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WATCH: Okanagan Community Groups Step Forward

With the ongoing teachers dispute, many Okanagan parents are still scrambling to provide care for their children during the day.

Fortunately many community groups are stepping forward to help fill the gap and the demand for care is high.

The Kelowna Yacht Club is one of the many groups that have stepped forward to offer day

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“We did something in June as well so this is now a little easier I guess to put together and luckily we have a few instructors who are still in high school so they are also out of school which definitely helps run the sailing school,” says Valerie Cloutier with the Kelowna Yacht Club.

The demand is so high, the camp is already full for this week with only a few remaining spots for next week.
At the Parkinson Recreation Centre, day camps are also being offered as well but they too are at capacity this week.

The city run centre stepped in to help back in June when the strike first began but this time around, a lot more parents are signing up their kids.

“They have used up their resources of how many favors they can call in on. Are we surprised? not really there are lots of people out there that need help with kids right now,” says the centre’s Lori Angus.

Angus says 35 children are currently registered at the Recreation Centre but there could be a lot more next week if the dispute drags on.

“We have added the camp out in the Mission which is at Kinsmen field house for another 20 kids and we are on a day to day basis assessing what the demand is here and if necessary we will increase the number of kids here,” says Angus.

The Bumbershoot children’s theatre is also helping to fill the gap.

It’s partnered up with the Kelowna Art Gallery just like it did at the end of the school year to help parents out once again.

“They can register for single day or a week so they can call it as they go with the uncertainty with what is happening so they don’t have to make a big financial commitment,” says the theatre’s Tracy Ross.

“The program is very attainable. We are just trying to engage the community but not at high cost because this was not anticipated by a lot of families,” says Ross.

The cost for many programs ranges between $30 to $40 a day.

The Provincial Government is offering $40 a day in parent support pay for each child 12 and under for the duration of the strike.

You can register online. We’ve provided a link on our website.