Some care facilities working with school-aged children will be offering all-day “strike camps” if the teachers’ strike is not resolved by September.

GREATER VICTORIA FAMILY: Care providers gear for September strike

Provision of care in schools could get dicey if no deal reached with teachers

As August marches on with sunshine and heat, parents would normally be starting to eye back-to-school sales and new backpacks.

Unless serious progress is made on the B.C. teachers’ dispute with the province, and soon, students’ summer holidays may be extended a lot further than expected.

“Lots of people I’ve talked to have already said they’re anticipating the teachers won’t be back until October,” said Lucy-Ann Smith, owner and operator of Happy Campers Childcare.

Happy Campers has 12 centres all through Greater Victoria and takes care of 450 to 500 children each day.

Most out-of-school care centres will continue with what they call “strike camps,” said Smith, something they started in June when the teachers’ strike first took effect. Strike camps offer full-day care for parents who have to work and although the government has promised to subsidize parents with $40 per day for each child under-13 to help cover the extra costs, the allowance isn’t going to fix all the headaches parents have been dealing with.

A lot of care centres hire university students for the summer’s influx of kids, said Smith, and come September, they all go back to school. Centres could be left short-staffed and ill-equipped to handle the higher demands for care.

That’s the case with the View Royal Out of School Care Society, said operations manager Leeann Lindberg.

“Most of our staff are university students,” she said. “It’s a matter of seeing if we have enough staff.”

Lindberg said they’re in a particularly sticky situation, because even though they’re not attached to View Royal elementary, the care centre and pre-school is still on the school grounds.

“If the union doesn’t picket the parking lot, then we’re able to stay open,” said Lindberg. But even though the union has been “really good” about letting the centre stay open, the centre still rents a classroom from the school that would be off-limits should the strike continue.

“It’s going to limit the number of children that can attend with us,” Lindberg said.

From staffing challenges and extra costs to scheduling full-day care, to the potential for lost income and the disruption to students, parents and care centres have been hit hard by the teachers’ strike.

And if the rumour mill is true, come September, there may still be a ways to go.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sentencing hearing began for Joel Conway who was convicted of break and enter and sexual assault last year. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Saanich man sentenced to three years in prison for breaking into woman’s home and sexually assaulting her

Crown is asking Joel Conway be sentenced to four years for both charges, to be served concurrent

Victoria fire crews quickly extinguished a multi-unit apartment building fire near Beacon Hill Park on Oct. 30. (Courtesy of Chief Paul Bruce)
Victoria fire crews extinguish multi-unit fire near Beacon Hill Park

Two people have suffered non-life-threatening injuries

Blanshard Street, between Burdett Avenue and Douglas Street, will be closed to traffic Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 while crews repave the road. (City of Victoria)
TRAFFIC ALERT: Section of Blanshard Street will be closed this weekend

Crews will be repaving Blanshard Street between Burdett Avenue and Douglas Street

Victoria police are asking for help locating 14-year-old, high-risk missing youth, Anabella Lilly. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating high-risk missing youth

Police say the circumstances under which 14-year-old Anabella Lilly went missing are ‘high-risk’

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read