Before- and after-school care is a requirement for a significant number of QEA families, and the number of providers that serves our school is shrinking. Parent Gina Galway is leading a group of parents to try to address this issue. Here’s her latest update:
June 1, 2017
Thanks to everyone that completed the QEA Out of School Care Needs Assessment Survey. The results [PDF] support a significant need for both Before & After school care. Options for After school care continue to be thru Queen Elizabeth Out of School Care (at QE school) and Dunbar Kids Club (Kitsilano Neighborhood house). Students from our school continue to be on waitlists for these programs. Currently, there appears to be no confirmed morning school care options for QEA students, with the closure of the Crown Street program.
However, Diane Peters, childcare coordinator for Dunbar Kids Club, was quite interested in the results from our school survey and is taking the information to her board of directors. She will be approaching the VSB to explore an option of offering additional Out of School Care services in another location to expand her program (am/pm). She will explore if QEA can be used for a site. This is good news, and she will keep us posted on any progress made.
In addition, I also understand that the YMCA may be looking into leasing space from Dunbar Heights Baptist Church (former Crown Street program) for expansion of their west side programs – but am not privy to which schools they would service for out of school care, or the time line for start up. We may need to advocate strongly to ensure QEA students are captured by this plan, should a new program commence. I have had limited success to date, to get any commitment from YMCA/DHBC re: QEA participation.
Moving into the summer, we have some initial momentum with regards to Out of School care situation, but I foresee that more work needs to be done to keep the needs of QEA children & families at the forefront. A few more voices to help carry the message of concerned parents is one important ongoing step.
I recommend for those of us that have expressed an interest / need in Out of School care Services for 2017 /2018 keep in touch. I would appreciate a little assistance with continued advocacy. If anyone is willing to help in this endeavour, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or approach me at Spring Fling. Please also share this with any incoming kindergarten families you may know.
Gina Galway (Mom of D. – Div. 1, Grade 2)