This document sets out guidance for the re-introduction of child care provision by Camp Providers (Registered Non-Profit Organisations and Businesses with valid Trade & Business Licence) and Vacation Bible School (VBS) Providers (Churches and Registered Non-Profit Organisations)
This guidance ensures that as many children and young people as possible are enabled to safely receive childcare and safely return to childcare settings at the earliest date on which it is safe to do this.
During the relaunch of camps and VBS in the Cayman Islands, it is expected that the childcare providers will make modifications to their services and setting to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. To the extent possible, the childcare providers should follow the guidance in this document.
Assessment Tool for Camp and Vacation Bible Schools
ACamp and Vacation Bible School Assessment Tool is available within the guidance document for providers to use that will assist them with determining:
- the modifications to their services and settings that they have put into place
- to what extent they have incorporated the guidance as set out in this document in the plans for the delivery of their childcare service during COVID-19 Suppression Level 2 (Minimal Suppression).
As childcare providers make modifications to their services and setting, to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, they should do so with consideration for the assessment of risk as measured by activity setting, social distancing and level of interaction.
The more people a camper or staff member interacts with, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in camp and VBS settings as follows:
- Low Risk: Small groups of campers stay together all day, each day (i.e. in a bubble*). Campers remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects. Outdoor activities are prioritised; limit indoor activities to only those where adequate social distancing can occur.
- Medium Risk: Social distancing observed between all campers who are not in the same bubble; no social distancing among campers in the same bubble. Minimise sharing of objects. Outdoor activities are prioritised; limit indoor activities to only those where adequate social distancing can occur.
- High Risk: Indoor and outdoor activities; no social distancing; no bubbles.
*Bubble: It is recommended that groups be organised within the camp environment to create a ‘bubble’. This is a group of campers who will be consistently grouped during the total duration of the camp. Ideally, each bubble should be assigned a dedicated staff member or staff team. Bubbles limit the number of persons a camper comes into contact with thereby helping to reduce any potential spread of Covid-19. In addition, should contract tracing be necessary it makes it much easier to identify who any one camper has come into contact with.
Communication and Education
For camps and vacation Bible schools to operate as safely as possible, families will need to play a key role in risk mitigation. The providers should contact applicant parents/caregivers that wish their child to attend camp/VBS to:
- Discuss concerns or questions families have about attending camp or VBS and how you can address them together.
- Educate parents/caregivers on the response plan and new expectations related to COVID-19.
- Explain that health screenings will be conducted daily.Educate parents/caregivers on the response plan and new expectations related to COVID-19.
- Set the expectation that parents/caregivers should screen their children at home before arriving at camp or VBS. Children with a fever or other COVID-19 symptoms should stay home.
- Explain the child care provider’s communication plan including how the camp/VBS will communicate with parents about regular operations and health emergencies. Parents/caregivers should provide multiple forms of contact information to allow the operators to quickly contact parents/caregivers if a camper gets sick and needs to be picked up.
- Discuss any health concerns/conditions which may make the child at higher risk for complications if exposed to COVID-19. Remind families that immunocompromised children and children with chronic health conditions should consult with their primary care provider regarding decisions about camp or VBS attendance.
Signs highlighting key messages such as physical distancing, covering cough, and frequent handwashing should be posted at all entrances/exits and other key areas of the facility. Signs should be age appropriate, and where possible utilise pictures or illustrations to ensure children understand the intended message. Where relevant and helpful, markings that are at least six feet apart on the floor can be placed indicating where children should stand or sit. Where one-way systems of movement, or other measures are introduced to reduce incidental close contact, make appropriate markings with signage or tape.
Camp and vacation Bible school policies, guidance and relevant government documents/information should be shared to all staff/volunteers and parents/caregivers, as appropriate. Given the drastic change in the delivery of operations, a meeting with staff prior to reopening, and as changes are introduced, is encouraged to ensure everyone is clear on the arrangements in place. Consistency in the execution of these arrangements across the staff is critical.
It is recommended that a staff member be designated as the primary COVID-19 camp/vacation Bible school contact. The contact information of this member should be communicated to all parents/caregivers and all enquiries related to COVID-19 and the camp/VBS should be answered by that person. Having an identified point person for parents/caregivers to contact will help to alleviate their concerns about sending their child to camp/VBS and will facilitate a direct path of communication between parents and the camp with respect to COVID-19.
An effective method of communication with staff as well as parents/caregivers needs to be established in order to keep them abreast of any changes in policy and on any operational updates. This communication should be two-way communication which provides the opportunity for staff as well as parents/caregivers to communicate with the programme leadership and voice any concerns.
Staff and volunteers should be trained on all safety protocols and in the identification of COVID-19 symptoms.
At the first session of each group of new campers, there should be a short educational session, tailored to the specific age group, on the behaviours expected of each camper to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Topics to cover should include: hand washing, the importance of not sharing items, coughing and sneezing etiquette, the avoidance of touching one’s face, and physical distancing.
Promoting Behaviours that Reduce Spread of COVID-19
Childcare providers need to consider implementing several strategies to encourage behaviours that reduce the spread of COVID-19. These include the use of masks/face covering; cleaning and disinfecting; and monitoring the health of staff and campers.
Learn more in our guidance document.
Cleaning and Disinfection
While research into the COVID-19 virus is ongoing, we know that the virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (through coughing and sneezing), and touching contaminated surfaces. The virus may survive on surfaces for a few hours up to several days. Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces regularly are important precautions to lower the risk of infection.
Learn more in our guidance.
Camper Drop-off and Pick-up
Programmes should develop procedures for drop-off and pick-up that support physical distancing and separate bubbles to the greatest extent possible. Possible strategies include separate bubble entrances, having one designated parent/caregiver pick up and drop off each camper, staggering entry by bubble, or limiting the numbers of people in entry areas. Consideration should be given to the use of technology for such activities as registration (to avoid paper forms) and the daily screening to minimise contact and mitigate against delays at arrival. Unless absolutely necessary, parents/caregivers should not enter the camp, especially during high traffic times like drop-off and pick-up.
Where it is necessary for parents/caregivers to enter the camp, they should wear a mask and practice social distancing. Where possible, any activities such as making payment, collecting receipts, filling out camp forms, or collecting camp information should be conducted without parents/caregivers having to enter the camp so as to limit the number of people entering the camp/VBS environment.
Read more in our guidance document.
Staff and Essential Visitors Camp Access
Efforts should be made to limit access to the camp by persons not directly involved with the delivery of the camp’s activities. All essential visitors and staff should wear masks/face coverings, visitors should practice social distancing, and to the extent possible, staff should practice social distancing. All staff reporting to work and essential visitors should be screened for COVID-19 symptoms with the following questions:
- Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days (Note: does not apply to medical personnel, first responders, or other individuals who encounter COVID-19 as part of their professional or caregiving duties while wearing appropriate PPE).
- Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?
- Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
- Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
- Have you had vomiting or diarrhoea in the last 24 hours?
Any visitor or staff member who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., answers “yes” to any of the screening questions or who is running a fever) is required to leave the premises immediately and seek medical care and/or COVID-19 testing. Employers should maintain the confidentiality of employee health information.
Once a staff member/essential visitor has passed the screening process they are to practice hand hygiene (use of hand sanitizer or washing of hands) prior to touching any surface.
Read more in our guidance document.
Camps/VBS should keep daily records of anyone entering the camp/facility (e.g. staff working each day, campers, etc.). Records should be kept up-to-date and available to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an outbreak.
Learn more about the responsibility of parents, emergency care plans, what to do if campers, staff or volunteers present with symptoms during the day, mental health, field trips, meals, considerations for special needs and high-risk campers and programme delivery in our full guidance document below.