Change Toronto Public Health's new regulations for Childcare Centres. We want consistency!

Change Toronto Public Health's new regulations for Childcare Centres. We want consistency!

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Kira Mandl started this petition to Association of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario and

I am an Early Childhood Educator and I work at school based childcare centre in Toronto, sharing space and caring for the same children that the TDSB employees for during the day.

Toronto Public Health has added new regulations for childcare centres that have come into effect immediately. The regulations include:

  • Wearing a medical grade disposable mask (not cloth) at all times while in the childcare facility,
  • Wearing a full face shield at all times while inside the childcare facility

Early Childhood Educators and child care workers are concerned with these changes for a number of reasons:

  1. Wearing a face shield not only hinders our vision, it affects the relationship we build with the children. It is scary and unwelcoming.
  2. The face shields were not required all summer, only masks.
  3. The TDSB employees that work in the same building as many childcare workers are not required to wear a shield unless they cannot maintain physical distance with a student
  4. Childcare and school have once again been given a different set of rules for working with the same children.
  5. Disposable medical face masks were not required all summer with the exception of screening staff and if we were dealing with a sick child or bodily fluids.
  6. Children were not required to have masks all summer unless they were ill (which never happened at my centre). We are now requiring all children in the centre to wear a mask (in an attempt to remain consistent with the school's guidelines). So why are cloth masks now unacceptable?

This petition is to ask Toronto Public Heath to amend these unnecessary requirements and give childcare centres some consistencies with the schools they are working inside of.

While I recognize that childcare workers who are changing diapers, cleaning up bodily fluids, and dealing with sick children should wear a shield to protect themselves from getting sick, it is a ludicrous requirement that all childcare staff must wear one for their entire shift.

I have written a letter to our Premier in hopes of gaining his support in this and I hope you will join us in signing and sharing this petition to gain fair, logical, and consistent conditions for all people that are working with  children during this time.

 

My letter to the Premier is below:

"Hi Mr. Ford,

I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator in a childcare centre in Toronto. While I understand that this is a city issue, I was hoping to have your support on something that is illogical in my opinion.

Toronto Public Health has recently decided that childcare workers are required to wear disposable medical face masks as well as a face shield all day when in the childcare building. Our school based childcare centre was open for 7 weeks in the summer, cloth masks work by staff and no shields. We did not have a single case of covid and all children and staff were healthy. Teachers and all staff that work for the TDSB and who work in the same building as myself and 25 other childcare staff have not received the same requirements. They are required only to have mask on (has not been specified whether it must be a medical grade disposable mask or not). And will wear a shield only when physical distancing with students is not possible. (This is taken from a module that a tdsb employee has provided to me)

I do not believe it is best practice for us to be forced to wear a shield over our faces all day as it is a hindrance to our connecting with the children in our care, specifically the younger ones that may be new to our centre. The shields feel isolating and reduce our vision. While we have ships for dealing with sick children, bodily fluids, or when closer to a child than 6 feet for a prolonged period of time, wearing them fr 8 hours without taking them off at all is overkill and feels more like a performance for Toronto Public Health rather than an actual precaution for safety.

In addition to being concerned about the barriers of connecting with children, we are also concerned about the waste from an environmental standpoint, as wearing multiple disposable masks each day is wasteful and unnecessary. There are wonderful alternatives including multiple layeres masks that you insert disposable filters resulting in less waste.

Additionally, I would like to mention that all our children in our centre wears masks all day as we have decided to make the same policy as the tdsb which requires every child jk and up to wear a mask. We do not have infants or toddlers and are not diapering or often carrying/holding children.

In summary, our main concerns are:
-inconsistencies between school and child care
-barriers with connecting with children
- unnecessary wastefulness

I understand you are busy but I am working to find a way to fight this and it would be amazing to have your support in some form. Thank you for your time. And Thank you for everything you have done for the Province!"

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!