Children of essential-service workers returning to school in Cowichan Valley

Some students are returning to eight elementary schools in the Cowichan Valley School District this week as part of a plan to accommodate the children of essential-service workers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The board of education acknowledges the importance of providing free, on-site care and educational instruction for children of essential-service workers during this public-health crisis,” Cowichan Valley School Board chairwoman Candace Spilsbury said. “We are pleased to be able to work with community partners to develop a support system for essential-service workers with children.”

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The school district is taking action as part of the COVID-19 Cowichan Community Child Care Network, which includes the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Child and Family Development, Clements Centre Child Care Resource and Referral, and other groups.

Parents whose work is deemed to be an essential service have been completing surveys to identify care needs for their children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Needs have grown in the wake of the province suspending face-to-face instruction in B.C. schools.

In-school supports will be open Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for kindergarten to Grade 7 students. Those still needing care for a school-age child can contact a school principal.

Essential-service workers with children up to five years-old can access community child care through Clements Centre Child Care Resource and Referral at 250-746-4135, ext. 231 or cbarclay@clementscentre.org.

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