Before- and after-school programs (BASP) provide important care for families and their children outside of instructional hours and days. The Ministry of Education recently announced revised Operational Guidelines for licensed child care operators to support the safe reopening of programs across the province. Updates have also been made to the Before and After School Kindergarten to Grade 6 Policies and Guidelines to provide COVID-19-related operational guidance.
At this time, the Ministry has confirmed authorized recreation provider-operated after school programs and Extended Day Programs will be required to follow standard ratios and maximum group sizes set out in the Before and After School Kindergarten to Grade 6 Policies and Guidelines. Additionally, licensed child cares are required to develop infection prevention and control policies and procedures as per the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Settings.
In September, school boards are expected to support cohorting of students to the greatest extent possible. While this can be challenging for students attending BASP, schools and BASP operators will collaborate to ensure that student lists and information are maintained and readily available to be provided to Toronto Public Health for contact tracing purposes.
While the full return to school supports the continued implementation of BASPs in TDSB schools during the 2020-21 school year, the decision to operate and determine operating capacities for licensed BASP and authorized recreation programs will be made by organizations and individual program operators. TDSB operated Extended Day Programs will continue to operate this year, and over the coming weeks staff will be confirming enrollment with families to determine maximum operating capacities across the 18 schools, while maintaining the cost recovery mandate.