Starting after the Easter weekend, YWCA NWT is opening 120 full-day childcare spots in Yellowknife for essential workers who need a place for their children.
The spots, for children aged three-and-a-half to 10, will be divided evenly between Mildred Hall School and Weledeh Catholic School. The program will run Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Children will need to bring their own lunch and snacks.
“We were concerned that people were really needing this,” said Lyda Fuller, YWCA NWT’s executive director.
“It’s just hard to imagine, when everybody’s used to having kids in school, to try to figure out what to do if you’ve got an essential job and you have to leave home to go to work and don’t have care for your children.
“We are used to staffing 240 licensed after-school care spaces, so we knew we had staff available and we have the expertise in dealing with that age group. So we thought this would be a good thing for us to do.”
Some of the details are still being worked out. Fuller said children will probably spend the day in the schools’ gyms so they aren’t crowded together.
The cost will be $50 per day and families will be asked to enrol for a week at a time. Families will be given a discount per additional child in the program.
The YWCA plans to offer the childcare service until the end of July, taking a break in August to prepare for the after-school program that runs throughout the school year.
If there are spaces in the program not used by essential workers, those will be opened up to other parents.