Rachelle Stein-Wotten

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

Gabriola Elementary has been selected as one of the schools that will receive school district-run before and after school care starting in September.

On May 31, GES families received a letter from Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ district principal of early learning and care detailing the announcement.

Gabriola Elementary will have a total of 12 spaces available for before school care and 24 spaces for after school care. The spaces will be allotted via a lottery system, according to the letter. Registration forms must be submitted by June 12 in order to be entered into the lottery. Forms were emailed to families via email and are also available from the GES office. Emails will be sent out to confirm whether children are in the program by June 19. Additional requests beyond capacity will be added to a waitlist should spots open up.

“This before and after school care is not meant to affect any current childcare providers attached to Gabriola Elementary, but is for families who do not yet have a childcare option for their children or an option that is working for their children and family,” the letter says.

According to the registration form, families who have children with diverse abilities and disabilities can apply for space but will be “asked to work with supported child development services through Nanaimo Child Development Centre to secure financial support for additional staff in the childcare setting.” NLPS will proceed with staffing once funding is secured for the extra support. “Children needing the additional support will not be able to start in the Gabriola Before and After School Care program until supported childcare staff are in place and are fully trained.”

For kindergarten students, the fee for both before and after care for five days a week will be $200 per month. For grades 1 and up the fee will be $348 per month for the same care options. Fees have been reduced via the province’s Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI) for providers. Eligible families can also apply for the province’s Affordable Child Care Benefit (ACCB) for further reductions. Families can choose one to five days a week as well as the option to select either morning care or afternoon care. Before care will be available 7:15-8:40 a.m. for kindergarten and 7:15-8:25 a.m. for Grade 1+. After school care will be available 2:23-5:30 p.m.

Families indicate drop-off and pick-up times on the registration form.

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