With September just around the corner, schedules are still up in the air for parents and their children due to the BC teachers strike.
Erika Whittaker will be able to stay home with her girls, Lauren, who is supposed to be starting Kindergarten and her younger daughter Chloe.
“I just hope the teachers get what they need,” said Whittaker. “My brother and sister are both teachers, so I’m behind them 100 per cent, whatever they need.”
Carolyn Wick’s son Nolan is also supposed to be starting Kindergarten this September, while her older daughter Tia will be going into Grade 2. Wick said she will probably be asking her mom to help babysit when she is unavailable.
“I’m lucky I work from home, so my hours are flexible,” said Wick. “It’ll just make for a longer summer.”
However, Wick said her guess is that school will be back in session by mid-Sept.
If the strike does continue into the new school year, Oak Bay Recreation has created a contingency plan for parents who are not able to stay home with their kids.
It will offer six different programs that will run during the day.
“We’re limited in what we can offer because we have so many programs offered for the fall, so we don’t have the same space that we would in the summer,” said Janet Barclay, manager of recreation program services.
“It’s not going to meet everybody’s needs, but we hope to put a dent in that.”
There has been a quick response from some parents to sign their kids up, but spaces are still available in all of the programs, said Barclay.
“Right away we had people just needing to have that reassurance that they’ve got something to go to,” said Barclay. “Our real hope is that it’s not needed. We really hope that school is back in the fall.”
If the strike does not go ahead, parents will be fully reimbursed for any programs they paid for.
Kids prepare to play the strike away
Programs offered by Oak Bay Rec during the teachers’ strike include skidaddle, a multi-activity program including swimming, crafts and outdoor games; soccertron co-ed full day and half day camps, which help kids improve their soccer skills; grand slam golf and tennis, where each day is split up between tennis and golf; fun unlimited, which, like skidaddle, involves various activities such as swimming and games; junior lifeguard camp, which teaches kids who have passed swim kids level four about lifesaving and lifeguarding; sportball multisport camp, which includes crafts, music and games.
Skidaddle, soccertron and fun unlimited are flexible camps in that parents can register their children for one day at a time if they do not want to commit to a full week.
If the strike does continue, Oak Bay Rec will also be adding public skates on Fridays from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and public swims during the day of the first week of September only. These are scheduled for Sept. 2, 3 and 4 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. and Sept 5 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
For the duration of the strike, there will be a public swim every Friday from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Is your family ready for more strike action? What’s your plan to cope?
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