School District 51 opens daycare spaces for children of essential workers

More spaces are slated to open for children of Tier 2 workers

School District 51 has ensured that children of essential workers in the region have a place to go when their parents go to work.

Earlier this month, two sites – Perley Elementary and Midway Learning – were selected to host children in Kindergarten through Grade 5 whose parents were designated Tier 1 essential workers by the province. These include people in health care, health services, social services, law enforcement and emergency response fields.

Now, the district is looking to support families with Tier 2 parents.

“Tier two is really about all the service providers,” district superintendent Ken Minette said in a virtual meeting last week with Grand Forks mayor Brian Taylor and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Area D director Roly Russell. In a parent survey, the district learned what sort of demand there would be for that program and determined that eligible students will be able to go to their regular school during work hours.

“We recognize that it’s a slightly bigger group and they’re familiar with those learning sites,” Minette said.

Tier 2 occupations include critical infrastructure, food and agriculture service providers, essential retail, transportation, industry and manufacturing, sanitation, communication and information technology and financial institutions.

Minette said that the district is now looking at how to support its vulnerable students in one-to-one or small groups, because, he said, “We know that there are some students who will have some challenges in this new [virtual] school format.”


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