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B.C. dad calling for provincial guidelines specifically for out-of-school care

One Vancouver dad says too many spaces in schools are sitting empty when they could be used for after-school care. File / Global News

While the province is offering new programs and funding for pre-school daycares, a Vancouver father says he feels like school-age kids are getting the short end of the stick.

“You’ve got gymnasiums and libraries and cafeteria spaces sitting empty in schools around the province while parents are scrambling to find care for their kids before and after school,” said Cliff Walker.

At his son’s east-side school there were no spaces available at all last year. He says the province needs specific guidelines for out-of-school care.

“They’re trying to use rules and regulations that are being applied to toddlers and they’re trying to apply them to students in their own schools and as a result, you’ve got cafeterias that are designed to seat 200 kids and it’s only licensed for 60,” said Walker.

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He says he’s also frustrated the province isn’t making public wait-list numbers providers give when applying for funding.

The Ministry of Education says it gathers general but not specific numbers. It does not provide numbers on children attending out-of-school care, nor those on wait-lists

It does have an interactive map where parents can search for daycares but many parents find information regarding available spaces is not complete for many of the providers.

Funding is available for out-of-school care providers for the upcoming school year through the B.C. Recreation and Parks Association.

Walker said he’s also frustrated the province isn’t making public wait-list numbers providers give when applying for funding.

He’s created a website to share his story.

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