With the dispute between the province and the teachers stretching into the new school year, parents are finding themselves scrambling to make other arrangements. Some, like Richelle McKenzie who has a 10-year-old and an eight-year-old enrolled in public schools, are making do with friends and family.
“I’m lucky, I’m working with other families, working together to try and make it work,” she said.
Some cities in the province have begun adding programs in an attempt to provide parents with alternate child support arrangements but according to director of Parks, Recreation and Heritage Scott Kenny, Port Alberni just doesn’t have the staff available.
“We don’t really have the staff to do that and we’ll see just how long it stretches,” Kenny said.
“We don’t have staff on hand to run the programs, so we’d have to organize it through contract staff.”
While many daycares are filling up, parents without childcare have a few options. The Salvation Army is running a daycamp for children from kindergarten to Grade 5. The camp will run from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $20 a day per child and activities will include games, stories and arts and crafts. For more information and to register, parents can call Major Kristiana Mac Kenzie at 250-723-6913.
Shining Star Child Care is looking into using a neighbouring facility for more space to accommodate extra children. The child care takes elementary age children and is $36 per day. Parents can call 250-724-9699 for more information.
Stepping Stones Day Care is close to being full but parents looking to get on a waitlist or try for a drop-in spot can drop by 4645 Helen St. to get a registration package or call 250-720-0957. The day care takes children ages six to 12 and it’s $40 a day per child for a full day and $25 for a half day up to four hours.