Parents rally for new child-care program

Christina Myers, Burnaby Now

A group of parents at Taylor Park Elementary School in Burnaby have banded together in the hopes of creating a new out-of-school care program so that future parents won’t be facing the same challenges they’re now dealing with.

The group pulled together more than 175 signatures on a petition asking for a daycare facility at the school, which they’re hoping to present to the city in their effort to get support and attention for the plan.

“It’s a big problem,” said parent Yan Xing.

Xing has a son in kindergarten and said she was on a waiting list for an out-ofschool care program at a nearby school but wasn’t able to secure a spot in time.

As a full-time research scientist with the B.C. Cancer Agency, Xing – like many parents – needs child care before and after school, but there is currently no such program at Taylor Park….

“I have a friend who can help,” said Xing.

Other parents, she said, are forced to bring their kids to care farther away from the school, and then have them driven back, or make do with temporary solutions.

There’s also the added challenge of school holidays.

“There’s 10 (professional development days) for the whole year, one week spring break – that’s all my vacation to take that off,” she noted.

Fellow parent April Ng has nine-yearold twin girls at the school. She told the NOW that when she chaired the school’s parent advisory council in 2009, this issue was a top concern for many parents, some of whom were on a wait list for a nearby Stride Avenue School program run by South Burnaby Neighbourhood House.

But with expected increases in the school, she says it’s no longer realistic to share a program with another school and wait-lists are too long for most parents, forcing them to leave jobs or find temporary alternatives. …

In a letter to the city, Xing wrote of the importance of finding child care.

“We are looking for opportunities to have a child-care facility operated in our school campus, to provide a safe and caring environment for our children in outof-school hours. A quality before/after school care program is more than babysitting and homework help. An excellent program addresses the entire child growth in all aspects.”…