November 28, 2016 5:21 pm
Updated: November 29, 2016 10:12 am

Nova Scotia daycares prepare, fill up for potential teachers strike

WATCH ABOVE: The news that teachers won't be striking next week is providing some temporary relief to parents. However there's no guarantee teachers won't eventually walk off the job as the labour dispute continues. Now, staff at Halifax area child care centres are preparing for that possibility. Global's Steve Silva reports.

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Nova Scotia teachers won’t go on strike, at least not for now, but daycares are preparing for one.

“We would anticipate possibly doubling what our normal demand would be,” said Pam Streeter, executive director of Creative Kids Education Centre in Hammonds Plains, N.S.

She said that would require finding a bigger space to host children. A community hall is an option, but there are more logistics to sort out, including finding staff members to work an uncertain schedule.

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READ MORE: Nova Scotia teachers to start work-to-rule next Monday

On Monday, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union announced work-to-rule job action set to begin Dec. 5, something Streeter expects won’t significantly impact her facility.

Brendan Elliott, a spokesperson for Halifax’s municipal government, said the government is aware of the potential strike and is exploring what it can offer, though there are no firm plans yet.

“We look at programming, generally, because we have a lot of assets that are used by families. We’re wondering if there’s a way we could expand those programs throughout the day,” he said.

A potential issue is that a significant part of that programming is led by university students, who may be busy with their own studies, Elliott added.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia warns parents to come up with a plan in case teachers strike

Heather Hansen-Dunbar, chairperson of the Private Licensed Administrators Association of Nova Scotia, said a potential strike would cause difficulties for many people.

“I happen to be married to a school teacher, so the whole situation is very unnerving,” said Hansen-Dunbar.

“It’s pretty difficult to find a spot. The majority of centres are full with waiting lists.”

She said that the average price for quality home care in the area is between $35-40 a day, which can include lunch.

“There are some people right now who are advertising, like, $15-20 a day for school-agers, and so you really need to be very careful of that. The other thing is they need to have insurance,” said Hansen-Dunbar.

While teachers are only enforcing work-to-rule job action starting next week, meaning class will go ahead as usual, the teachers union hasn’t ruled out a full strike.

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