Parents scramble for daycare amid rotating teachers strikes

Daycares to be first come, first served for elementary students in the event of a full-scale strike

Saanich parents are scrambling to find care for their elementary school-aged children in the wake of the rotating teacher strikes.

And with the possibility of a full-scale strike (the results of a vote by members of the BC Teachers’ Federation are expected Tuesday night), the heightened job action would only make matters worse.

Shannon Donnelly, a part-time employee at Broadmead Care, says she’s blessed with a strong social circle of parents who have backup plans to help each other out. And Donnelly has the added bonus of a flexible private daycare.

“We’re quite lucky because the daycare provider for our three-year-old has also been taking our eldest child (in kindergarten) for the rotating strike days, and has agreed to take him if (the BCTF) goes into a full strike,” Donnelly said.

“It’s great because it opens up spots at the local out-of-school care programs for the other kids. Parents are striving for those spots,” she added.

Tracy Frolek, program manager of the Campus View Out of School Club, which provides care to students at the Gordon Head elementary school, has fielded requests from many concerned parents.

“We get a lot of requests. The strike causes a huge uproar,” Frolek said.

If it opens during the strike, the Out of School Club will take students on a first come, first served basis.

“We already turn students away, and we won’t be able to accommodate all of our current patrons should we choose to run during strike days,” Frolek said. The program rents two portables and uses of the school’s gymnasium, which means it doesn’t have access to the gym during a strike.

Saanich parks and recreation plans to offer day camps at certain rec centres, should a full strike occur.

reporter@saanichnews.com