Strike prompts improvised child care
The strike at B.C. schools means parents are scrambling for child-care options heading into September. (REUTERS)
Both parents and teachers fearing the worst in the coming school year are taking child-care matters into their own hands.
In some cases, those putting up the day camps have even designed curricula so kids don’t spend the days watching TV or lazing about.
Mom of four Kelly Cresswell already babysits for other parents in her Surrey neighbourhood. She’s been recently posting advertisements online offering to take young children for $40 a day — the same amount as what’s offered in a government subsidy — if the strike continues.
“We’ll do curriculum, we’ll do some reading, depending on how old they are, colouring — if they’re older pulling some math stuff online,” Cresswell said.
“So when they do finally go back to school it won’t be all forgotten. It’s been a long summer.”
Teachers Kathy Lewis and Olga Orth are similarly putting together a class of six students each if the strike goes into September.
“We’re actually looking at the traditional day 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ... which is typical for a school setting,” Lewis said Monday.
She said individual teachers are limited in their ability to affect the bargaining process, but at least this way they can share “something as close to a traditional classroom setting” as possible.
According to the provincial government, day camps can operate without a licence during limited periods of school disruption — as long as children are five or older and are going into school.