In quest of a forever home for child care

After school care in Sooke is a challenge for provider

ffordable daycare — and finding a daycare spot in general — is an ongoing challenge for parents in Sooke. And elsewhere.

In an article last year, CBC  found that B.C. monthly rates are the highest for any province or territory, averaging in at $850 for a two year old (“Child care by the numbers,” July 2013).

One consolation for parents is that as kids get older, the costs go down. School-aged kids who require only out-of-school care are cheaper, with an average cost of $347 a month.

Care facility operators also have their set of challenges.

Kids Quest Child Care Society is one of them. Kids Quest is unique on two fronts. First, it is a not-for-profit facility. As outlined on ChildCare.net, not-for-profit centres can receive government funding. But, in order to do so, they must be run by a board that is composed of at least 51 per cent parents. It is the parents’ involvement that determines the services and programs provided by the facility.

The other thing that makes Kids Quest unique is that they currently operate out of two local elementary schools. Running a facility on school grounds, though, does come with its challenges.

They currently rent space from the school district and run three before-and-after school care programs out of two local elementary schools. However, as the annual demands for classroom space change in Sooke, Kids Quest holds its breath at the end of every year to see what will be available for the year ahead.

The convenience of operating out of the elementary schools has both its perks and quirks. The best perk is that the children can often stay in the same building. The oddest quirk, manager and society coordinator Christine McGuinness points out, is the children at Saseenos elementary cannot play on the playground equipment — the stuff they play on while at school there — because the equipment does not pass the licensing requirement specific to the Kids Quest.

But the biggest quirk is not knowing where they will be in the year to come takes its toll. To address this, they are looking for a permanent location.

According to Harold Cull, the secretary-treasurer at SD62, it’s an annual challenge.

“We’re estimating space requirements on estimated enrolment,” he said, noting that accurate numbers are not available until the actual school year starts, and the final budget is not approved until June. Added to the complications is that Sooke is one of the few districts with growing enrolment. With the demands on space increasing, Cull admits “we are not in a position to commit to them” on a permanent full-time basis.

“We need to find a forever home,” said Andrea Brygadyer, a parent board member.

“We’ve spent this whole year looking for spaces,” said McGuinness.

In a perfect world, McGuinness would love to see a rent-to-own option, in a big house that is commercially zoned.

In the meanwhile, they will be at Sooke and Saseenos for another year, and continue their search for a forever home.

For parents looking for childcare for their children, there is a referral program available in Sooke. It’s called the Sooke Westshore Childcare Referral Program (CCRR). CCRR provides parents with a list of daycares, suggested questions you might consider asking in choosing child care, and child care subsidy applications for lower income families.

They can be reached at http://www.sfrs.ca/ccrr.html, or by phone at 250-642-5153.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Sooke woman is speaking up after she was almost tricked by a lottery scam, claiming she had won $950,000 with Set for Life Lottery. (File Photo)
‘I wanted it to be true so badly’: Sooke woman almost falls for lottery scam

88-year-old received letter stating she had won $950,000

Construction was temporarily halted at Colwood’s Royal Bay on Monday, Jan. 18, after crews hit a natural gas line just before 9 a.m. (Black Press Media file photo)
No danger to public after gas leak in Colwood’s Royal Bay

Construction crews hit natural gas line just before 9 a.m.

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

Sequoia Coastal Coffee, the first coffee shop in Colwood’s Royal Bay neighbourhood, is temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 16. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood coffee shop shuts down after employee tests positive for COVID-19

Sequoia Coastal Coffee closed since Saturday, Jan. 16

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bastion Square attack leaves victim with life-altering injuries

Victoria police looking for witnesses, information

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Mount Arrowsmith. Three skiers were rescued from the south side of the mountain on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021 with one woman taken to hospital in Comox. (Nancy Randall photo)
Injured skier among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Submitted photo of Town Park C Block apartment fire.
Apartment fire in Port Hardy forces residents to jump from building

‘Multiple people were transported to the hospital with injuries from falling’

sdf
2nd in-school violence incident in Mission, B.C, ends in arrest

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

The Sooke Lions Business Directory has arrived and ready for distribution in the community this week. Ready for delivery are Sooke Harbourside Lions president Joanne Payment and Sooke Lions Club members Al Beddows, centre, and Jim Bailey. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke Lions Business Directory delivered to homes this week

Booklet includes business directory, telephone book and events calendar

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

Most Read