In a further step to encourage young families, Sicamous council approved having staff partner with School District #83 to provide affordable after-school child care in Parkview Elementary.
Jamie Sherlock, recreation and events manager, provided a report outlining the research she has already done, with a full breakdown of costs, revenue and personnel, citing the need as a number of community families have already approached staff asking if the district could provide such a program.
“Our community has a desperate need for child care,” she said in her report. “The community’s child care needs are likely to increase due to the rise in the number of school-aged kids.”
As such, Sherlock contacted the school board to discuss renting the old kindergarten room, with such use of the space requiring an estimated cleaning fee of $232, four hours of custodial work a week at $116, an approximate rental rate of $2.50 an hour – or $60 per year – and any extra heating costs.
Such costs would be covered by a nominal fee charged to parents, which Sherlock said will be approximately $10 per day, per child. That would be split at 70 per cent to the instructors, with 30 per cent going to the district to help fund the program.
While Sherlock said this will not be a licensed child-care facility but rather an after-school program, the two community members who have already come forward offering to run it both have first-aid tickets, with one a support worker and the other the district swimming instructor. They have offered to facilitate the program for a group of 25 kids, Monday to Friday from 2 to 5:30 p.m.
The school district has given Sherlock permission to go ahead with using the Parkview facility for the program, though no dates or details have been set in stone yet as they finalize a contract.