NDP Finance spokesperson Claudia Chender. (Submitted photo)

Press release from the N.S. NDP:

HALIFAX: With less than a month to go before students head back to school, parents are still in the dark about how, or even if, before- and after-school programs will run. 

“For months, parents have been trying to plan for childcare with very little and constantly shifting information,” said NDP Education spokesperson Claudia Chender. “When students head back to school, for many families that also means heading back to organizing child care before and after school hours.

“Parents are assuming those options will be in place, but we don’t have any answers about capacity or changes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”  

A recent study by Statistics Canada shows only five per cent of families in Nova Scotia were able to continue accessing child care during the first wave of COVID-19. 

“Since schools shut down in March families have been trying to help children learn from home and keep them occupied during the summer without normal day camp or child care options,” said Chender. “We need to know what the plan is. Will children have somewhere to go before and after school?” 

The Liberal government’s back-to-school plan, announced in mid-July, is short on details. Teachers, staff and families have many unanswered questions including how programs like Excel could operate while respecting the plan to cohort students, and other public health recommendations.