclusive and relevant to those we serve.
We recognize that military families are a part of the larger community where they live and work. To best support military families, we work with all levels of government and a variety of organizations and groups in Nova Scotia. We actively engage with community partners in addressing the needs of military families, acknowledging the unique aspects of the military lifestyle that can influence these services. When a service already exists within the community, we will not duplicate that service, we will refer families to the relevant community service provider.