To support parents who are essential service workers during the response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Province is launching a new process.This process will match parents, who are working on the front lines of B.C.’s COVID-19 response and have children up to five years of age, with child care in their communities.Starting today, essential workers can fill out a new “parent” form to identify their need for urgent child care. Forms can be accessed by calling 1 888 338-6622 and selecting Option 4, or online:
www.gov.bc.ca/essential-service-child-careChild Care Resource Referral (CCRR) centres in 38 communities will act as community-based hubs. The CCRRs will reach out to essential-service workers in their area who filled in the form to connect them with available licensed child care spaces.Applicants will be asked:
- which category of essential worker they are;
- their child’s age; and
- in which community they need child care.
Child care spaces will be prioritized for children whose parents work in public health and health services, social services, law enforcement, first responders and emergency response sectors. Additional spaces will then be given to families working in other crucial roles, defined as essential service workers.
The number of spaces available for essential service workers will be up to each child care operator, based on its licensed capacity and following any additional health requirements established by the provincial health officer.
Hours of operation for spaces will vary by facility. While many centres are open Monday to Friday, others may offer care on the weekends and outside the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Government is monitoring whether the needs of essential service workers for care outside of regular hours are being met.
Child care centres, which are open, are required to follow the child care licensing regulation and guidelines on how to prevent the spread of and protect children and staff from COVID-19. This includes proper handwashing, regular cleaning and disinfecting, as well as identifying children who are sick. Families who want to access child care services must also continue to ensure their children are practising physical distancing with anyone outside of their immediate family circle.
To help the child care sector through this pandemic, the Ministry of Children and Family Development is providing temporary emergency funding to support providers and ensure access to child care is maintained for essential service workers.
Licensed providers that are open and operating are eligible to receive emergency funding at a rate of seven times their average monthly child care operating base funding. Centres will continue to be eligible for the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative and the Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement. In addition, families accessing care from these providers may be eligible for the Affordable Child Care Benefit.
The form and matching process are temporary. They will remain in place for as long as the provincial health officer advises that all parents who can, should care for their children at home and that child care services can and must be provided for those families whose parents work in critical roles.
The Ministry of Education has been working closely with school districts and independent schools to identify and support children, aged five to 12 years (kindergarten to Grade 6), whose parents are essential service workers, with a focus on public health and health services, social services, law enforcement, first responders and emergency response sectors. School districts and independent school authorities have been asked to ensure students whose parents work in these fields have access to care during regular before-, during- and after-school hours.
Hours of care will vary by school district and independent school. If essential service workers who have school-aged children need before-, during- and after-hours care for their children, they are asked to contact their school district directly. Most school districts have already reached out directly to families through surveys to gather information on urgent child care needs.
As British Columbians navigate these uncertain times together, parents who can are asked to care for their children at home. All children and staff who are ill with fever, have cold, influenza or infectious respiratory symptoms of any kind must stay home. If they are unsure of their status, BCCOVID-19 BC Support App and Self-Assessment Tool and the BC Centre for Disease Control’s online assessment tool can help assess whether or not they can return to child care.
Frequently asked questions about the matching program can be found here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/FAQ_COVID_and_Child%20Care_Mar_30.pdf
To view the list of essential services in B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/family-and-social-supports/covid-19/list_of_essential_services.pdf
For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community from COVID-19, and to use an online self-assessment tool, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/
BCCOVID-19 BC Support App and Self-Assessment Tool: https://bc.thrive.health/
The BC Centre for Disease Control’s online assessment tool: http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.
For a traditional Chinese translation: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/IB_child_care_matching_March30_Chinese.pdf
For a French translation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/IB_child_care_matching_March30.pdf
For a Punjabi translation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/IB_child_care_matching_March30_punjabi.pdf
Urgent and Primary Care Centres – Services and Resources
Urgent and Primary Care Centres provide better access to same-day, urgent, non-emergency health care, including the evening and weekends, and are an alternative to visiting emergency departments for issues that do not need to be seen in a hospital.
April 1, 2020
We know that plan members want to ensure they have enough medication at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. With many of us social distancing and self-isolating, it might be difficult for plan members to get to their pharmacy. Many pharmacies offer home delivery. But if a plan member’s pharmacy doesn’t have home delivery, we can help.
April 3, 2020
We know that these are challenging times. We encourage you to watch our recorded
webinar We’re all in this together: boosting our mental wellness and share it with plan
members. Our Director, Mental Health Solutions and Registered Psychologist, Carmen
Bellows, will guide you through possible ways to care for your mental wellness as we face extraordinary times together.
Learn how to:
Get ahead of the stress curve.
Practice positive social distancing.
Find the mental wellness tools and resources available for you.
Your health and the health of plan members is a top priority. We’re all in this together.
Questions? We’re here to help.
Please check our Group Benefits COVID-19 website daily for updates.
If you have questions about our response to COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to call your Group Benefits representative.
‘Coronavirus (COVID19): How to stay healthy and protect yourself’ and provides some great tips:Below is some good information and tips sent out by Sunlife on the Coronavirus and how to stay healthy. Please share it with your staff teams.
Is all the talk about coronavirus making you nervous? Are Canadians at risk? Here’s what you need to know about it.
For many, getting sick inevitably comes as the snow flies. But with so much talk about coronavirus going around, you may start to feel concerned.
True, the latest coronavirus – called COVID-19 – is more serious than the common flu. And, the amount of media coverage and attention around the disease can be worrying. So what can you do to stay calm, prepared and alert right now? Get a clear understanding of your risk level, practice some simple healthy habits and look to trusted sources for advice.
To start, here’s a quick breakdown of how COVID-19 started, its symptoms and risk to Canadians.
What is coronavirus?
According to the Government of Canada, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses. These viruses can cause various illnesses, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.
In December 2019, there were a number of reported cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. The cause was later confirmed as a new coronavirus called COVID-19. Health officials have reported thousands of infections with COVID-19 in China. It wasn’t long until other countries began reporting outbreaks as well.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Some cornaviruses spread between animals and some between animals and people. Others can spread from people to people.
- runny nose,
- sore throat,
- fever and/or
- a general feeling of being unwell
Are Canadians at risk of coronavirus?
COVID-19 has emerged in several other countries apart from China, including the U.S., Japan, Germany, Italy and Britain.
Canada has reported a few cases of COVID-19 as well. Does this mean coronavirus poses a threat to Canadians? No, for the time being. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) says Canadians at home are currently at a low risk.
Are Canadians travelling abroad at risk?
The PHAC further added that Canadians travelling abroad are also at low risk, but their risk levels vary depending on their travel destination.
Are you planning on going overseas or heading south to the States? The Public Health Agency of Canada(PHAC) recommends looking at travel advisories on travel.gc.ca. You can search by the country you’re visiting to find the latest information on:
- possible health hazards and health restrictions,
- local safety and security conditions and which areas to avoid,
- entry and exit requirements and more.
How to protect yourself from coronavirus
With the COVID-19 situation changing everyday, you can stay calm, healthy and prepared with a few simple tips.
- Wash your hands regularly
Wash your hands every two to three hours, using proper hand-washing techniques. Use lots of soap and hot water, and be sure to rub vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Clean your surroundings
Whether you’re at home or work, try to maintain a clean living space. Use disinfecting wipes on tables, kitchen surfaces, desks, telephones and anything else you frequently touch.
- Keep away from common areas when you can
Avoid touching commonly shared surfaces such as washroom doorknobs, kitchen counters, or stair railings as much as possible.
- Don’t touch your face with unclean hands
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth whenever possible.
5. Practise self-care and eat healthy foods
Take care of yourself by getting lots of rest, staying hydrated, exercising regularly and making an effort to eat more fresh fruits and veggies. All of these activities boost your immune system and allow your body to better fight the germs that cause illness.
- Open windows (if you can)
If your home or office and the weather allow it, open your windows to get some fresh air circulating.
7. See a doctor or qualified health professional.
Do you feel concerned about any cold and flu symptoms you’re experiencing? Consult your doctor or a qualified health-care provider. The sooner you get treatment, the faster you’ll recover.
8. Stay at home if you get sick
Ask your employer if they have any clear policies and procedures in place for global health events like COVID-19. Some employers may insist that you stay at home or work from home if you’re feeling sick or experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. Other employers and companies recommend self-isolation for a certain amount of time if you:
- have recently travelled to a country with a coronavirus outbreak or
- have been in contact with someone who’s travelled to a country with a coronavirus outbreak.
- Consult your HR department for more info
- Don’t panic and get accurate information.
Hearing about the spread of coronavirus in the news can feel daunting. But try not to panic. Think of it in the same you would a bad weather situation. In case it happens, you want to be prepared and alert. This means looking to trusted sources for advice on what to do if an outbreak happens in your community.
We recommend visiting the following sites for the latest updates on COVID-19:
We’ll continue to provide further updates as we have them. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact email@example.com
Some Important Health & Safety Standard Precautions to pay attention to during cold and flu season:
Some other important tips to consider in an attempt to reduce the spread of germs:
Disinfect the following areas frequently or after each use:
Frequently used surfaces
Kitchen and bathroom faucets
Door and cabinet handles
Toilet and Bathroom surfaces
Wash hands thoroughly once these tasks are completed.
It’s important to wear gloves when cleaning an area that may be contaminated and/or for when in potential contact with any blood, bodily fluids/droplets or waste.
A mask can also be worn if in contact with someone that might be ill and/or where blood, body fluids or feces could likely splash on the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth.
Universal Precautions are essential to protect ourselves from germs, illness and disease.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you referred a New Hire to Spectrum?
Referrals are one of the best ways to recruit! We appreciate all of them, so please keep sending them our way!
If you refer someone you know to Spectrum and they are hired and stay with us for 9 months, we’ll provide you with a $50 bonus as a thank you for sending us great people!!
Please make sure you let the person you’re referring know to mention you when they apply and come in for their interview. It’s also a good idea to email email@example.com and give Human Resources a heads up.
Dear Municipal plan member,
Wondering how being a member of the plan, returning from parental leave, getting a separation or divorce, changing jobs, or choosing a pension option could affect your future pension? Are you nearing retirement and curious how planning now can make your transition to retirement easier? Find answers to your pension questions with free pension education!
New and potential members
Getting to Know Your Pension is 15 minutes of online learning that will introduce you to the value and benefits of plan membership
Members establishing their career or several years away from retirement
Making the Most of Your Pension can help you maximize your pension by understanding how the decisions you make throughout your career affect your pension when you retire
Take 45 minutes of online learning or attend the two-hour workshop
Members planning for or within five years of retirement
Approaching Retirement is a two–hour workshop designed to help you understand the important decisions you need to make about your pension
Workshops fill up quickly so register early to make sure you can attend the date of your choice. If a workshop is full, you can be placed on a waitlist or you may take a workshop at an alternative location.
For more information, and to take online learning or register for a workshop, visit mpp.pensionsbc.ca.
If you have taken online learning or attended a workshop, please encourage your colleagues to take pension education so they can benefit from learning more about their pension.
Whether you take online learning or attend a workshop, you’ll get the information you need to prepare for your future pension.
mpp.pensionsbc.ca Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helps You with Personal and Professional Concerns – Employee Assistance Program EAP
If you are currently enrolled in our employee group benefits, you are eligible to receive support from the EAP.
Information on our new EAP is available at: https://www.workhealthlife.com/sunlife
or by phone at 1-855-544-7722
What can you get help with?
Parenting and Child Care
Midlife & Retirement
Financial and Legal Issues
Health & Wellness
For more information and to access the program, please contact Human Resources at email@example.com