08/26/2014 11:15 EDT | Updated 10/26/2014 05:59 EDT

Striking B.C. Teachers Offering $40 Daycare Services Online

Many striking teachers in B.C. are setting up day camps and childcare services for school kids starting next week, under the expectation none of them will be back in classrooms next week.

Ads for the day-long educational daycare services are appearing on Craigslist and other online sites, along with ads from many other childcare providers offering services during the ongoing provincewide strike.

Surrey teacher Olga Orth says she and her colleague are prepared to take in up to 12 students if a labour settlement isn't reached by next week.

"We've just decided to help out parents struggling to find daycare for their school-aged children, because parents are going to be stressed out," said Orth.

"It's such a long summer for kids already, and they usually lose a lot of their learning already over just a regular 10-week summer.

"We thought, let's just try and help parents put their children where they know they're going to be cared for, plus they're going to get that education that they're missing."

She and her collegue are offering to take care of children for $40 a day — the same amount the government has offered to pay parents of school children under the age of 13 if the strike is not settled by Sept. 2.

"We've got four kids signed up now. It's kind of kicking off right now. We're thinking we might have more inquiries."

'Looking for childcare in September?'

Another ad for South Surrey reads:

"Looking for Childcare in September should the strike continue? I am an English teacher (20 years exp.) and mother available to care for up to 3 school aged children in my home. Activities will include games, crafts, baking, walks and other outings. $40 per day."

According to the B.C. Health Ministry website, a person without a licence may care for their own children in their home and two children that are not related to them by blood or marriage.

The ministry cautions parents that it doesn't monitor  unlicensed facilities and parents are responsible for assessing the quality of care and to use these services at their own risk.  

B.C.'s 41,000 teachers have been on strike and locked out since June. Teachers resumed picketing at schools this week and negotiations appear to have been stalled for most of the summer.

Schools are scheduled to start on Sept. 2, but the government has promised it will not legislate teachers back to work and has warned parents to be prepared to children to be out of school until the ongoing contract dispute is settled.


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