CALGARY — With stage one of Alberta’s relaunch happening as early as Thursday, Calgary daycares are preparing to open to children once again.
Though select care centres have been open for care workers for weeks, the rest of the province’s day homes are part of the first phase of the relaunch.
Guidelines released Monday show groups must be limited to the people, including staff and children, and strict sanitization measures must be followed.
Staff at Little Scholars Daycare in northeast Calgary spent Tuesday cleaning the entire facility in anticipation of a Thursday opening. Hand sanitizer and masks have been placed at each of the centre’s entrances for when parents drop off their kids.
“We’ll have a questionnaire form to sign by the parents every day. They’re going to tell us if the child is okay,” says Gargi Saini, who owns the centre with her husband.
“We’re going to measure the temperature as well. So we’ll check the body temperature before we accept any child.”
Saini says the limited spots for children filled up completely in a matter of hours. Around $7,000 dollars was spent on sanitizer and masks for staff, and the centre’s owners know they won’t be making money until most of the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but they’re still offering discounts for parents who are having financial difficulties.
“We’re not making money, but that’s alright. We’re all in this together, all Albertans,” says Little Scholars Daycare co-owner Raj Saini.
“Our share of that contribution is 20 per cent off. Even though… our operational costs will go up at least 40 per cent,” he says.
Day camps are also part of the initial provincial relaunch, but the City of Calgary is still assessing whether it will be able to offer some of its children’s summer camps.
“If we can answer the question on whether we can run them safely, then we will be really pleased to be able to provide those as options for children and families this summer,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi.