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Policy and Procedures – COVID-19 – Orléans-Cumberland EarlyON Child and Family Centre

The Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre (OCCRC) has established this policy and procedures guide in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with the directions provided by the Ministry of Education as well as Ottawa Public Health (OPH) to protect the health and safety of our families, program participants, and staff. This guide is shared with all program participants: parents, caregivers, legal guardians and EarlyON staff.  To participate in the EarlyON activities, a consent form must be signed stating the policies and procedures have been read, and you are adhering to the policies. If you fail to adhere, the OCCRC EarlyON staff can ask you to leave the premises.

 March 24th 2022  


Dear EarlyON Families,

Since we have re-opened in-person indoors activities, we would like to highlight some changes to our programming. The Orléans-Cumberland EarlyON Child and Family Centre are committed to providing a quality program that is safe, supportive, welcoming, educational, child-friendly and fun!

We keep making changes to ensure a positive experience that fosters fun and learning at the EarlyON Child and Family Centre.  It is our goal to draw out and inspire the best in everyone as we provide them with opportunities to socialize, create, explore, and learn. These policy and procedures will lay out the changes required and gradual return to normalcy during the on-going phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation is unprecedented and is constantly evolving, so all changes included in this document will remain our program policies and procedures until further notice. We will make sure that all changes are realistic and feasible for staff, children, and families by following Ottawa Public Health guidelines as well as those put forth by the Ministry of Education. Please be sure to read this guide before you attend one of our programs. If you have any questions about the policies and procedures that are outlined in this document, please feel free to connect with one of our EarlyON team members at earlyONyva@crcoc.ca or by phone at 613-830-4357. These measures are in place to ensure that our space is safe and enjoyable for all.

The Orléans-Cumberland  EarlyON Child and Family Centre Team



Given the fact that there are community transmission cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, there is a risk that both symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission may happen while attending our programming. While we have developed measures to prevent the risk of exposure to the virus, it is important that parents, caregivers, and employees are made aware of and understand the risk of exposure. 

When children from multiple families attend a single EarlyON Centre to participate in indoor or outdoor programming there is an increased risk of the COVID-19 virus being transmitted. Children who are infected with the COVID-19 virus are more likely than adults to have very mild infections or to have no symptoms at all, but these children can still transmit the infection to other children and adults at the EarlyON Centre. This means that children can bring home an infection acquired at the EarlyON Centre and put other persons at risk. The EarlyON Centre has a screening process to help detect infections when there are symptoms; however, this screening process will not detect infected children or adults who do not have symptoms at the time of screening. While most transmissions occur from people who have symptoms, there is the possibility of asymptomatic transmission, and individuals should be aware of this. The risk of serious COVID-19 infection increases with age, which participants and family members should consider in terms of the risk of exposure to themselves personally.


To ensure the safety of all, our indoor and outdoor playgroups will allow for the ratios in accordance with the Ontario government re-opening plan.  At this time, there are no imposed provincial ratio limits. The Centre will reassess periodically in order to continue high quality services.  Families must register in advance for the program activity of their choice. At our main site (240 Centrum), families will be limited to attending only one (1) indoor program activity per week to ensure all families have the opportunity to participate. There are no weekly limits with attendance on outdoor programming.  To register, go to our website: www.crcoc.ca or call (613-830-4357) and speak with an EarlyON team member. Registration opens every Friday at noon for the following week.

Families who have not signed up to attend a playgroup ahead of time cannot enter the facilities or participate in the program. 

Our programming activities will be shorter than usual to ensure proper cleaning and disinfecting common spaces.  

Please check our website regularly as programming is updated and may need to be cancelled with short notice.  When possible, we will attempt to call registered families/caregivers of the cancelled programming activity. 

Virtual programming will continue as it provides an alternative to families. Please visit our website www.crcoc.ca for the full programming schedule.



All individuals entering EarlyON premise must self-screen everyday before attending programs using the provincial screening tool: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

All individuals must follow the monitoring and isolation advice outlined in the screening tool.


If anyone becomes symptomatic (COVID related or not) during programming activity, the EarlyON staff must be notified as soon as the symptoms appear; you will be immediately separated from others and asked to leave the program. Please be aware that the first symptom of a COVID-19 infection in children can be gastrointestinal, including diarrhea.

  • The sick person will be provided with tissues, a mask and reminded of hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette (e.g. cough and/or sneeze into their arm), and proper disposal of tissues.
  • All equipment and / or toys used by the symptomatic individual will also be cleaned and disinfected as soon as possible. Anything that cannot be cleaned (e.g. paper, books, cardboard puzzles, etc.) will be removed and stored in a sealed container for a minimum of 7 days.
  • Symptomatic individual(s) will be advised to use the online screening tool mentioned above and follow instructions which may include seeking medical advice and/or going for testing for COVID-19.
  • Parents/caregivers/guardians of other children and staff will in be informed that a participant has developed symptoms and has been sent home.
  • Parents/caregivers/guardians will be asked to monitor the health of their child(ren) and to notify the EarlyON program if their child develops symptoms.
  • As long as other program participants remain symptom-free, they can continue to attend the EarlyON program.
  • An ill individual who has a known alternative diagnosis provided by a health care professional may return to the EarlyON setting if they do not have a fever and their symptoms have been improving for at least 24 hours.


  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Masks will no longer be required for staff, students, children and all other adults (parents/caregivers/visitors). Anyone wishing to continue wearing a mask is welcome to do so.  We encourage all participants to respects each other’s individual choices (mask vs no mask).    

  • Eye protection for staff is also no longer required.
  • Masks are not recommended for children under two years of age.


  • Handwashing

As hand washing remains the best way to protect one another, everyone entering our facility will be asked to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands upon entry and throughout their visit with us. When possible, hand washing with soap and water is preferred over alcohol-based hand rub for children.

Handwashing will be encouraged during programming at various intervals (i.e.: before eating food, after using washroom, before sensory play activities, etc.).

  • Sanitizing/Disinfecting

 All hard surfaces and toys will be disinfected after each programming activity.

  • Snacks

EarlyON staff will support nutrition breaks/mask breaks in a safe manner. Snack tables will allow for only one (1) family at a time. Snacks for children can only be provided by parents, caregivers, or guardians. No sharing of food among participants.  Centre dishes, cups and utensils will not be available for use. All surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected after snack using microfiber cloth and spray bottle. Hands should be washed before eating a snack as well as when done eating, prior to touching any toys.

  • Indoor Shoes

During winter months, all adults and children attending programming activities will be asked to bring a pair of indoor shoes or slippers to wear in the playroom space. Since children spend time on the floor, we want it to be as clean and safe as possible.

  • Equipment and Toys

The risk associated with transmission with shared objects is low. Instead of regular cleaning of shared objects, the focus will be on regular hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette to reduce the risk of infection related to shared equipment.  Shared equipment is important for learning.

We will provide children with toys and materials that are easy to clean and disinfect (i.e. plastic, vinyl and/or wood toys). We will avoid stuffed animals, costumes, etc. A bin for toys / soiled objects will be available.  Families will place any toys / objects that their child has put in their mouth in the bin. All toys and playroom will be cleaned and disinfected at the end of each programming activity and/or at the end of each day following OPH guidelines.

  • Personal belongings:
    • Personal belongings, such as backpacks should be minimized. If brought, belongings should be labeled and kept in the designated cubby area in the playroom.
  • Strollers:
    • As of April 1st, 2022, strollers will be permitted into the Centre. We will continue to limit the number of belongings brought into the Centre so if you can avoid it, please do. 
  • Coffee and tea:
    • EarlyON staff will not be providing coffee and tea.


Toy Lending Library can be accessed as follows:

  • On line access: individuals can reserve 1 toy and 1 game/puzzle on our Website: earlyonyvaorleans-joujou.com Call (613-830-4357) or email earlyONyva@crcoc.ca to book an appointment to come pick up items.
  • Call or email us to book an appointment. During your appointment at the EarlyON, an iPad will be provided to browse the inventory and obtain your chosen item from the Toy Lending Library.

Items borrowed can be returned at reception Monday to Friday during regular working hours.  When items that are difficult to clean (like books) are returned, they will be isolated for a minimum of 7 days. Other items will be disinfected before returning into circulation.

Only easy to clean and disinfect toys will be lent out.

Families will also be able to pick up toys during in-person programming activities. 


The indoor Cumberland arena playgroup is now open. Please see our website https://www.crcoc.ca/en/early-on/ for details and registration.    The Navan Arena playgroup is currently closed until further notice.   


Outdoor programming is currently available – check Centre website for programming details https://www.crcoc.ca/en/early-on/. Registration for outdoor programming remains necessary. 

We aim to offer outdoor programming rain or shine.  Outdoor programming will be cancelled if temperature is 30° + humidex, below – 25°C or when the windchill is -20°C or greater.  It will also be cancelled if any type of weather caution, alert or warning is in effect.  Please refer to our website or call prior to attending outdoor programming when temperature is questionable. 


Thank you for taking the time to review our policies and procedures.

We are excited to be offering more programming activities and look forward to seeing you!