Saskatchewan opening daycares in schools for COVID-19 responders
March 20, 2020 By The Canadian Press
REGINA — The Saskatchewan government will be opening daycare spaces in schools for children of front-line health workers responding to COVID-19.
Priority is to be given to parents of school-aged children who work in hospitals, testing sites, primary care areas and labs.
Other essential staff like firefighters and police officers, as well as social services employees who provide income assistance and child protection, are also eligible.
“We felt that it was important to ensure that there was child care for our emergency workers,” Education Minister Gord Wyant said Friday, adding more than 2,300 spots have been made available.
Schools in Saskatchewan officially shut their doors on Friday, and their daycares are to open Monday for the health workers.
Wyant said daycare workers already in the schools will be providing the service.
“We’re looking to maintain the staffing ratios that we currently have,” he said.
Despite calls from the Opposition NDP and some parents to close daycares in Saskatchewan, as has been done in other provinces, Wyant said the province’s chief medical health officer is reviewing the issue.
The school daycares will be properly sanitized, he said.
“We want to minimize the risk as much as possible,” said Wyant.
“There certainly is some additional space in the schools now that there’s no children there. So, there’ll be lots of opportunity to further distance kids from each other to maintain the smallest groups that they possibly can.”
As of Thursday, there were 20 cases of COVID-19 in the province.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2020.
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2020
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