This document sets out guidance for the re-introduction of child care provision by Tutoring Centres and Mobile Tutors.
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 tutoring centres and mobile tutors in the Cayman Islands, it is expected that the providers will make modifications to their services and setting to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. To the extent possible, the providers should follow the guidance.
The tutoring centres across the Cayman Islands offer different models of service. Some focus on one-on-one tutoring sessions between a single teacher and a student, others provide small group instruction by one or more teachers and some provide a mix of the two. Some centres provide shorter sessions of one to two hours, some provide half or full day sessions and some a mix of the two. Some centres only offer indoor activities while others offer a mix of indoor and outdoor activities. Mobile tutors and some tutoring centres offer services in private homes.
Tutoring centre operators will have to consider the guidance within the context of the tutoring service that the centre provides. Depending on the tutoring services, some areas of this document may not be relevant. Tutoring centre operators will need to utilize their professional judgment when applying this guidance to their centre or mobile tutoring operations.
Assessment Tool for Tutoring Centres
A Tutoring Centres 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 centres make modifications to their services and settings, 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 student 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 tutoring centre settings as follows:
- Low Risk: Small groups of students stay together all day, each day (i.e. in a bubble*). Students remain at least 3 feet apart and do not share objects. Services are not offered in private homes or public spaces (such as cafés or restaurants). Outdoor activities are prioritised; limit indoor activities to only those where adequate social distancing can occur.
- Medium Risk: Social distancing observed between all students who are not in the same bubble; no social distancing among students in the same bubble. Service is offered in private homes with observation of COVID-19 suppression protocols. 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, services in private homes offered without observing protocols.
*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 tutoring centres to operate as safely as possible, families will need to play a key role in risk mitigation. The centres should contact applicant parents/caregivers that wish their child to attend tutoring to:
- Discuss concerns or questions families have about attending the tutoring centre and how these can be addressed together.
- Educate parents/caregivers on the response plan and new expectations related to COVID-19.
- Explain that health screenings will be conducted daily.
- Set the expectation that parents/caregivers should screen their children at home before arriving at the tutoring centre. Children with a fever or other COVID-19 symptoms should stay home.
- Explain that arrangements must be made to collect their child from the centre immediately upon notification should he/she become ill during the course of the day.
- Explain the tutoring centre’s communication plan including how the centre will communicate with parents about regular operations and health emergencies. Parents/caregivers should provide multiple forms of contact information to allow the tutoring centre operators to quickly contact parents/caregivers if a student 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 tutoring centre 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.
Tutoring centre 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 contact. The contact information of this member should be communicated to all parents/caregivers and all enquiries related to COVID-19 and the tutoring centre 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 the centre and will facilitate a direct path of communication between parents and the centre 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 students who join the centre, there should be a short educational session, tailored to the specific age group, on the behaviours expected of each student 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
Tutoring centres need to consider implementing several strategies to encourage behaviours that reduce the spread of COVID-19; especially considering that most, if not all, activities will be conducted indoors. These include the use of masks/face covering; cleaning and disinfecting; and monitoring the health of staff and students.
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.
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 student, 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 tutoring centre, especially during high traffic times like drop-off and pick-up. Where it is necessary for parents/caregivers to enter the tutoring centre, they should wear a mask and practice social distancing. Where possible, any activities such as making payment, collecting receipts, filling out forms, or collecting tutoring centre information should be conducted without parents/caregivers having to enter the centre so as to limit the number of people entering the tutoring centre environment.
Read more in our guidance document.
Learn more about the responsibility of parents, emergency care plans, what to do if students, staff or volunteers present with symptoms during the day, and more in our full guidance document below.