The provincial government plans to re-purpose child-care centres in schools to support health-care staff and employees who are delivering pandemic-related services, beginning March 23.
Child-care centres in schools have bene closed to clients since March 20, while parents have been receiving communication directly from their child-care providers about this change, according to a news release.
“We thank the child-care providers in schools for working with us during this extraordinary time to provide this essential service for our health care and other pandemic response service employees,” said Gordon Wyant, deputy premier and education minister. “We know the impact this change has on families, but during these times we are looking for everyone to contribute to the support for the broad community response to the COVID-19 virus.”
Priority for these spaces will be given to staff in health care and other pandemic response workers who have infant, toddler, pre-school or school-age children, and who require care as those individuals continue to provide support in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The list of eligible people for the emergency and pandemic response child care spaces includes:
- Employees directly related to providing essential services in health care including employees working in hospitals, long-term care homes, community and primary health, home care, personal care homes, labs, pharmacies, COVID-19 assessment and testing sites, scheduling departments, and payroll departments including nurses, physicians and physician clinic staff, emergency medical services staff, and other staff essential to the operations of these buildings/departments
- Employees working directly in child protection, income assistance, and community living connected to the Ministry of Social Services
- Employees working directly in residential services connected to the Ministry of Social Services
- Child-care centre employees of licensed child-care buildings
- Employees directly related to providing services in SaskPower, SaskEnergy, SaskTel, water and wastewater management
- Employees directly related to providing essential services for police and fire
Employers have been notified to provide information to those workers related to the pandemic, the news release said. An application and information about the process for those who are delivering services related to the pandemic response is available on www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus.
Child-care centres not located in schools can continue to operate as normal, while government funding will continue to be provided. Any changes regarding closures will be based on the advice of the chief medical health officer of Saskatchewan.