In a frantic search for portables or spaces close to Valley View and Arden schools, Carla Carrier is worried come fall there might be parents with kids who have nowhere to go before and after school.
Carrier is the president of Wee Care Early Childhood Centres Inc., which provides before- and after-school care for children in kindergarten to Grade 6 at five Comox Valley schools. She explained because schools are full, they are running out of space to provide care, and there are little or no funds to bring in extra space (portables).
“Right now at Valley View, we’re in a portable, and the roof leaks, and there’s no money to find another,” she noted. “We’ve been searching around … we need a portable now. Parents can’t work without childcare.”
Carrier said at Arden Elementary, the school is running out of space, and Wee Care leases the space from the school. She added having the care facility on-site provides easier transportation options for parents, and a safe, familiar and reliable facility for children.
They currently care for 20 children at Arden, and 40 at Valley View.
“Currently, we’re sharing a room with two of the programs (at Arden) and only one-third of our supplies are there.”
She received a quote from a local construction company that pegged the cost of bringing in a mobile space at Valley View at $275,000. Because the facility would be located on school property, Carrier said it would technically be owned by the school district.
“I would love to see if I can get some grants or a low-interest loan, but I can’t get a loan because they would technically own it. A bank is not going to say yes to that.”
Currently, Wee Care is accepting registrations for the 2016-2017 school year, fore services at Royston Elementary, École Puntledge Park and École Robb Road. Carrier is looking at possible alternative spaces for their Valley View and Arden locations, but noted it would have to be fully-licenced and able to meet their care needs.
She added if she cannot find space quickly, not only would parents not have facilities to bring their children, but “six to eight jobs in September are not going to happen.”
For more information or to contact Carrier, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-898-9661.