The Greater Victoria School District expects demand will rise for its essential workers’ school care program, which offers care 12 hours per day from Monday to Friday. (Courtesy of SD61)

The Greater Victoria School District expects demand will rise for its essential workers’ school care program, which offers care 12 hours per day from Monday to Friday. (Courtesy of SD61)

About 80 children of essential workers attend SD61 school care program

Demand expected to rise for school-aged kids of health care, emergency workers

About 80 children of essential workers are registered in the Greater Victoria School District’s (SD61) school care program amid the COVID-19 pandemic and demand is expected to rise.

Prioritizing families of tier-one service workers – emergency response, law enforcement, social services and health care – the program is for school-aged children between five and twelve years old who are already enrolled in the District.

“We need to support our frontline workers as they continue to protect us and maintain essential services that keep our community functioning,” said SD61 Superintendent Shelley Green in a statement. “Our schools are open to serve the families whose parents or guardians are in critical roles—and we are putting forward every effort to ensure these students have a safe and positive experience in our care.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19: School-based lunch programs expand to feed thousands during crisis

The initiative follows an online survey conducted to connect the District directly to parents and guardians in need of school care.

“District staff have gone above and beyond to get this program up and running in such short order,” said Board Chair Jordan Watters in a statement. “A big kudos to the Educational Assistants who are stepping forward to care for our students in this challenging time and our custodians who are keeping our buildings clean and safe. The level of commitment our staff has shown toward students and families is impressive and we are proud of the service they are providing.”

The program has been running for about two weeks at 13 Greater Victoria schools. Services run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Essential service workers requiring childcare for school-aged children can contact the District directly by emailing community@sd61.bc.ca.

READ ALSO: ‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

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