Okanagan childcare provider believes province should halt daycares if schools close - InfoNews

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Okanagan childcare provider believes province should halt daycares if schools close

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March 16, 2020 - 6:30 PM

An Okanagan childcare society member says if the province decides to stop public school attendance then daycares should also be shut down.

The provincial government will make an announcement March 17 at 3 p.m. as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country.

Betty Cleland is a board member with Childhood Connections – Okanagan Family and Childcare Society. She said if the province closes daycares and schools, all levels of government and communities need to offer their support to parents.

“Any time you have a pandemic, you need to collaborate in order to address it,” she said.

READ MORE: The good and bad consequences of school closures amid a disease outbreak

In speaking with parents, she said daycare closures are "a grave concern" as many need the service in order to work, but they also value the safety of their children and the general population. 

I don’t think there’s a win-win here, there’s sacrifice to be made in order to address the virus and I believe for years childcare advocates have been saying we need a universally funded system that will support families because childcare is an essential service,” she said.

Schools and daycares across the rest of Canada are already shutting down. Alberta is closing both public schools and daycares, according to an announcement made by Education Minister Adriana LaGrange.

Cleland said childcare workers need support as well.

READ MORE: Quebec to shut schools, daycares, universities in response to COVID-19 outbreak

"The childcare world is waiting for the announcements just as everyone else is and doing the best they can at this point to support parents and provide childcare and yet recognizing that there are care providers as well who need those supports,” she said. “Everyone is affected and we need support systems to mitigate some of those stressors to be at homes and be at peace.”

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