Offers of childcare for Kamloops parents left in the lurch by devastating school fire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Offers of childcare for Kamloops parents left in the lurch by devastating school fire

Parkcrest Elementary School in Kamloops was destroyed by a fire on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. Pictured is what is left of the structure the next morning, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.
September 06, 2019 - 11:50 AM

KAMLOOPS - With the fiery destruction of Parkcrest Elementary School comes an opportunity for the community to build support for those affected. Families have been left without childcare until Sep. 13 as the school board works out where to place the students.

In addition to childcare centers and day camps opening their doors, some residents are doing whatever they can to assist the affected families.

Kamloops residents have taken to Facebook to offer their help, opening their homes to take care of children who have nowhere else to go.

Emerald May is one of those people. She is a stay at home mother and often watches her friend's children. She posted to a local Kamloops Facebook page last night offering assistance to families who have no childcare option, and who can’t take the time off work.

“I’m sure there's going to be a lot of people doing this sort of thing because it’s kind of what Kamloops does, we want to help each other out,” May says.

May says she and her next-door neighbour, who is her best friend and a mother as well, will work together to care for children.

“I have my own place, a yard, a patio, and some play equipment,” May says. “I'm close to the Brock park where the playground is and the pool is so I'm just trying to make my home available for anyone who might need it.”

For those who prefer in-home childcare, Bianca Wray is offering her babysitting service free or by-donation.

“I recently lost my job, and while I have been job hunting, I have a week of free time,” Wray says.

Wray says she has a long history working with kids, which started while she herself attended Parkcrest Elementary School.

“I actually started babysitting while I was at Parkcrest,” Wray says. “I was in grade seven.”

Wray has multiple years of experience working with children, including those on the autism spectrum. She has volunteered with People in Motion, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and the Out of the Cold shelter.

Wray and May are just two of the many community members who have stepped up to offer some sort of service to those affected by the fire. They both recognize the strain put on families affected.

“It’s a hard time for people,” Wray says. “I imagine some people don't have the choice of calling in for a week.”

There are additional posts offering childcare on Kamloops Facebook pages, such as Brock & North Shore Watch. You can contact Emerald May by phoning 250-318-4551. Click here to send an email to Bianca Wray.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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